FORT BENNING, Ga., (Feb. 12, 2014) -- The Chaplain Counseling Center had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at its new location in Building 974 on Lincoln Street, behind the Benning Club.

The building, which cost $2.9 million to renovate includes nine counseling rooms, several classrooms and offices, a library and a break room, officials from the Chaplain Counseling Center said.

The center will provide individual, couple and Family counseling for military ID holders, said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jay Hearn, director of the Chaplain Counseling Center.

"Each Family Life Chaplain is trained, not just in counseling, but on all things Family," said Chaplain (Col.) Joseph Melvin, the director of Soldier and Family Ministry from the office of the Chief of Chaplains. "(It enhances) the capability of the chaplains around them -- wherever they go -- in order to be part of the networking community, engaging with ACS and the various organizations across the Army in order to help our Soldiers and our Families be more effective and more resilient in their mission and in their home life."
Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the commanding general of Fort Benning and Fort Benning Garrison Commander Col. Michail Huerter were also guest speakers at the ceremony.

"When I think about opening this center I think about two things: What this building will mean for their Soldiers and their Families as they learn and develop the skills required to meet the challenges and sacrifice of the man or woman in uniform," Huerter said.

And second is the partnerships involved in the completion of the center, Huerter said.

These partnerships were needed, he said, in order to provide cutting edge training and services. The partnerships included the Chief of Chaplains office and Fort Benning, Columbus State University, the Pastoral Institute and Family Life Chaplain Training Center and the partnership between IMCOM, the Fort Benning garrison team, Directorate of Public Works and the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Although the center trains those seeking their master's degree in counseling, it is also there to provide a service to the community, Hearn said.

"Because we are chaplains, this is a safe place to come," he said. "You don't need referral, there is no cost -- nobody knows when a Soldier walks through that door … so it's a very, very safe place."

For more information, call the Chaplain Counseling Center at 706-545-1760.