Sobel, Samuel, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
14 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Jewish
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1975, 410X, Office of the Chief of Chaplains
Service Years
1945 - 1975
Foreign Language(s)
Chaplain Jewish

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

16 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Sobel, Samuel, CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Greensboro, NC
Last Address
Virginia Beach, VA

Date of Passing
Apr 05, 2007
Location of Interment
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Norfolk, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Office of the Secretary of Defense Recruiter US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Navy Officer Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rabbi Samuel Sobel, Ed. D., D.D., captain, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy retired, died peacefully April 5, 2007.
Rabbi Sobel, who entered the military as a reserve Navy chaplain, broke barriers when he was the first rabbi appointed to the regular U.S. Navy and during his 30-year span of active duty in the Chaplain Corps, he held numerous pastoral and administrative posts in this country and overseas. Chaplain Sobel had a distinguished military career; his last military assignment was The Chaplain, U.S. Marine Corps, the highest chaplaincy post in the Marines, of which he was the first and only Jewish chaplain to reach that position.
Rabbi Sobel was an habitual scholar, graduating from Gratz College, the orthodox rabbinical seminary, New York's Yeshiva University, and also from the reform seminary, New York's Jewish Institute of Religion-Hebrew Union College. As a rabbinical student, his mentor was Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, founder of the Jewish Institute of Religion. Collectively, Rabbi Sobel received numerous post-graduate degrees.
Rabbi Sobel's wartime assignments included Hawaii and the Pacific, Korea, Lebanon and Vietnam, for which he earned the Bronze Star with Combat "V," the Purple Heart, Navy Commendation, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Lebanon, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Defense Identification Badge and numerous other medals including the Legion of Merit for his work as the executive director of the Secretary of Defense Armed Forces Chaplains Board, awarded personally by Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara, and later a Legion of Merit Gold Star, in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for his accomplishments as The Chaplain, U.S. Marine Corps. He was the only Jewish chaplain wounded in battle during the Korean War. Chaplain Sobel felt an allegiance to those serving in dangerous capacities and disregarded concerns for his own personal safety, while choosing to attend to the front line and forward aid stations when in war.
During his military career, he also reported directly to many U.S. presidents, from Eisenhower to Nixon, working with notables like the Rev. Billy Graham and the late Cardinal John O'Connor, who was a dear friend. In 2000, alongside President Bill Clinton, Senator John Glenn and Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Rabbi Sobel was honored by being a dignitary and guest speaker when he participated in the dedication of the Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C. That war memorial also depicts engraved photographic images of his likeness, permanently etched into the granite.
Rabbi Sobel was predeceased by his parents and brothers; his beloved wife and "shipmate," Shirley, who had also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps; and also by Selma. Survivors include his three daughters, Arleen R. Sobel, Barbara Coleman and husband Harvey and Karen Sachs and husband Warren; grandchildren, Sharon Blumenthal, Julie Blumenthal and husband John, Ashley and Stefan Coleman and Matthew, Scott and Benjamin Sachs; and great-grandson, Jonathan.
Other Comments:

The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (Staff)US Navy11th Naval DistrictNaval Reserve Recruiting Area Pacific, Naval Reserve Recruiting Command (NRRC)
NTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) Great Lakes, ILL2nd Marine DivisionCommander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)1st Marine Division
MCRD Parris Island, SCCommander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)Military Sealift Fleet Support Command  (MSC/MSFSC), Military Sealift Command Headquarters (MSCHQ)Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
Naval District Washington, DCOffice of the Chief of Chaplains
  1945-1945, 410X, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (Staff)
  1945-1946, 410X, Naval Training Center Elliott Annex, CA
  1946-1946, 410X, 11th Naval District
  1946-1947, 410X, Naval Reserve Recruiting Area Pacific, Naval Reserve Recruiting Command (NRRC)
  1947-1948, 410X, NAS Ford Island
  1948-1950, 410X, Administrative Command, NTC Great Lakes
  1951-1952, 410X, 2nd Marine Division
  1952-1952, 410X, Commander, Service Force, Pacific Fleet
  1952-1953, 410X, 1st Marine Division
  1953-1953, 410X, MCRD Parris Island, SC
  1954-1956, 410X, Commander, Service Force, Pacific Fleet
  1956-1959, 410X, Navy Recruiting Station Bainbridge, MD
  1959-1963, 410X, 1st Naval District
  1963-1965, 410X, Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSC/MSFSC)
  1965-1967, 410X, Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1967-1968, 410X, Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1967-1969, 410X, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)
  1968-1969, 410X, Naval District Washington, DC
  1969-1973, 410X, 5th Naval District
  1973-1975, 410X, Office of the Chief of Chaplains
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1952 Korean War/Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
  1952-1953 Korean War
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
 Colleges Attended 
Columbia University In The City Of New YorkColumbia University In The City Of New YorkHawaii Pacific UniversityNorfolk State University
  1942-1944, Columbia University In The City Of New York
  1944-1945, Hebrew College
  1953-1954, Columbia University In The City Of New York
  1954-1956, Hawaii Pacific University
  1978-1980, Norfolk State University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 28, 1945, Ordained as a Jewish Rabbi
  Jul 20, 1945, Commissioned in the Navy at the Rank of Lieutenant (jg)
  Jul 25, 1945, Local Rabbi is Commissioned as Chaplain1
  Aug 18, 1946, Married Shirley Miriam Monat
  Dec 29, 1946, First in History1
  Jun 02, 1950, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jul 29, 1953, Navy Chaplain Sobe Awarded Bronze Star1
  Nov 01, 1954, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Apr 28, 1955, Four Chaplains Honor Given to Lt. Sobel2
  Jul 01, 1959, Promoted to Commander
  Jun 01, 1965, Promoted to Captain
  Oct 29, 1965, Capt Sobel Becomes Director of Chaplain's Board1
  Feb 14, 1973, Married Selma Frances Salzberg
  Jun 02, 1973, Former City Rabbi Named Top Chaplain1
  Nov 12, 1986, Ceremonies Honor Veterans1
  Sep 11, 2017, Other colleges and universities
  Sep 11, 2017, Civilian pastorates
  Sep 11, 2017, Civilian teaching positions
  Sep 11, 2017, Other awards and recognitions
  Sep 11, 2017, Books written by Samuel Sobel
  Sep 11, 2017, General Photos3
 Military Association Memberships
Jewish War Veterans
  2017, Jewish War Veterans
Copyright Inc 2003-2011