by | Feb 27, 2023

March 1, 2023 – In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Women Military Chaplains, we are highlighting the collection of Navy chaplain Lieutenant Commander Diana (Van Buren) Lantz. The New Zealand native served in the Navy Chaplain Corps from 1994 to 2019. She ministered to Marines and served on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.

The history of women chaplains in the US military begins in July 1973 when Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Florence D. Pohlman became the first woman chaplain in the US Armed Forces. Since then, women chaplains have served in all branches of the military, and around the world. Chaplains provide both spiritual and moral guidance and conduct religious services for military personnel and their families. Chaplains minister to service members of all faiths. When US troops are deployed overseas, women chaplains are members of the ministry teams that accompany them. The very nature of military service forces individuals to face a variety of professional and personal challenges.

Chaplain (Lieutenant Commander) Lantz’s collection includes three chaplain religious stoles; MARPAT (Marine Pattern) uniforms, including a uniform worn in Iraq; challenge coins; event bulletins and programs; personal diaries from 2003 and 2006; personal letters; service records; and photographs.

On this momentous anniversary, we honor Chaplain (Lieutenant Commander) Lantz and all women military chaplains for their steadfast service to the men and women of our military, and their families.