• BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Capt.) Steven Thomas, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Gunslingers, relays some of his experiences providing religious support to Pagan Soldiers at a previous duty station during a religious support team conference at 101st Combat Aviation Brigade headquarters, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 3, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Caring outside the box

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Capt.) Steven Thomas, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Gunslingers, relays some of his experiences providing religious support to Pagan Soldiers at a previous duty station during a religious...

  • BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Capt.) James D. Murray, 2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, gives the religious support teams of the Wings of Destiny a class on overcoming the dark side of leadership at 101st CAB headquarters, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 3, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Say no to the Dark Side

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Capt.) James D. Murray, 2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, gives the religious support teams of the Wings of Destiny a class on overcoming the dark side of leadership at 101st CAB...

  • BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Maj.) Billy Graham, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade chaplain, gives a speech before presenting Soldiers with certificates for participating in a "polar bear run" during a religious support team conference at 101st CAB headquarters on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    The polar bears

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Chap. (Maj.) Billy Graham, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade chaplain, gives a speech before presenting Soldiers with certificates for participating in a "polar bear run" during a religious support team conference at 101st...

  • BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers conference huddle shoulder-to-shoulder in prayer at a breakfast concluding the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, religious support team conference at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Duncan Brennan, 101st CAB public affairs)

    Divine huddle

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers conference huddle shoulder-to-shoulder in prayer at a breakfast concluding the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, religious support team conference at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by...

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Jan. 6, 2013) -- 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Destiny, unit ministry teams came together for their bi-monthly religious support team conference at the TF Destiny headquarters at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 3.

The unit ministry teams re-confirmed their roles and responsibilities according to the Army regulations that govern chaplains and shared some of their experiences of ministering to the Soldiers in their units.

A unit ministry team consists of a chaplain and an enlisted assistant, who engages Soldiers and staff sections within their units.

"The chaplain's assistant coordinates with the different shops within a unit," said Spc. Sindy Tima, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Gunslinger, chaplain's assistant. "We also visit our fellow Soldiers. We are the eyes and ears of the chaplain."

Deployed chaplains sometimes see more people seeking support because of the increased stress levels. Assistants play crucial roles in making sure that Soldiers get the appropriate support they need to stay mission ready.

"I learned what I need to pass on to my chaplain," said Spc. Ariel Garcia, 5th Battalion, 101st CAB, TF Eagle Assault chaplain's assistant. "A lot of Soldiers are not comfortable talking to an officer, so they talk to me. I need to know how to handle that because I'm not a professional counsellor."

The chaplains' conference wasn't all work. The conference also incorporated time for camaraderie.

"I enjoyed being able to see all the other unit ministry teams," said Chap. (Capt.) Nathan White, 5-101st CAB chaplain. "There was great fellowship and it was also a great opportunity to look at the regulations that spell out our roles and responsibilities."

Page last updated Mon January 7th, 2013 at 15:20