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  • An Anonymous Question

    Chaplain,
    I have been lurking on this forum for a few months now, and have read many (if not most) of your posts. I have a few questions, but a little about me first. I am 35 years old, non-prior, I have a Master of Ministry degree (36 hour program) but am in an MDiv program, and I live in Nashville, TN where I am a full time minister.

    As for the questions. Please forgive me for these, I have not spoken to a Chaplain or recruiter yet. There is a lot of moisture on my ears. Since I still have about 2 or 3 years left to complete my MDiv I am interested in joining as a Chaplain Candidate. However, I can not find service obligations for the Candidate. I have found that if you receive FTA then you incur a service obligation. Does receiving drill duty pay incur a commitment?

    Also, I noticed that one point you posted that you were unsure if you would be picked up as a Chaplain once you degree was finished. Does this happen?

    As a Candidate you are not Chaplain yet (still a trainee) what types of Chaplain jobs can you do?

    Lastly, Tennessee has many Guard units near me. I conducted a funeral for a fallen solider a few months ago and was told by the OIC of the funeral that there was a great need for Chaplains. So, if I was able to work with one of these units (or are Chaplains more on a Battalion level) how much interference would it have on my duties at my local congregation.

    Grace and peace to you,

    Anonymous

  • #2
    Re: An Anonymous Question

    As a Chaplain Candidate you have no service obligation. If you use FTA and do not become a Chaplain it will be a wash and you probably would not have to pay it back.

    Becoming a Chaplain has over the past few years has become more competitive. As a candidate they are not obligated to take you as a chaplain. Therefore, you could send years as a candidate and not become a chaplain...but if this happens, you have no obligations. I've been a candidate for 4 years now, they've paid about 60,000 as wages, paid for my chaplain training which is like 120,000, paid for all the medical and other stuff that is part of being a soldier, subsidized my health insurance, paid for my education 2 degrees, etc. So if they don't take me....then I will take all that and run, and not have to pay any of that back. You apply to become a candidate then you must apply again to become a chaplain.

    As a Candidate you can do pretty much everything a chaplain does except, counsel soldiers. You cannot guarantee confidentially as a candidate. A chaplain has to supervise everything you do.... as a candidate you get to do a lot of important stuff like attend command update briefs.

    I've done all types of stuff, from work with chaplains doing too many suicide debriefings, conflict resolution, helping soldiers connect with behavior health professionals and get the counseling they need. Sometimes I feel like a social worker. I've been to the VA to check on sick soldiers....then there's the ministry as well. Performing field services and garrison services. You will have a real chaplain to supervise everything you do so it's all legit. Being a candidate is bad in a way because no one is going to yell at you....what I'm trying to say is you will not get the same experience as the infantry specialist, or the SGT that has everybody telling them what to do. A lot depends your commander....some commanders hate chaplains, or don't know how to use their chaplain, so the bar is set real low. Sometimes it's the chaplain's fault, they just hang out at the chapel.....you can do everything a chaplain does with supervision except counseling.

    If you become a candidate or chaplain....if you are a real preacher, not just a layman, actually getting paid on Sunday's you will probably not have to drill on Sundays.

    Thanks for lurking around the chaplain section of the forum...it's always good to know people actually read what you're posting.
    Last edited by Chaplain4me; December 11th, 2012, 09:38 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: An Anonymous Question

      But I've done too much hooah stuff to recount....I think some of my best memories have been with the soldiers while they are in the field.

      You seem like exactly the type of chaplain the army is looking for. Someone actively engaged in ministry....blessings.
      Last edited by Chaplain4me; December 11th, 2012, 09:44 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: An Anonymous Question

        Chaplain4, Thank for posting and answering my questions. I will not need FTA in that I'm already receiving a full scholarship. It seems like its never a dull day around the Chaplain's office...sort of like it is here! My goal for today is to find out if TN has any Candidate openings. Thanks again, and I'm sure that I will have more questions.

        Will T

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        • #5
          Re: An Anonymous Question

          I'll echo the fact that TN is short on Chaplains.

          Best of luck to you!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: An Anonymous Question

            Originally posted by Will_Tid View Post
            Chaplain4, Thank for posting and answering my questions. I will not need FTA in that I'm already receiving a full scholarship. It seems like its never a dull day around the Chaplain's office...sort of like it is here! My goal for today is to find out if TN has any Candidate openings. Thanks again, and I'm sure that I will have more questions.

            Will T
            After you finish your degree you could still use FTA to pay for more education.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: An Anonymous Question

              Chaplain4,
              The TN Army National Guard is a confusing organization to try to contact. Numbers I have found online lead no where. I even tried calling a traditional recruiter for my county, Davidson, and that number is disconnected. The TN HQ is here in town and I was hoping to schedule a meeting or lunch with a Chaplain to ask them some questions. However, this is proving to be harder than I thought it would be. I know that there are more than one ways to "skin a cat." Am I going about this the wrong way? Do you have any suggestions?

              eqmcclure,
              I do not live too far from the Smyrna airport. Good luck in your training.

              Will T.

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              • #8
                Re: An Anonymous Question

                Chaplain information website and request for information

                http://www.nationalguard.com/careers/chaplain-corps

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: An Anonymous Question

                  I have to say that Tennessee has a terrible website.

                  ARNG Recruiting Headquarters, Volunteer Training Site, Bldg. 603, Smyrna, TN 37167 615.355.3930

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: An Anonymous Question

                    SF Hunter,
                    Thanks for the link but I had already requested and received that packet.

                    Chaplain4,
                    That number lead me to a Sgt. which lead to another number and Sgt. which lead to another number and the Special Brach Officer Recruiter. Everyone has been helpful but admitted that Chaplains were a totally different circumstance. A message has been left and I wait to hear from them. I have a lot of questions!

                    I also sent an email to my endorser.

                    Once again Chaplain4, your post are great!

                    Will T.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: An Anonymous Question

                      I give all glory to the Lord, His praise shall always be on my lips....I'm happy you are making some progress. Get ready for a long process of accessing as a candidate...stand by to fill out a ton of paperwork, take a physical, get approval from your endorser...after that you will be boarded once the the Chief of Chaplains office approves you, you will go to a real board where you walk in and they ask you all sorts of questions, then if you pass that you will swear in and begin training....
                      Last edited by Chaplain4me; December 14th, 2012, 05:51 PM.

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