Stevey, John E., COL

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
14 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Chaplain (Officer)
Primary Unit
1960-1961, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Service Years
1957 - 1977



 Last Photo   Personal Details 

49 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Stevey, John E., COL.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Trotwood, Ohio

Date of Passing
Jan 12, 2010
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

Jungle Expert Badge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Chaplain John Stevey's prayer still comforts deploying troops

John Stevey's quiet demeanor made him an easy-to-approach counselor as an Army chaplain and, later, a seminary professor.

He incorporated that subtle guidance into the prayer he was asked to compose to remind Green Berets of the spiritual nature of their missions.

"He was a very gentle, kind individual," said the Rev. William Underwood, retired pastor of the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Greensburg, where Mr. Stevey was ordained. "He was not one to pull rank on anyone, but just to be one with whoever he was talking to."

John E. Stevey of Trotwood, Ohio, formerly of Greensburg, died Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, in his home. He was 78.

Mr. Stevey, a 1949 graduate of Jeannette High School, entered the Army in 1957 as a chaplain with the 18th Airborne Corps Artillery after earning his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in religious studies and Christian education at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.

In 1960, he was sent to South Korea with the 82nd Airborne. When he returned to the United States a year later, Mr. Stevey was assigned to the 77th Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C.

While stationed there, Special Forces Commander Gen. William Yarborough asked Mr. Stevey to write a prayer for the Green Berets who were shipping out to Laos. Since then, soldiers in the Army's Special Forces unit carry the prayer, printed on a small, laminated card, when they deploy overseas.

"For many years nobody knew who wrote it," said his niece, Naomi "Cricket" Cycak of Ligonier. "He was very quiet about things."

In 1977, Col. Stevey retired from the Army. He then served as chaplain and director of placement at Nyack College in Nyack, N.Y., until 1980, when he was hired as dean of students and an associate professor of counseling and ministry for the college's Alliance Theological Seminary, a position he held for a decade.

Most recently, he was the chaplain at the Dayton VA Medical Center, in Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Stevey's sister Naomi "Cookie" Kelly of Parker, Colo., said her brother was just as dedicated to his family.

"He was a wonderful son and brother and father," she said. "There was no time that we didn't have a good time. We had one of those homes that just laughed all the time."

In addition to his sister and niece, he is survived by his wife, Joan Swiger Stevey; a son, Joel Stevey of Trotwood, Ohio; and a sister, Mary Jane Connell of Ireland. Mr. Stevey was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Naomi Jones Stevey; brother, Albert E. "Butch" Stevey; and sister, Nancy Richard.

Family and friends will be received from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the narthex of the Greensburg Alliance Church in Hempfield. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. Interment will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park in Hempfield. Barnhart Funeral Home of Greensburg is assisting with arrangements.

Other Comments:

U.S. Special Forces
Have Prayer Covering

Reprinted from Maranatha Christian News Service

© 2001
© 2001 Maranatha Christian News Service

(Post date: December 5, 2001)

 The prayers of thousands of Americans are with the U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- but Col. John Stevey's are with them in a special way. 

Members of the elite Special Forces carry with them a laminated prayer he penned for the unit at the request of the group's famed commander, Gen. William Yarborough. 

Stevey was asked to write something that would be appropriate for all religions and could be easily carried in a wallet, just before the Green Berets were due to be shipped out to Laos, in 1961. 

Yarborough was "hard as nails, but...very devout," Stevey told "The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review." 

"He said he wanted to remind them of the spiritual nature of what they were doing." Stevey created a prayer that included elements of the national anthem, the Lord's Prayer, "In God We Trust" and the Special Forces' motto. 

It acknowledges God as "the author of liberty and the champion of the oppressed," and asks that God might "grant us wisdom from thy mind, courage from thine heart, strength from thine arm, and protection by thy hand." 

Now 70, Stevey joined the Army as a chaplain in 1957. 

He was assigned to the 77th Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C., after a tour in South Korea. 

His prayer is routinely carried by the Green Berets and featured in a stained glass window at the group's Fort Bragg chapel.

 "When I see these guys [in Afghanistan] on TV, I'm proud to have played some small part in all this," Stevey told the "Tribune-Review." 

"These are the kind of men I'm happy we have on our side."

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Master Parachutist

 Unit Assignments
XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery82nd Airborne Division77th Special Forces Group7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1957-1959, 5310, XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery
  1959-1960, 5310, HHC, 82nd Airborne Division
  1960-1960, 5310, 77th Special Forces Group
  1960-1961, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
 Colleges Attended 
Bob Jones University
  1949-1957, Bob Jones University
Copyright Inc 2003-2011