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  • Ask me anything

    I'm not a chaplain, but you can ask me anything about chaplaincy. I can try.

    Any future chaplains out there?

    To be a NG chaplain you really need the 2 most essential things.

    1) at least a 72 hour master's degree

    2) an endorsement by a faith tradition

    Ask me about the chaplain candidate program!!

    Ask me what chaplain's do on drill weekends?

    Ask me what initial chaplain training is like?

    Or ask me about how being a National Guard Chaplain, can help your civilian religious work?

    I know you have questions. I know that there are aspiring chaplain's out there.
    Last edited by Chaplain4me; October 6th, 2013, 11:51 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Two most essential requirements

    Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
    I'm not a chaplain, but...
    you did stay in a holiday inn express last night

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Two most essential requirements

      I would like to know. I'm not in the guard yet and I'm finishing up my bachelors degree. I probably won't take this route, but would like to know how it works just in case that I do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Two most essential requirements

        you did stay in a holiday inn express last night
        LOL, thats darn funny

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Two most essential requirements

          Ask me about the chaplain candidate program!!

          Ask me what chaplain's do on drill weekends?

          Ask me what initial chaplain training is like?

          Or ask me about how being a National Guard Chaplain, can help your civilian religious work?
          Can you illaberate, I am going to be a pastor (Christian) and was interested in the long term carreer of army chaplain.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Two most essential requirements

            Originally posted by RSP NCO View Post
            you did stay in a holiday inn express last night
            To answer that would be a violation of OPSEC.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Two most essential requirements

              To become a Chaplain Candidate, you need to complete your BA from an accredited institution.

              You will assemble a Direct Commission packet. Therefore.

              You will need to pass a physical.

              You will need a secret security clearance.

              You will need a endorsing acgency one of the 200+ religious groups to give you a letter of approval.

              After you assemble you packet. There will be a National Guard Bureau board that will approve you to the program.

              Then there will be a accessioning board for the State that you will have to appear before. If they okay you, you will swear in as a 2LT.

              You don't have to become a candidate to become a chaplain.

              However, just as the rest of the Army it is becoming more and more difficult to get in.

              You would be given a temporary commission that lasts 6 years. You have to do it all over again to become a Chaplain.

              To reaccess as a Chaplain in the Guard you have to complete your education and receive an endorsement from a religious group.

              At the end of the candidate program you can reaccess as a Chaplain in the Active Army, or any other branch (though Navy and Airforce have a vastly different program than the Army).

              To reaccess for active duty you need an additional two years of ministry experience.

              You have to have at least 72 hours Master of Divinity or equivelent to become a chaplain in the Guard.

              ***Don't get you hopes up very high for active duty chaplaincy. They select only the best of the best. From what I see, they select people that have years of ministry experience, along with many people that have Doctorate degrees, years of military experience. Or a low density faith group, such as Imams, Rabbis, Roman Catholic Preists, and other under-represented groups.

              It is very difficult to become an active duty chaplain.
              Last edited by Chaplain4me; April 15th, 2011, 04:29 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ask me anything

                I am interested in becoming a Chaplain. Will I be stationed in my own state? What are the chances of being deployed to areas of war? What does a normal work day look like for a Chaplain?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ask me anything

                  Yes if you become a chaplain in for your own state's National Guard, you will be a chaplain for your own state. The possibility that your state is full of chaplain's or candidates is possible, so be open to all avenues such as the Air National Guard, or the Army Reserve, Navy or Air Force.

                  The chances of being deployed depend heavily on your state, such as how many chaplains are there, and which unit you are attached to. You could be attached to any unit, so it just depends. If you are in a state that doesn't have many chaplains then yeah the chances are really good. You can always volunteer to go with another state, but you will have to get approval.

                  The normal day for a Chaplain, is not predictable. You may be counseling soldiers, or pushing paperwork, visiting soldiers in the hospital, helping soldiers with personal issues, doing the work of your faith group (ie, if you're Christian it could be preaching, administering the sacraments, etc.), other than that you would have responsibilities as a staff officer, therefore, you are accountable to the commander. You could find yourself helping suicidal soldiers find help, performing ceremonial functions, out in the field you may perform field services. As you advance in rank your role sifts toward supervising and resourcing your subordinates. Basically, the chaplaincy is about nurturing the living, caring for the wounded, and honoring the fallen. And everything in-between. You would performing memorial services/ceremonies, gravesides services, marriages, premarital/marriage counseling.

                  The wonderful thing is that you should be assigned an assistant that can help you with all this, and protect you since you will be unarmed at all times. You would receive the best training from the best chaplains.

                  One of the unique things about military chaplains, is that you are there to perform or provide. Basically this means you are there to protect everyone’s right to worship the way they want to (as governed by regulations). There is an obligation to be pluralistic, and sensitive to soldiers religion, or lack of religion. Perhaps the greatest right is total confidentiality, whatever a soldier tells you in confidence is not accountable to UCMJ action (though while on title 32 status, state reporting MAY apply, depending on the situation).

                  Even as a reserve chaplain, it's going to benefit your civilian ministry. The training you receive is amazing, the military discipline and military bearing, and even the entire experience will shape the way you perform your civilian function and make you a better person of your faith group.

                  The people that wear the uniform of the United States Army and other branches, are the most amazing selfless people you will find out there. And even if they are not of your faith background they really like chaplains, usually. It's a really awesome calling and vocation. There's a lot of variety and extra work as a chaplain. I hope you continue to consider chaplaincy.

                  **there's a lot more to it than what I've given you, this is a very brief overview.

                  ****Disclaimer: I AM NOT A CHAPLAIN
                  Last edited by Chaplain4me; April 19th, 2011, 10:17 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ask me anything

                    But you are a chaplain candidate?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Two most essential requirements

                      Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
                      I'm not a chaplain, but you can ask me anything about chaplaincy. I can try.

                      Any future chaplain's out there?

                      To be a NG chaplain you really need the 2 most essential things.

                      1) at least a 72 hour master's degree

                      2) an endorsement by a faith tradition

                      Ask me about the chaplain candidate program!!

                      Ask me what chaplain's do on drill weekends?

                      Ask me what initial chaplain training is like?

                      Or ask me about how being a National Guard Chaplain, can help your civilian religious work?

                      I know you have questions. I know that there are aspiring chaplain's out there.
                      Are you a chaplain's assistant? The E6s that are in my unit are awesome at our unit's retreat and one of former assistants were featured in last week's army times on the taste tests on the new MREs. She was the first female shown and is now stationed at the Pentagon.

                      The Catholic Chaplain I interacted with downrange was with the 82nd and his homilies were so enlightening. He is a Captain. The two in my unit have been a Major and a Lieutenant Colonel and they are married. I saw a Muslim chaplain and a Jewish one (through an article) with a beard.
                      Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; April 20th, 2011, 02:54 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Two most essential requirements

                        Yes, a chaplain candidate. There's a lot of good chaplains/assistants out there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Two most essential requirements

                          Whats the highest rank a Chaplain candidate can attain before getting their masters in divinity or equivalent?

                          This may seem like a stupid question but towards career progression would being a Muslim Chaplain or Catholic Chaplain hold one back?

                          What benefits do you recieve towards education in the Chaplain candidate program? I've read that you are assigned to a reserve or guard unit and they pay you as an active officer and help with the 2 years experience requirement. Then once you get your 72 hour degree you can go on active duty if they have a slot available.

                          I look forward to your response, sir.
                          Last edited by MichaelPC; April 20th, 2011, 07:59 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Two most essential requirements

                            Typically a chaplain candidate is commissioned as a 2LT, then it's 18 months to 1LT, then 30 months to CPT.

                            Technically you can go as high as a CPT as a candidate, but some states will not promote you to CPT as a candidate.

                            Typically for people that go straight in as a chaplain start as 1LT, but if they have enough civilian experience (about 8 years) they can go in as CPT.

                            Then there are vacancy promotions also, where there is an open position and you take the rank to fill the position. I probably would never do a vacancy promotion because the situtation of getting passed over and booted out is possible, but for people with prior service it makes sense.

                            Yes, being a national guard chaplain counts as experience towards the 2 yr requirement. They can even waive the two year requirement, but unless like I said, you are a low density faith group, or some super high speed special forces soldier, they probably will not take you.

                            Being a Muslim or Catholic, will only help you get in after that promotions are based on performance. Typically, you will spend 10 yrs as a CPT/ Battalion chaplain, before getting promoted (if you are promoted).

                            Yep, as a chaplain candidate, 2LT or 1LT, they pay you the same as a officer. Any schools you go to, you always get the same pay as your rank.

                            The money for school is either FTA 4,500 a year or any benifit that your state offers. But once you take the money you are obligated to the guard for fours years after you last take the money.

                            4,500 ain't much, but the drill pay and AT pay is nice. 4.5K will not get you anywhere close to paying for seminary, unless your faith group will pay for it.

                            The big thing is your endorsement, you have to be endorsed by a group, there are over 240 groups now. Some groups are more difficult to get endorsed by than others. Being endorsed means that your faith group thinks that you are prepared for military chaplaincy. Many endorsers require you be ordained. Mine requires ordination, and a whole bunch of other stuff, so it's not the easiest or the most difficult, but for me the bar is set very high.

                            Like I said you would have up to 6 years to become either a active duty chaplain, or naitional guard chaplain.

                            I'm pretty realistic about my chances of becoming an active duty chaplain, right now they take a VERY small percentage of people that apply, and you can only apply three times for active duty.

                            So my plan is to become a NG chaplain, and build up my credentials, then after 4 years when I am releasable I will apply for AD. Maybe, I may just stay NG, HOOAH, maybe get a combat patch, or a LPC or certified to supervise CPE. However, if I get the chance to go Navy or Airforce, I will.

                            But once you become a MAJ in the NG you CANNOT apply for active duty.

                            Some officers switch to chaplain later in their career, and you will see some new MAJ chaplains. I don't know how that works on active duty, but once you get that high it's a matter of staffing, you may be a MAJ but have no brigade openings, so there are no garuntees.

                            If you cannot become a NG chaplain or candidate there are other oppurtunities for Army Reserve, or Air Guard. I would perfer to stay Guard since the Guard has more education benifits, but typically access to Army schools are easier to come by in the reserve.

                            Many states will allow you to drill on a FRI and SAT, if you have a pulpit ministry, for example. In fact, that's who they want to recruit, people already involved in some form of religious leadership role. It's awesome.

                            ***Disclaimer: I AM NOT A CHAPLAIN OR A RECRUITER
                            Last edited by Chaplain4me; April 20th, 2011, 11:55 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ask me anything

                              Thank you sir and good luck with your transition to active duty when the time comes.

                              Comment

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