US Army Pacific Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training
By Staff Sgt. Amber RobinsonJune 21, 2013
KANEOHE MARINE BASE, Hawaii -- Chaplains and chaplain's assistants from across U.S. Army Pacific gathered at Kaneohe Marine Base Chapel June 6-7 for Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training.
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 Department of the Army.
This year's training theme was "Religious Support Professionals within the Army Profession". Training topics included Lessons Learned from a Decade of War, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Unit Ministry Team, Monitoring the Moral Azimuth, and Religious Diversity in South East 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 Maj. William Killough, Contingency Command Post Chaplain & Ops/Plans Chaplain.
Sgt. Maj. Stephen Stott, Chaplain Corps Sergeant Major, represented the Chief of Chaplains for the event and provided a current status of the chaplaincy and discussed what the Army has in store for UMTs over 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 SGM Stott on the way ahead for the entire field, said Killough.
The two-day training culminated with an award ceremony for Battalion Unit Ministry Team of the Year. The award was presented to Capt. James Mitchem, chaplain, and Sgt. David Besikof, chaplain's assistant, with the 2nd Battalion, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
"The 2/14 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 Col. Michael Dugal, USARPAC Command Chaplain. "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."
USARPAC Deputy Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Roger F. Mathews, was on hand to present the award and talk 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."