Brig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks Jr. is a decorated officer serving as vice director of the Army Staff in the office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. A native of Alexandria, Va., Brooks is the former commandant of cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, having graduated from the academy himself in 1979. Brooks spoke recently with Managing Editor Ken Horn.
tpe: YouÕve talked about the larger meaning of warfare in life.
BROOKS: WeÕre really fighting two wars. ThereÕs a war against terrorism. That terror will come on our shores if we donÕt defeat it at its source. We are committed to go and root that out.
There is also spiritual warfare associated with the continual attacks on our nationÕs moral system. Our culture is trying to numb the way people think about things the Scriptures clearly tell us are wrong. As Christians, we have an obligation to be strong and courageous and to speak the truth. The truth is the Word. We canÕt afford not to win.
tpe: How should our readers be praying for our soldiers?
BROOKS: We should be praying for the leaders who are making decisions that place our brave men and women in harmÕs way. We should be praying for the physical safety of our servicemen and women. We should also pray for soldiersÕ families and their safety and security.
When our soldiers return, we need to pray for their reintegration into a family, into their community after having faced so much death and violence. We need to pray that each and every one of those men and women would be touched in a way that they would be whole mentally, spiritually and physically.
tpe: What role do you see our chaplains serving?
BROOKS: As a military man I am always looking for a way to multiply the advantage that my force will have over the enemy. Chaplains are force multipliers because they give faith and hope to young men and women who are out there.
I have found on my deployments that people start to search their heart and soul. If theyÕre not believers, theyÕll start thinking about it while theyÕre deployed. They realize their lives are at risk and there must be more to life. A chaplain can be a calming influence who can help young soldiers deal with those issues and with the many stresses they feel while they are away from home.
tpe: How would you advise a young person considering service in the Armed Forces?
BROOKS: I believe a person is obligated to serve their country, whether it be in the military or some other form. Men and women joining our ranks want to do something to help change the world. The military is a profession with higher ethical standards than the rest of society. ThatÕs what young people, young Christians, are looking for.
Be a part of something that has values above what society has. Be a part of something that is physically going to make a difference in our world. Be a part of something that is going to fight tyranny, that is going to help preserve our nation, that is going to provide you leadership training, expanded horizons and perhaps even a career.
tpe: Any final thoughts?
BROOKS: I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve in two armies. I am proud to have served my country for 27 years. I am also very proud to serve in the army of God and have an opportunity to glorify God in my current position.