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Senior Chaplain * CAPT Richard Bonnette

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US Naval Academy Command Chaplain

Chaplain Richard Bonnette

Captain Richard Bonnette graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 1982.  Over the next eight years, he served three congregations in the Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach areas.  Following graduate school, he was selected for the Chaplain Candidate Program and commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Reserves in June 1992.  He was called to active duty in September 1994.  

After attending the Navy Chaplain Basic School, he was assigned to the First Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California as Battalion Chaplain for the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines Infantry Battalion and later the Fifth Battalion, Eleventh Marines Artillery Battalion.  During these assignments, the commands were deployed to Japan and Korea.  Chaplain Bonnette reported for service in December 1997 as Command Chaplain on the USS CAMDEN (AOE 2) in Bremerton, Washington and provided ministry for the 600-member crew during a Western Pacific deployment to the Persian Gulf.  In January 2000, he assumed duty with Navy Region Europe in Naples, Italy, serving as the Chaplain’s Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) Director and retreat facilitator for service members and their families throughout Europe.  In July 2003, he became the Expeditionary Strike Group One (ESG1) Chaplain and Command Chaplain for the USS TARAWA (LHA 1), in San Diego, California.  He was responsible for religious support to the 3,500-member crew of Sailors and embarked Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.  He reported in August 2005 to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis serving as Protestant Chaplain for the 4200 member Brigade of Midshipmen.  He was then assigned as the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Command Chaplain participating in EUCOM/CENTCOM deployments and Operation Unified Response – Joint Task Force Haiti and later served as the Deputy 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force Chaplain.  From 2011-2014, he was the Chaplain Corps Detailer at Naval Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. In 2014, he became the Navy Chief of Chaplain’s Director of Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education at the Pentagon, and was then selected to serve as the Executive Assistant for the Navy Chief of Chaplains.  Chaplain Bonnette became a member of the Commander, Navy Installations Command team in May 2017 and served as the Force Chaplain. He reported to the United States Naval Academy in May 2020 as the Command Chaplain.

Chaplain Bonnette earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.  He has two Master’s degrees; a M.Div. from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a MHR from Oklahoma University.  He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.  He has additional professional subspecialties in Personnel Resource Management Analysis, Manpower Systems Analysis Management, and Human Resources.

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