Pacific chaplaincy gathers for CAST call

| June 28, 2013 | 2 Comments
Chaplain (Capt.) James Mitchem (second from right) and chaplain's assistant Sgt. David Besikof (right), both with 2nd Bn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, receive congratulations from Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews (center), deputy commander, USARPAC, for being awarded USARPAC's Battalion Unit Ministry Team of the Year during Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Chapel, June 7. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Chaplain (Capt.) James Mitchem (second from right) and chaplain’s assistant Sgt. David Besikof (right), both with 2nd Bn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, receive congratulations from Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews (center), deputy commander, USARPAC, for being awarded USARPAC’s Battalion Unit Ministry Team of the Year during Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Chapel, June 7. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

Chaplains and their assistants from across U.S. Army-Pacific gathered at the chapel, here, for Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training, earlier this month.

CAST is a two-day, chief of chaplains-sponsored, annual training event, which provides up-to-date training for chaplains and assistants as recommended by the Army.

This year’s training theme was “Religious Support Professionals within the Army Profession.” Topics included lessons learned from a decade of war, post-traumatic stress disorder and the unit ministry team (UMT); from monitoring the moral azimuth and from religious diversity in Southeast Asia.

“This year’s CAST was a great opportunity to hear subject matter experts speak on the issues of ethics, PTSD and advising, which impact our Soldiers’ lives every day,” said Chaplain (Maj.) William Killough, Contingency Command Post and USARPAC operations.

Sgt. Maj. Stephen Stott, senior enlisted leader, Chaplain Corps, represented the chief of chaplains. Stott provided a current status of the chaplaincy and discussed what the Army has in store for UMTs during the next year.

“The training not only gave chaplains and their assistants tools to individually do their jobs better, but we also got to hear from Sgt. Maj. Stott on the way ahead for the entire field,” said Killough.

The two-day training culminated with an award ceremony for battalion UMT of the year. Chaplain (Capt.) James Mitchem and Sgt. David Besikof, chaplain’s assistant, both with 2nd Battalion, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, received the honors.

“The 2-14th Cav. unit ministry team of Chaplain Mitchem and Sgt. Besikof distinguished themselves over the last year in providing outstanding pastoral care and religious support to their unit and community of faith,” said Chaplain (Col.) Michael Dugal, USARPAC. “Their religious leadership is a blessing to their unit and chapel congregation and is an example of ‘what right looks like’ within the Chaplain Corps.”

Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews, deputy commander, USARPAC, presented the awards and spoke about the importance of chaplains and the UMT.

“The positive spirit of the chaplain and the chaplain’s assistant is so important,” said Mathews. “Everyone here is in the Soldier business more than anyone else, because you allow Soldiers to feed off your energy. You provide that calm and reassurance that keeps the fabric of our great organization intact.”

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Category: News, Sustainability

Comments (2)

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  1. John M. Fretz says:

    I am hoping to make contact with the Chaplain(s) that are charged with planning the CAST program each year. I work with an organization called Walk Thru the Bible.

    About 10 years ago we worked with the U.S. Navy to train at least 800 of their chaplains in a program called Sharpening Your People Skills. Not only were they taught the material, but they were trained in how to teach it to others (II Tim 2:2 model) We have another version of the same material that is called Solving the People Puzzle. It is the more spiritual version.

    We would like to provide the appropriate staff with these materials to review as a consideration for future use at the next CAST program.

    Sincerely,

    Rev. John M. Fretz
    Senior National Ministry Consultant to the Military
    Walk Thru the Bible
    1-800-345-3803

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