The Rev. Kozen appointed chaplain at St. John Neumann Regional Academy

The Rev. Bert S. Kozen has been appointed as chaplain at St. John Neumann Regional Academy by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. This appointment follows his retirement from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after a distinguished 30-year career as an officer and being placed on the Pennsylvania National Guard retired list in the rank of Brigadier General.

Kozen was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton on April 24, 1982 and has served in numerous parish assignments and currently is pastor of Immaculate Conception and the Church of St. Luke, Jersey Shore.

His service in the National Guard began in June 1985 when he was commissioned a First Lieutenant and assigned to the 55th Brigade, headquartered in Scranton, of the 28th Infantry Division as an assistant brigade chaplain. Subsequent assignments have included battalion chaplain for the 1-109 (M) Infantry, Brigade Chaplain for the 55th Brigade Combat Team, Division Chaplain for the 28th Infantry Division and State Chaplain-Joint Forces Headquarters Pennsylvania National Guard.

Father Kozen was mobilized and deployed to Nicaragua as the Task Force Esteli Chaplain in 1998; to Washington, D.C. following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, where he served in the recovery teams of the Mortuary Affairs Units at the incident site and later at the Personal Effects Depot at Fort Myer, Virginia; to Bosnia as the Division and Task Force chaplain for SFOR 12; to Kosovo as the Deputy Task Force Chaplain for KFOR 5A; and to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Command Chaplain for the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

His many awards include the Legion of Merit (Officer), the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, gold hourglass and numeral 3 and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Also, he received the Kosovo Campaign Medal with bronze star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal with bronze star, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Combat Action Badge, the Physical Fitness Excellence badge and the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal, as well as other state awards.

Son of the late Wallace G. Kozen Jr. and Cora S. Kozen, he graduated from the former Bishop Neumann High School in 1973 and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from the University of Scranton in 1977.

He earned a master of divinity degree and a master’s degree in theology from St. John’s Seminary and School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kozen’s military education includes the chaplain officer basic course, the officer advanced course and the command and general staff college. He is a 2006 graduate of the U.S. Army War College as well as the National Security Fellowship of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In addition, he also has received extensive training in battlemind briefing, traumatic event management, critical event stress management, suicide prevention and clinical pastoral education.

“I am very excited to serve as the chaplain of my Alma Mater and to return to teaching. I have always enjoyed ministering to the youth of the church for I believe that they are one of our most precious resources,” Kozen said.