Welcome! It is a pleasure to greet you and thank you for visiting the web page for the Office of the Chaplain at the Joint Forces Staff College! This website tries to capture the width and breadth of pastoral ministry that happens in a diverse educational context within the U.S. military. It includes a survey of the activities planned and supported by this department, and it also contains descriptions of the roles and responsibilities that I, as the Command Chaplain, undertake in addition to the traditional roles of a chaplain on a military installation. If you cannot find the information you seek, or if you have further questions about my duties here, my contact information is on the left side of these pages.  Feel free to contact me!





The Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) is the Norfolk, Virginia, campus of National Defense University (NDU) which is located at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.  NDU falls under the direct supervision of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in order to carry out joint professional military education. Thus, the Office of the Chaplain at JFSC provides traditional pastoral care and counseling in a unique setting that educates Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard officers to serve in various joint billets within the Department of Defense. Civilians from other U.S. government agencies and officers from the armed forces of other nations also attend the schools of JFSC. By virtue of a memorandum of understanding with the Chairman’s Joint Staff, and as a representative of the Joint Staff Chaplain located in the Pentagon, the Command Chaplain of JFSC also provides pastoral care and counseling to military and civilian workers at Joint Staff South locations in Suffolk, Virginia, and NSA Hampton Roads.

The billet of Command Chaplain belongs to the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Navy, and it requires the individual to be trained and certified in Joint Professional Military Education Phases I and II. In addition, the Command Chaplain must have a professional naval code in ethics. This additional educational requirement, which goes beyond what is required to be a military chaplain, enables the Command Chaplain to teach a military ethics elective to students of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS), advice JCWS curriculum developers on the Foundations of Unified Action module on ethics, give an ethics lecture to students of the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS), and be the ethical and moral advisor to the Commandant of JFSC



Chaplain Tom Statler is an ordained United Methodist minister who served churches in his home state of Missouri for nine years prior to joining the Navy in 2000, receiving a commission as a Lieutenant (O-3). 

His past assignments include: BN Chaplain for 1st Battalion, 7th Marines at MAGTF Training Center, Twentynine Palms, California; Facilitator and Trainer for Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation CREDO) Marine Corps West Detachment, MAGTF Training Center, Twentynine Palms, CA; Squadron Chaplain for Destroyer Squadron 23 at Naval Base San Diego, CA; Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, CA; Principal Assistant on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) at Naval Station Norfolk, VA; and Director of CREDO Detachment Mid-Atlantic at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT.

He has deployed four times over his career (once with Marines, and three times at sea), earned his Joint Professional Military (JPME) Phase 1 and 2 certification, and was selected for the Navy’s Funded Graduate Education program in 2007, earning a naval professional code in ethics. 

His educational accomplishments include a B.S. in Secondary Education (1982), a Master of Divinity degree (1991), and a Master of Theology degree (2008).

Chaplain Statler was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2007 and his current rank of Commander on 1 November 2016.




  • Joint Forces Staff College - Tuesdays at 0700, Bldg. SC-1 (Normandy Hall), Room A-325
  • Joint Forces South (Suffolk) – Thursdays at 1200 noon, Bldg. NH-19, Room 141 (SeaBee Plaza entrance)
  • Joint Forces South (NSA Hampton Roads) – Thursdays at 1200 noon, Bldg. 116B, Room CR1142




The blog is under development.  Stay tuned!

Chaplain Information

The Joint Forces Staff College Chaplain has information on a variety of programs, services, and local resources including:

  • On Campus worship
  • Naval Station Norfolk and other local area worship opportunities
  • Pastoral and Marriage Counseling
  • Bible Study
  • Marriage Enrichment and Personal Growth Retreats through Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) program
  • Suicide Prevention and Awareness


Office Location

Normandy Hall (Bldg. SC-1)

Room E-203-A

Phone Numbers

757-443-6121 (office)

757-443-6076 (JFSC quarter- deck for emergencies)





Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) and Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS) students are encouraged to do more than simply study the material and pass their respective courses. Acculturation with each other and the community, and extra-curricular activities that build group cohesion, are also designed pieces of the curriculum. As a part of this emphasis, the seminars (classes) are also encouraged to participate in activities with community agencies and organizations which allow them to give of themselves in the service of others. The Command Chaplain is the coordinator for those seminar activities.  In this capacity, the Command Chaplain meets with the seminar points of contacts at the beginning of each term, gives them information they need to plan an outreach event in neighboring communities, and maintains contact to monitor success and record metrics of planned events.

The faculty and staff of JFSC are also encouraged to participate in community relations projects.  The Command Chaplain supports and encourages an enlisted petty officer who is assigned to JFSC and has been given the collateral duty of coordinating outreach events. Together, they write and revise the outreach standard operating procedures (SOP) for JFSC.

The pictures below depict some of the community involvement by faculty, staff, and students of JFSC.




Pictures will be forthcoming!



Provide pastoral care and ethics instruction to joint warriors, faculty and staff in a dynamic educational institution of the U.S. military.


Integrate pastoral ministry and military instruction in ethics in order to ensure the continued presence of a Navy chaplain billet at JFSC.