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It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings. Just ask anyone associated with the Naval District Washington (NDW) Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO). The program, which is the first of its kind to hit the region, recently opened an office at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) Chapel Center that will cater to service personnel from all military branches, as well as their families, retired service members, reservists and civilian employees.

The CREDO program originally began in the Navy more than 40 years ago as a response to helping individuals afflicted with drugs. Today, it focuses on the development of one’s personal and spiritual growth through various weekend retreats and designated workshops. Such topics include marriage enrichment, self confidence, relaxation, combating personal affliction, suicide prevention and how to better communicate with others.

“Our goal is to help people grow spiritually and to enhance their personal readiness. There’s nothing like this in the region, so I believe it has enormous value,” said Cmdr. Bill Middleton, director of NDW CREDO. “We want our service members to find the answers they need. We have several retreats already lined up throughout the area. We’re really looking forward to what the future holds.”

During a recent kickoff ceremony for CREDO, Middleton thanked various members of the JBAB Chapel Center for their help and resources in getting the program off and running. He also extended his appreciation to members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard and Washington Navy Yard Fleet and Family Services for their support of the program.

Speaking at that same ceremony was Chaplain of the Marine Corps /Deputy Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben. She said adding CREDO to the region was a “response to the times.” She commented it’s also gratifying to see something in place that will serve as an outlet for fellow chaplains.

“I applaud NDW for recognizing a need that wasn’t being addressed. If you stop and think of those who lean forward and the load they carry on their shoulders, one can not realize how challenging duty is in the National Capital Region (NCR),” Kibben said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to create an informal way for people to go and find respite, fellowship and a sense of who they are professionally and spiritually.”

NDW Commandant Rear Adm. Markham Rich added similar praise and said he couldn’t be prouder of what CREDO will offer those in the region. He said its presence was a clear contribution to readiness and would surely make a difference to military families.

CREDO retreats are only open to active duty personnel and their immediate families. However, the workshops are open to all DOD employees. For CREDO NDW pre-registration call 202-767-5900. For more information on the program or any of the retreats listed below, email william.e.middleton@navy.mil.

Personal Resiliency Retreat

(PRR) at Turf Valley Conference Center

Retreat Dates:

Jan. 24-26 May 16-18 Feb. 21-23

June 13-15 March 21-23 July 18-20

April 4-6 Aug. 15-17

Marriage Enrichment Retreat

(MER) at Hilton Crystal City

Retreat Dates:

Jan. 17-19 May 9-11 Jan. 31-Feb. 2

May 23-25 Feb.14-16 June 6-8

Feb. 28-March 2 June 20-22 March 14-16

July 11-13 March 28-30 July 25-27

April 11-13 Aug. 8-10 April 25-27

Aug. 22-24