By Ms. Cherish T. Gilmore, AMC Public AffairsOctober 30, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Army chaplains from across the Army Materiel Command and Redstone Arsenal tackled the issue of readiness at the second annual Strategic Training and Readiness meeting at the headquarters here Oct. 24-26.
About 27 chaplains and chaplain assistants from across the organization and some from tenant agencies on Redstone Arsenal attended the three-day training event hosted by AMC's Deputy Command Chaplain Lt. Col. Gary Payne.
The training was aimed at providing a better understanding of the strategic environment, methods to achieve enhanced readiness and the way ahead for the Chaplain Corps in accordance with the Army Chief of Chaplain's vision and campaign plan.
AMC's Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Allan Elliott kicked off the training with opening comments and set the tone for the meeting.
"We need chaplains now more than ever," said Elliott citing the turbulence and instability around the world such as: North Korea, Russia and ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Due to this uncertainty, it is chaplains that help ease the anxiety that can come with leadership, explained Elliott. "All over there is instability and there is a need for the assurance and peace that comes with what you do."
"You are obligated to your calling to help your leaders, help your teammates and help your Soldiers and civilians to cope with all that is going on and all that is weighing heavy on the minds of leaders and families," he said.
United States Army Chaplains have served in every war since the Revolution and in more than 270 major combat engagements.
Throughout Elliott's almost 35 years of service in the military, he remembers that chaplains have always been with him in various difficult situations. "You are battle buddies and combat multipliers, so thank you for what you do," said Elliott.
Following Elliott's remarks, the group discussed providing ministerial support and counseling to Soldiers in the event of war with a near-peer enemy, redefining their roles to fit the organizations they serve, nesting with Army and AMC priorities and future operations.
"When it comes to religious planning within our organizations, we've got to have [war] in mind. Because if we start having thousands and thousands of casualties, what does that mean for us?" said Payne. "We may end up doing really huge things to support our military, which we haven't seen since the Korean War or World War II."
Payne also led the discussion on providing executive level religious support in a more than 90 percent civilian organization.
"You have to reinvent how you do ministry and how you do influence. It is not the same as being a battalion chaplain, but it is just as important," said Payne.
The training event also featured breakout sessions, lessons learned and best practices, and global religious support operations.