The Board of Directors of the Chaffey High School Alumni Association is proud to announce that Colonel David Forden, Class of 1966, has been selected as the 2011 Tiger of the Year. Col. Forden was nominated by his brother Don Forden, CHS ’62.
David Forden, D.Min., or as he is currently referred to, Chaplain (Colonel) David Forden raised his right hand in 1981 and promised to defend the United States against all powers, both foreign and domestic, and to defend the Constitution. With that, he become a Chaplain in the US Army so that he could provide emotional and spiritual support to all soldiers, sailors, marines, airman and coast guard personnel on the battle field and in any area.
David was very well prepared to become a military chaplain. After graduating from CHS, he attended Chaffey College for two years then earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton (1970) and a Master of Divinity degree from The American Baptist Seminar of the West (1973), the same year he was ordained as a minister by the American Baptist Churches of the USA. He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and was awarded a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, PA in May 2009.
David served in several pastoral positions prior to joining the Army in 1981. He has truly been a “citizen soldier”, serving as an active reservist and active duty soldier and a productive, influential private citizen. While an Army reservist, he actually had two jobs – marriage and family therapist and Command Chaplain of the 311th Corps Support Command (COSCOM) in Los Angeles, CA. Being a Command Chaplain sometimes required three out of four weekends of his time plus many hours of time on the phone. As a Command Chaplain he had organizational duties, counseling and military funerals to administer for our soldiers, some of whom gave their lives in Iraq.
David’s older brother Don ’62 is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain. When Don was deployed to the Middle East in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm War of 1990-1992, David moved to Bakersfield to assume Don’s practice.
In 2005 David was deployed to Fort Polk, LA to work with military personnel who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. He was responsible for acquiring and dispensing over a million dollars of assistance to soldiers and their families devastated by the hurricane. This meant that David give up his private practice in marriage and family counseling to be deployed. His practice was his primary means of support to his family.
Six months later David was moved to Fort Dix, N J where he assisted soldiers and their families in preparing for deployment in Iraq and in reintegrating upon return from fighting. He also developed a program with emotional, mental and spiritual aspects for soldiers who had been wounded and or experienced medically-treated trauma in the Warrior Transition Unit (Wounded Warriors). This program allowed the Wounded Warriors to constructively use their time while they awaited medical treatment. David’s program became a model for all other Warrior Transition Units in the US Army.
In July 2009 David was reassigned to Fort Monmouth, NJ to become the Garrison (Post) Chaplain. In addition, David has been asked to present the findings of his research on encouraging resilience in our soldiers, marines, sailors, airman and coast guard personnel.
David retired from military service in June 2010. He continues to serve our military personnel as a Family Life Counselor assigned to various military installations throughout the world. In 2009 David was presented with the US Army Military Chaplain of The Year Award. David and his wife Ann have been married since 1980 and have two grown children.
David will be present at the Baccalaureate service for the 100th graduating class, the Class of 2011, on May 22, 2011 where he will deliver an inspirational message to the graduating seniors. This will be followed by a reception in his honor on campus.