I typed up this resignation letter to my Commander on March 29, 2021. I was tired from one year of a global pandemic, the lack of normal human interaction I had with my Soldiers as a chaplain, and church and family life were very busy. I was also trying to finish my Ph.D. and didn't know if I could make it.
I talked to my pastor and mentor, a retired chaplain, Dr. Scott Borderud, who advised me to wait and resign until things became "normal" again and re-assess how I felt. I talked to other retired Officers, who also said they had felt the same way and, in hindsight, were glad they stuck it out.
I finally had a conversation with COL David Mann, my Commander and boss, who said he would support me no matter what I chose, but also cautioned me against making such a "final" decision at a turbulent time. Ultimately, I never submitted this letter. I told COL Mann that I would at least serve with him until he was relieved of command. Of course, I kept on serving beyond that and I'm very glad this letter was typed but never made it off the press.
I am writing you this letter to inform you of my intention to resign my commission as an officer in the United States Army Reserves. I did not easily or quickly arrive at this decision; it is only after much prayer, deliberation, and reflection that I have concluded this is what is best for my family and I at this time and for the future.
The demands from my private and civilian life have increased considerably over the past few years. My service as the pastor of a local church in the Houston, TX area consumes much of my time and energy. My wife of sixteen years recently went back into the medical field as a labor and delivery nurse after completing her Master’s degree. Our five children (ages 3-12) are only getting busier with school and extracurricular activities. Additionally, this next decade (when I would be seeking to complete my 20 years of service) is the most formative period of their lives and when they need the presence and attention of their father more than ever. I am also completing a Ph.D., which demands more time and attention along with these important and God-honoring endeavors.
As you know far better than I, sir, the life of a field-grade level officer is increasingly staff-oriented and time demands only increase with rank. I am simply unable to devote the attention and effort necessary to being a great Chaplain and staff officer, and I have no desire to occupy such a valuable role without being able to properly fulfill my obligations.
I am immeasurably grateful for the man the Army has helped me become. The experiences, lessons, friendships, and opportunities the Army has brought into my life are a greater blessing than I could have imagined. It has been my pleasure and honor to serve my God, my fellow man, and my country these past 11 years. I am humbled and appreciative of your faith and trust in my abilities to care for your Soldiers and their families.
CH (CPT) Justin DuBose
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence