The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - May 16th 2018
Chaplain (CPT) Travis Moen prior to the jump 

Chaplains Lead 
St. Michael's Jump

Sermons, church services and prayer. 

These are the words that may come to mind if you were to ask someone with no military ties what they thought a military chaplain does. In reality, spiritual leader, jump master and paratrooper are the words that would most likely come to mind if you were to ask a paratrooper.

To further cement themselves as military leaders, chaplains across the 82nd Airborne Division and Fort Bragg led more than 200 paratroopers during the St. Michael's Jump onto Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, May 8. The Saint Michael's Jump is meant to celebrate the airborne community's patron saint and promote spiritual resiliency across the Division.
Known to many as "All American Shepard" Col. Randy Griffin, the 82nd Airborne Division chaplain, said the Saint Michael's Jump is significant in several ways, starting with the way a paratrooper qualifies to get on the jump.

"You have to go through a spiritual training event with your unit chaplain," said Griffin, a native of Kinston, North Carolina. "That could be a physical fitness spiritual event or some other type of formal spiritual fitness event, but that connection is made with the paratrooper and their unit chaplain before the jump ever takes place."

Then on the day of the jump, with the connection and relationship firmly in place, the chaplains have an opportunity to help instill encouragement, hope and courage into their paratroopers. Sometimes this is through prayer, sustained airborne training or when they perform jumpmaster duties during the jump.

Griffin said it all comes together at the end of the jump. "We give the history of the St. Michael's jump and the history of St. Michael," said Griffin. "That gives paratroopers an opportunity to learn something about the airborne community that they would never have known had they not been on a St. Michael's jump."

For Griffin the St. Michaels Day Jump is nothing new, but for Capt. Juman Kim, chaplain for the 307th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div., this was his first chance to experience the jump that's so closely tied to his chosen profession.

"This was a little windier than the rest, but I liked it a lot because I got to lead, and we got to pray and see other units together," said Kim. "It was great."  Though he's only been in the U.S. Army for a little over a year and this was his first St. Michael's Jump, Kim said being a paratrooper has helped him be a better chaplain.  "I can share and I can listen to what paratroopers go through," said Kim. "Then, I can fully support and understand their agony, their suffering and their excitement as well."

After the jump, Capt. Hank Mauterer, chaplain for Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Abn. Div., led Family resiliency training for the paratroopers and dozens of Family members in attendance. He said that the most critical and influential factor in paratroopers' lives is their relationship with God, spouse and family. 

"Connected paratroopers, who develop a purposed approach to maintaining and growing these relationships, discover a synergetic treasure trove that empowers them to great heights," said Mauterer.

full article here

MCA Susquehanna Chapter Meeting

Executive Director Notes

One of the major topics that the National Executive Committee (NEC) discussed at length two weeks ago was rebuilding our MCA chapters around the country. This is a critical aspect of our Association's support of our members and those they serve in accord with the charter granted to us by the Congress of these United States. 

As you can read in the attached draft minutes of the meeting, our President appointed a committee of Bob Hicks, Matt Woodbery and Hayden Goodwin to review MCA's process of starting - and supporting - chapters, with Lyman Smith as the committee's resource person. To further emphasize the importance of this initiative, Dave DeDonato, newly appointed Vice President, will be working with MCA members in the focus cities that were chosen for "reinvigorating" chapters. These include metro Washington DC, San Antonio, and San Diego, starting with Washington in tandem with our National Institute being held 5 thru 7 November at the Sheraton, Arlington, VA just before the United States Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association meets in the same hotel from 7 thru 10 November.

Our chapter "reboot" is an integral piece of the long term strategic plan. As we have worked together with the Association of Professional Chaplains to institute the Military Chaplain Specialty as a professional recognition of military chaplaincy; and as we work with our folks in enhancing the mentoring we provide to chaplains at all stages of their careers; it will also be essential for our chapters to be strong and vital as the "boots on the ground" to facilitate our professional and collegial support of our members, and through them, all of those they serve. We need  professional and  service  oriented chapters in reach of all chaplains to continue as the "voice for chaplaincy".

While your NEC is working to get this initiative up and running - starting in metro DC - we cannot do this unless there are - you guessed it - members on the ground who will be the heart and soul who will be the energy that keeps a chapter running long term. 

If you live in the metro DC area, and are willing to put your shoulder to the wheel to kick off the rebirth of the chapter, please email Dave at to let him know so that he can start connecting folks in the area ahead of the National Institute.

As I look at the calendar I see that this Saturday will be Armed Forces Day, and trust that you will find events in your area that will allow you to represent the professions of military and VA chaplaincy, whether you are still in uniform or in a VA facility, retired or an "alum" of chaplaincy who still values your time with those in uniform or those who previously wore the uniform.

And thank you for continuing to do all that you do so unselfishly.

Executive Director

Don't Mess with the Chaplain

"when letters of complaint make a difference"

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A former Buffalo VA employee has been charged with threatening an Army chaplain.

Morgan Fallon, 37, of Buffalo, was charged by criminal complaint with transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another.

According to the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, Fallon had been employed by the VA as a veterans claims examiner, responsible for reviewing education reimbursement claims submitted by military members and veterans.

The Army chaplain had submitted a claim to the VA for reimbursement of expenses related to his religious education. In Nov. 2017, the claim was denied by letter, which was "unusual in tone and contained sporadic bolded and underlined text".

The Army Chaplain appealed the denial and complained about the unprofessional nature of the denial letter. Fallon was terminated in May 2018, "based on, among other things, his interaction with an active-duty, commissioned Captain in the United States Army assigned as a Chaplain in the State of Louisiana."

The defendant was given a packet upon termination which explained his grounds for termination, including the complaint from the Army chaplain.

Later on the same day, the chaplain allegedly received a phone call from a 716 area code, which contained many expletives and threats. The caller also told the chaplain he "had all [the chaplain's] information".

The chaplain felt threatened and believed the caller wanted him dead. He contacted military police, at which point he received another call from a 716 area code. Military police directed him to let it go to voicemail.

According to the complaint, the caller left a voicemail that lasted over a minute, in which he identified himself as Fallon and "the VA employee you want fired so badly".

If convicted, Fallon faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Military Chaplains Magazine
2018 Themes and Submission Deadlines

Spring Issue - The Intersection of Spiritual and Psychological Care
Articles submission date extended - May 18
Publication June 8
Summer Issue - Chaplains and World War 1
Articles to be submitted by June 30
Publication July 23
Fall Issue - Religious Accommodation in 2018
Articles to be submitted by September 30
Publication September 24
Winter Issue - Chaplaincy and Religion in a Post-Truth World
Articles to be submitted by November 30
Publication December 21

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