By Ms. Melony Bagwell (INSCOM)March 3, 2017
FORT GORDON, Ga. -- More than 60 chaplains and chaplain assistants from the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) and its major subordinate commands gathered for their annual unit ministry team (UMT) training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, Feb. 26 -- Mar. 3.
The goal of the training was to define the "why" of what chaplain teams do for the Soldiers, civilians and family members in their units. During the training the chaplains studied Simon Sinek's video "Start with Why." Maj. Gen. Christopher Ballard, INSCOM commanding general, introduced Sinek's video and book during an INSCOM town hall briefing in 2016, and the UMT coordinators decided to use this topic and expand on it during the team training.
Additionally, the UMTs delved into the subject of chaplain identity. This training challenged participants to examine who they are as religious leaders and to consider elements of accountability, responsibility, and community. "Deepen Chaplain Identity" is a U.S. Army Chaplain Corps leader development priority for 2017-2018.
"It is my pleasure to welcome all our chaplains and chaplain assistants to what I am sure will be a week filled with learning, comradery and spiritual blessings," said Chaplain (Col.) Matt Woodbery, INSCOM command chaplain, during his opening remarks. "We are so fortunate to have this next week to spend with each other to share experiences and receive some great briefings by some very special guest speakers."
As part of the training event the group learned about various topics that focused around the 'why' including: Intentional, Relevant, and Measureable Ministry; Know Your People and Know the Team; Moral and Ethical Problem Sets; Moral and Spiritual Injury; and Ministry to Intelligence and Cyber Warriors.
"I am truly excited about the events we have planned and the speakers who will address us this week," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Carron Jones, INSCOM deputy command chaplain. "We are going to focus on the act of 'why' and delve into the 'why' of what we do for Soldiers every day and deeply reflect on the reasons our 'why' is so important to the health and well-being of the Soldiers we serve."
Several guest speakers also shared lessons with the group, including Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Lawrence Dabeck, deputy joint staff chaplain, religious affairs, office of the chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"Moral leadership training is our responsibility as chaplains - it is one of our core competencies," Dabeck said. "We have plenty of resources available to us so that we can conduct training at all levels and I encourage you to use these resources when you get back to your units."
Chaplain (Col.) Timothy Mallard, senior chaplain, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, addressed the group and gave advice on how to minister to intelligence and cyber Soldiers.
"There is an important distinction between moral and spiritual injury and we have to help Soldiers process this," Mallard said. "Don't ever give up the charge that you are a professional and you have a role to play in helping Soldiers and their families delineate between both moral and spiritual injury."
Annual training is also an opportunity for UMTs to meet, socialize, and network with other chaplains from across the command. The chaplain corps is a small group and it is important to share experiences and learn from each other.
During his closing remarks Woodbery noted that all of the guest speakers exceeded his expectations.
"We could not have asked for a better learning experience or a better time of fellowship," Woodbery added. "I know you will all go back to your units and use what you have gained from this week and that each of you will be even better because of your experiences here this week."