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  • Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

    http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/02/19...ucial-to-army/

    Chaplain Corps crucial to Army
    Feb 19, 2010

    By Zach Morgan, Fort Polk Guardian staff writer

    Story Highlights
    Army incomplete without chaplains
    FORT POLK, La. -- Editor's note: This is the last of three articles on resources available to commanders on Fort Polk. The first two stories, which covered the Inspector General and Staff Judge Advocate, appeared in the Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 issues of "The Guardian."

    There are 1,650 chaplains in the active-duty Army. Each brigade and battalion on Fort Polk is assigned a chaplain. The role of the chaplain is as crucial as it is unique. According to Chap. (Col.) David Darbyshire, command chaplain, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, "chaplains ensure the free exercise of religion for Soldiers and serve as advisors to the commander on issues of religion, morals and morale."

    While those tasks sound simple enough, Army chaplains juggle a multitude of responsibilities. Chaplains provide marriage and career counseling for Soldiers in their units, marriage retreats and outings for single Soldiers. They perform marriages, baptisms and are the primary instructors for unit-level suicide prevention and intervention. Chaplains deploy with their units and provide comprehensive religious support to Soldiers and their Families during deployment. They conduct Sunday morning services in garrison and worship services in the field while the unit is training. They assist in next-of-kin notification, accompanying the casualty notification officer to provide pastoral care to the Family and help them deal with tragic news.

    Chaplains serve on the staff at brigade and battalion levels, and are also available to assist company commanders. In an advisory role, chaplains answer leaders' questions about religious accommodation: If Soldiers have special religious needs and the commander does not know how to support them, the chaplain can provide information. If a commander has a question about what Muslims believe, the chaplain can do a study and conduct research for the commander.

    "Chaplains don't tell the commander how to fight, but they can help him understand nuances of religion, like how religious holidays might come to play on the battlefield," said Darbyshire. "Chaplains advise, commanders decide."

    Darbyshire said his role is the same, but at a higher level. "I advise the command on the same issues, provide resources and mentor young chaplains, supporting them with policy and guidance that they need to do their jobs."

    Each chaplain comes from their own denominational background. "All Protestant Christian denominations are represented on active duty, as are Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams," said Darbyshire. "Chaplains are tasked with either performing or providing for Soldiers' religious needs. They may not be able to perform a certain ministry for a Soldier, but they can provide it by hooking that Soldier up with a chaplain who can." If that support is unavailable on post, chaplains work with religious leaders in the local community to help the Soldier.

    In the field, the battalion chaplain is a key player in the unit's health and mission accomplishment. "Soldiers appreciate it when the chaplain is out there with them - sharing heartache, available to answer tough questions, able to listen - chaplains give guidance and spiritual encouragement in the midst of some of the toughest times of their life," Darbyshire said.

    Darbyshire is excited about the future of Army chaplaincy. He has seen growth on several levels since he joined the corps, and beams when asked about today's young chaplains. "I think the chaplain corps has improved exponentially in terms of their integration in the unit," he said. "Chaplains have grown in their ability to understand the battlefield. Today's chaplains are able to leverage technology to gain information and disseminate it. They are bright young people and understand our young Soldiers.

    "Chaplains must have two years of pastoral experience and a two-year Masters of Divinity at seminary and bachelors degree. They are all answerable to their denomination for their own faith and to the Army for ministering to a broad range of people that are entrusted to their care. They walk a fine line and do it very well, given how explosive religion and religious topics can be."

    The Army would be incomplete without the Chaplain Corps. "Every chaplain does three things: nurture the living, care for the wounded (physically and spiritually) and honor the dead," Darbyshire said.

    "I would hate to think what the Army would be like without the Chaplain Corps. What if all of the positive spiritual emphasis in the world was removed in a moment? What would the world look like? It would be ugly," he said.

    Darbyshire explained the chaplain's role in football terms: "Chaplains are like a field goal kicker on a professional football team. You can play every game without a field goal kicker. You can win a lot of games. But I don't believe you could win a Super Bowl without a great field goal kicker. You may not need the chaplain all the time, he may not be front and center all the time, but when a Soldier dies, all eyes turn to the chaplain. Bad things don't happen all the time, but when they do, you want a great chaplain on your team."

  • #2
    Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

    You dont have to justify your job to us...we dont sign your paychecks

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

      I thought it would be good information for recruits.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

        Originally posted by RSP NCO
        You dont have to justify your job to us...we dont sign your paychecks
        LOL I thought the same thing when I saw the title and poster, but yeah Good post, Chaplains are da shiz nit

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

          Originally posted by RSP NCO
          You dont have to justify your job to us...we dont sign your paychecks
          LOL....Thanks for the laugh today.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

            Originally posted by RSP NCO
            You dont have to justify your job to us...we dont sign your paychecks
            lulz at this one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

              So why are chaplains officers? I've always wondered. Is it to go along with the educational requirements? Is the authority utilized?

              Educate me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                Originally posted by SteveLord
                So why are chaplains officers? I've always wondered. Is it to go along with the educational requirements? Is the authority utilized?

                Educate me.
                IMO they have to have a M.Div to become a Chaplain. That is 90 hours past a bachelors degree(most masters require 30-36 hrs). It is the DEGREE for religious folks. Ph.D in Religion or Biblical studies much easier and less work.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                  Not all MDiv's are 90 hours (most are), some are 72 hours. The DOD requires M.Div or it's equivelant of 72 hours.

                  Tyipcally, traditionally seminary is designed for those that have no previous theological training. So a person went from their bachelors degree in some other field before preparing for ordination.

                  Then emerged bible college, many backgrounds don't require a MDiv but rather a bachelor degree in minsitry. Basically the two are the same, except the Masters is more rigorous, and the quality of people more focused.

                  I've already completed a BS in Christian ministry, and now am working towards a 90 hour mdiv. So bllaaaa, I feel as though I'm doing the same thing twice. Thus, why after this semester I'm tranfsering to a 72 hour program, a M.Div in Chaplaincy. I should be done in three semesters, after this one.

                  The Chaplain Corps is a specialty officer branch. You can thank George Washington. It's one of the oldest branches. Back then people respected clergy more than they do now.

                  Thus a Chaplain has two chains of command, the COC and the technical chain of command. A Chaplain is a staff level officer, thus they are advise the LTC on all things regarding religion and morale. And provide ministry support to the battalion.

                  A typical battalion chaplain executes the religous support plan of the brigade chaplain.

                  The Chaplain serves as a staff level officer.
                  Last edited by Chaplain4me; March 16th, 2010, 01:34 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                    I agree, sir. Chaplains are the Army's best thing since sliced bread. Always there in times of need.

                    I never say this sir, but thanks for your service as a chaplain.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                      Thank you SGT.

                      I'm not a Chaplain yet. After I complete the requirements I plan on accessing active duty. Which has many implications for accession.

                      If I don't get selected????? To be determined. We shall see what happens. I'm currently torn between the desire for military service and the desire for local ministry. I don't think right now I want to be in the reserve and do both.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                        Originally posted by Chaplain4me
                        Thank you SGT.

                        I'm not a Chaplain yet. After I complete the requirements I plan on accessing active duty. Which has many implications for accession.

                        If I don't get selected????? To be determined. We shall see what happens. I'm currently torn between the desire for military service and the desire for local ministry. I don't think right now I want to be in the reserve and do both.
                        For sure, sir. Our Chaplain is pretty top notch, they all are. I've never met a Chaplain I didn't like.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                          Originally posted by Chaplain4me
                          Thus a Chaplain has two chains of command
                          Thats right

                          The President...and God

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                          • #14
                            Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                            Originally posted by RSP NCO
                            Thats right

                            The President...and God
                            haha accountability, accountability

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Chaplain Corps crucial to Army

                              Originally posted by RSP NCO
                              Thats right

                              The President...and God
                              HAHA, you're right!!!!

                              Comment

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