Historic Promotion Makes Chaplain Andrew Harewood First Adventist and African-American General in US Army Reserve

Harewood supervises religious support offered by 700 Army Reserve chaplains around the world as deputy chief of chaplains

On November 1, 2020, Col. Andrew Harewood was promoted to general officer upon accepting the position of deputy chief of chaplains for the United States Army Reserve, making him the first Adventist and African-American to become a general in the Army Reserve. With the promotion, he is the third Adventist chaplain in the U.S. military to reach the general rank.

“In the military, we consider our career success when we make it to colonel. When that happened three years ago, that was a humbling experience. When [the promotion to general officer] happened, it was very surreal and very humbling,” Harewood said.

Harewood is one of three deputy chiefs of chaplains for the Army—each individually representing active duty, national guard, and the reserve—who report to the Army chief of chaplains. The Army chaplaincy leadership team oversees the religious support services within the military branch that are carried out in more than 220 countries and territories throughout the world. Harewood is the deputy who oversees the work of 700 chaplains in the Army Reserve serving nearly 190,000 Army Reserve soldiers, their families, and Army Reserve civilians. He exercises his role from the Army’s headquarters in the Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia.

Among his many duties, he oversees strategy, plans, policy, and resources (SPPR) for the office of the chief of chaplains. Responsibilities include directing strategic communication, policy, law, doctrine, government affairs, religious accommodation, religious diversity and plans, force management, and strategic plans and studies. Harewood is also the primary representative to Army senior leadership in all matters related to religious support, advisement, and the free exercise of religion.

“Chaplain Harewood has had an exemplary career as an academician, educator, pastor, and chaplain. His new role as deputy chief of chaplains is unparalleled in the Army and among Seventh-day Adventist chaplains,” said Paul Anderson, director of NAD Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries. “He is the third Adventist military chaplain to reach this level. He joins the august company of chaplains Barry Black and Darrold Bigger, who served in the U.S. Navy as chief and deputy chief of chaplains, respectively.”

“Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries is thrilled to celebrate this providential promotion with Chaplain Harewood. He is the man whom God has singularly prepared for such a time as this,” Anderson continued.

Harewood has been in the Army for more than three decades and served as a chaplain for the military branch for 25 years. His highly decorated career has included active military work and civilian pastoral assignments within the Adventist Church. Prior to his previous position, he was the senior pastor of the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church in Harlem, New York for four years. Even in that time, however, he still performed military duties as command chaplain for the 80th training command, which manages all Army training schools.

“God is bigger than anything I can perceive. Anything I may have a limit to, God is bigger than that. This [perspective] allows me to communicate with other people who are of a different faith or even no faith, and still see them as a child of God through the lenses that He’s bigger than anything I can comprehend,” said Harewood. “My faith informs who I am as a person—how I meet, engage, listen, and talk to people. I want the beauty of Jesus to be seen more in what I do than what I say.”

His formal promotional ceremony will take place Friday, December 11, by invitation only, at the historic Fort Myer Chapel, located on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

This article was originally published on the North American Division’s news site

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