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Truckin’ with Chaplain Dundas

By Jason Scarborough, Public Affairs Specialist | Feb. 12, 2020

NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD —

After nearly a decade, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) has a Chaplain, Commander Steve Dundas. A man of faith and family, an enthusiast of movies and music, and a true history buff, Dundas is here and ready to serve NNSY. He has said several times, “To me it does not matter what your religion is, or is not, I am here to serve you, regardless of your status, active military, or civilian.” Dundas looks forward to becoming an asset by creating new and innovative ways to serve and support NNSY personnel.

A native of Stockton, Ca., Dundas has served in the military for more than 38 years. He was initially introduced to the Navy through the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC). This was also where he found his calling to help others. His career began when he enlisted in the National Guard. He later obtained his commission in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps on active duty. Dundas then transferred back to the National Guard and attended the seminary and was later promoted to Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He resigned his reserve commission to enter the U.S. Navy on active duty in Feb. 1999. Dundas likes to refer to his career by quoting the words of Jerry Garcia from the band Grateful Dead in their song; Truckin’: “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

In Dundas’s personal time he enjoys listening to various music from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s and has been to several concerts over the years. Some of those concerts include Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Jimmy Buffet, and Chicago with Earth, Wind, and Fire. His other hobbies include reading, writing, bicycling, and power walking. He loves history and holds a master’s degree in military history. When the time comes to retire, Dundas would thoroughly enjoy being a full-time historian and possibly teaching philosophy and religion on the side. His family comes from a historic tradition of serving in the military that dates back to the American Revolution.

Now onboard NNSY, Dundas intends to walk about the shipyard to meet with people and generate a strong demand signal for what he can offer. He stated, “I’m most impressed with the diversity of the workforce and if you’re going to serve the people then you have to go where the people are and serve them.” He intends to utilize his strength of being a good listener, as well as his gift of having no judgement towards people to better serve the workforce.

Dundas will be looking to create informal gatherings where the workforce can discuss what’s going on in their lives in a relaxed atmosphere, hopefully creating an environment where people feel comfortable to discuss various topics or concerns. The challenge he foresees is simply not having enough time. If things go as planned Dundas will retire Aug. 1. Regardless of the challenges or situations, Dundas looks forward to serving the NNSY workforce. He said, “I will help anyone I can, and if I can’t, I will find the right person or the right resources that will help. I am not perfect, but I am transparent and I’m here to listen.”