An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Aug. 5, 2020

Deputy Chief of Chaplains for Reserve Matters Changes Leadership

By Commander, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

SLIDESHOW | 1 images | Reserve Chaplain Change of Leadership Reserve Chaplain Change of Leadership
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rear Adm. (Select) Terry Eddinger succeeded Rear Adm. Phillip “Endel” Lee, Jr., as Deputy Chief of Chaplains for Reserve Matters in a change of leadership ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling today.

Welcoming Eddinger during the event, Keynote speaker Vice Adm. Luke M. McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve, said he is well-suited to take the helm of the Chaplain Corps Reserve ranks, noting the critical role chaplains serve in supporting the Navy Reserve.

Eddinger, a native of Thomasville, North Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gardner-Webb University; a Masters of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1993.

McCollum spoke of Lee’s significant career and devotion to the Navy Chaplain community, as he served in leadership positions in the Navy, Marines Corps and Coast Guard.

“Endel, the Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsman you have served with are all the better for your leadership and guidance,” McCollum noted. “Your forward leaning professionalism, including several mobilizations both here on the home front and overseas in support of contingency operations, provided significant support and comfort in difficult times.”

McCollum presented Lee with the Legion of Merit award during the ceremony.
Rear Adm. Brent Scott, U.S. Navy Chief of Chaplains and presiding officer at the transition ceremony said, “Chaplain Lee, you brought the total force to the Chaplain Corps throughout your entire career. Our Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardians, both Active and Reserve Component, are stronger and more ready to fight because of your leadership.”

Lee said, “I have been humbled and honored to serve with the incredible people who compose our military ranks. My prayers will continue for those who support and defend the Constitution. May God’s grace always rise to meet you when you need it most.”

Lee is a native of Tanner Williams, Alabama, and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mobile. He also holds a Master of Divinity, Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Philosophy from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

He joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1982, serving for 11 years as both an enlisted member and an officer, before being commissioned into the Navy Reserve as a chaplain in 1993. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and served for nearly a year with the Coast Guard in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Lee will retire in September 2020 following 38 years of military service.

As he assumed leadership, Rear Adm. Eddinger recognized Lee for all his contributions over the years. “Endel, you leave the Chaplain Corps and the Navy Reserve on clear path for the future. You and Kathy have earned a much deserved retirement and I wish you both fair winds for your future course,” he said. “I will continue your steadfast example with God’s guidance as we navigate through these difficult times for our military and our country.”

The Reserve Component of the Navy Chaplain Corps consists of 230 commissioned chaplains and 219 Religious Program Specialists (RPs). Chaplains are endorsed by the nation’s religious organizations to serve and they receive specialized training to care for military members and their families. Reserve Component Chaplains and RPs mobilize and serve the total force world-wide.

A 24/7 Chaplain Hotline providing 100% confidential around-the-clock support for Reserve Sailors and families in need of counseling or spiritual services is available at 757-322-5650. Chaplains can also be reached through the Navy 311 Website at or by phone at 855-NAVY-311 (855-628-9311).