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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

National Chaplain
Keizer Chaplain (Colonel) Herman Keizer, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is the oldest of seven children. He has been a minister in the Christian Reformed Church in North America since his ordination in 1968. Chaplain Keizer was drafted and served from 1962-1964 as a Chaplain Assistant at Fort Belvoir, VA. Chaplain Keizer has a BA degree from Calvin College; a BD from Calvin Theological Seminary; a MST ( Masters of Sacred Theology) from New York Theological Seminary and a MA in Education from New York Teachers College. He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an Honors Society in Education.

Commissioned as a Chaplain in 1968, his assignments include: service as Assistant Brigade Chaplain Fort Gordon, Georgia; service in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division, and the Fourth Infantry Division (He was wounded twice –in a rocket attack on a fire-base in Cambodia and in a 159 foot fall in a helicopter accident on An Khe); as Advisor to the Commanding General on Drug And Alcohol in Wurzburg, GE; as Officer in Charge of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Training Center; Bremerhaven, GE; as faculty member at the Chaplain Center and School; as Personnel Staff Officer (Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel ); Installation Command Chaplain, Fort Shafter, HI; as Division Chaplain, 25 th Infantry Division, HI; as Deputy Director of the Chaplaincy Service Support Agency, Washington, D.C.; as Executive Director, Armed Forces Chaplains Board, Department of Defense; and as Command Chaplain, United States European Command, Stuttgart, GE.

In 1998, Chaplain (Colonel) Herman Keizer, Jr. reached mandatory retirement age having completed 30 years of service as a Colonel. He was retired and was recalled by the Secretary of the Army) to serve as Military Assistant for Leadership and Human Relations to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In July 2000, his recall was extended by the Secretary of Defense and he became an Advisor to the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the Department of State. He served in that position until retirement from the military in 2002. He then served as the Director of Chaplaincy Ministries for the Christian Reformed Church in North America until he retired in 2009.

Chaplain Keizer’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (1OLC); the Legion of Merit (4 OLC); the Soldier’s Medal; the Bronze Star Medal (5OLC) and V Device; the Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal 3OLC); the Air Medal (3); the Army Commendation Medal 1OLC); the Army Achievement Medal (1OLC); and the Good Conduct Medal. (Each Oak Leaf Cluster counts for an additional award of the medal, so add the 1 st award to the OLC to get the total number of awards.) He also received the Superior Honor Award from the Department of State.

In May, 2000, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan named Chaplain Keizer a Distinguished Alumni and presented the Award at the College Graduation Ceremony. In May 2003, Calvin Theological Seminary named Chaplain Keizer a Distinguished Alumni and presented the award at the Seminary Graduation Ceremony. On April 11, 2010, the Association of Professional Chaplains awarded him their Distinguished Service Award, the first Military Chaplain and the first Chaplain Endorser to receive the award.

Since retirement, Chaplain Keizer Has work on a project with others to produce a Power Point presentation in PTSD stressing both the physical and Psychological aspects of this Disorder; Served on several Boards: the Heartside Ministry Board; the GRACE Board; the Restorative Justice Board; the Healing of Children of Conflict ( children injured by American soldiers in the current conflicts; and for the Micah Center advocacy committee. He served as the Guest Host of the Truth Commission on Conscience in War which recommended Selective Conscientious Objection legislation to the Congress. (Report of commission is online). He briefed the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness three times on Just War Tradition and the need to change the CO policy in the Military. He assisted in the establishment of a Non-for- profit group on the East Coast to assist veterans of the current wars. His most recently has been seeking grant funds to assist veterans who are suffering from “moral injury in war”. He was recently selected to serve on a committee for the National Association of Evangelicals on the issues concerning Nuclear War.

Chaplain Keizer’s military experience provided opportunities to serve in some unique and challenging assignment that provided experience and education across a wide spectrum of disciplines.

He is married to Ardis Louise (Groeneveld) Keizer. They have two grown sons Bryan and Randall.

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