“Monk to Military:” Deploying with the Navy, Marines, and Army

Kenneth Nielson


Father Ken Nielson entertained the idea of entering the Priesthood from his youth. After attending a Catholic High School Seminary, he decided to pursue a career in music instead. After several years in music, he reentered the seminary and took his vows to become a Monk. He then received a further calling to become a Navy Chaplain serving with the Marines. After two tours supporting the Marines in Iraq and one tour on an Aircraft Carrier, he decided to transfer to the Army, to be “where I was needed the most.” After tours to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army, he was assigned to the Parish at West Point. In this interview, Father Nielson discusses his four combat tours and dealing with PTSD, counseling, and casualties.


conflicts Iraq War Afghanistan War
topics Leadership PTSD Camaraderie Faith and Religion
interviewer David Siry
date 17 December 2015


name Kenneth Nielson
service Chaplain
unit 13th MEU & 1st STB, 4th ID & 4th BDE, 4th ID
service dates 2000 2016