Army Religious Ministry Team Training
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Paul K. Hurley, chief of Army Chaplain Corps, met with unit ministry teams from across the installation, Jan. 17-Friday, to conduct ministry training at Fort Campbell.
Chaplains and religious affairs specialist spent two days conducting various small group activities and listening to speakers who helped them understand more about who they were and how that impacted their ability to help Soldiers and Families.
"This year's [training] focus is on chaplain and religious affairs specialist identity," Hurley said. "Our training is based on helping chaplains and their assistants go a little deeper with their own sense of who they are."
Retired Chap. (Col.) Dick Stenbakken somberly took the audience through his notional experience as a chaplain during the Nuremberg Trials and how, as a chaplain, he had to find the ability to serve men who had committed heinous crimes.
"I think [Stenbakken] did an excellent job honoring the chaplains of the past, as well as portray to the younger generation [of UMTs] of what it was actually like emotionally, so they can better understand our legacy," said Sgt. Joshua Binion, religious affairs specialist with Fort Campbell Garrison.
"We operate in a very ambiguous environment and often what we need to do is not in a book," Hurley said. "You can't open up a Field Manual and say go to Chapter Six and it will tell you how to save this person's soul who is going through x-y-z."
A religious affairs specialist's mission is to understand others and that first comes from the inside, Binion said. The training encouraged everyone to learn, grow, build and reconnect with people, which is the primary component of a religious affairs specialist's job.
"This training is important because we're trying to take care of people's spirits and souls," Hurley said. "You can't touch a spirit or a soul and a lot of the things we deal with are intangible."