Chaplains sustain, enlighten selves

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii— Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Washington, chaplain assistant for Headquarters Support Company, U.S. Army Pacific, leads devotion for more than 80 USARPAC chaplains and their assistances during the Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training held at the Joseph Estabrook Chapel on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe, Hawaii from June 5-6. During the two-day training session, the group talked about suicide prevention, sexual assaults, ethics and religious engagements. (U.S. Army Photos by, Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson)

Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Washington, chaplain assistant for Headquarters Support Company, U.S. Army Pacific, leads devotion for more than 80 USARPAC chaplains and their assistances during the Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training held at the Joseph Estabrook Chapel on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe, Hawaii from June 5-6. During the two-day training session, the group talked about suicide prevention, sexual assaults, ethics and religious engagements. (U.S. Army Photos by, Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson)

 

Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

 

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — For the past 25 years, chaplains and their assistants throughout U.S. Army-Pacific have come together, annually, to participate in devotion, prayer and, like all Soldiers, training.

More than 80 combined USARPAC chaplains and chaplains’ assistants attended the Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training (CAST) held at the Joseph Estabrook Chapel, here, June 5-6.

During the two-day CAST session, USARPAC chaplains and their assistants were taught the unit ministry teams’ (UMTs’) current religious services and service multiplier techniques.

The training was developed and sponsored by the chief of chaplains, and this year’s theme was “Religious Support in a Dynamic Army.”

“Our Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training gives us all a chance to learn from one another,” said Chaplain (Col.) Michael Dugal, USARPAC. “Not only do we get to learn new material, but we also get an opportunity to interact with one another. One, it’s important for UMTs to develop bonds with one another, but two, it’s also important that we’re all conveying the same messages throughout the Pacific.”

Dugal said that this year the CAST session will focus on religious engagements, ethics, sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, and suicide prevention.

The USARPAC commanding general, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, was the guest speaker for the opening event. He recognized the importance of USARPAC’s UMTs and thanked them for their services throughout the Pacific region before they continued their training.

“Our chaplains and chaplains’ assistants who make up USARPAC’s unit ministry teams are very important,” said Brooks. “As we come out of years of conflict and head down a road of uncertainty for our Army, it is our chaplains and their assistants who will make a difference. You all provide us with more than just religious teachings, but strength and resiliency that keep our Soldiers going during these uncertain times.”

Sgt. Debra Stokes, a chaplain assistant assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, is awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander, USARPAC, June 5.

Sgt. Debra Stokes, a chaplain assistant assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, is awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander, USARPAC, June 5.

The chaplains and their assistants also took the time to pay special honors to their top noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier. Brooks, Dugal and Sgt. Maj. Cassandra Tribune, USARPAC command chaplain senior enlisted adviser, recognized the USARPAC’s NCO and Soldier of Year, awarding them Army Commendation medals.

“Being the USARPAC’s chaplain assistant NCO of the Year is a very humbling experience,” said Sgt. Debra Stokes, a chaplain assistant assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. “There are a number of great chaplain assistants throughout USARPAC; I can’t let this honor go to my head. Just being a chaplain’s assistant and helping Soldiers in need are rewarding enough.”

USARPAC’s UMTs separated into smaller groups to discuss issues commonly seen across the Pacific.

“I’m glad to be here, sitting and talking with everyone really puts what we do into perspective,” said Spc. Luke Grant, junior enlisted chaplain assistant Soldier or the Year, assigned to 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, I Corps, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “Just listening to everyone’s stories helps me to appreciate what we do more and more.”

The chaplains and their assistants returned to their units with newfound knowledge, ready to help.

More than 80 USARPAC chaplains and their assistants break off into small groups to discuss current issues affecting Soldiers in the Pacific region.

More than 80 USARPAC chaplains and their assistants break off into small groups to discuss current issues affecting Soldiers in the Pacific region.

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Category: News, Training

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