ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland – Soldiers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command’s Unit Ministry Teams converged from around the nation for an annual meeting here at the headquarters.
The meeting brought together brigade, group and battalion teams to help them to better shepherd Army personnel and their families in formations in the command’s footprint that stretches across 19 installations in 16 states.
Based on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the CBRN and explosive ordnance disposal units in the U.S. Army, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, three Nuclear Disablement Teams and five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams.
Soldiers and civilians from the deployable command confront and defeat the world’s most dangerous weapons and hazards to enable military operations and support civil authorities.
Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho, the 20th CBRNE Command chaplain, said the meeting is designed to strengthen leader development and spiritual readiness by preparing chaplain sections and unit ministry teams for mobilization, while updating training across all components.
Originally from South Korea, Cho has served as a U.S. Army chaplain for 17 years and he has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and Gabon, Africa.
Chaplains and unit ministry teams support the 20th CBRNE Command priorities of developing trusted leaders, building cohesive teams and caring for Soldiers, civilians and families.
Maj. Gen. Antonio V. Munera, the commanding general of 20th CBRNE Command, welcomed the teams to the headquarters. Munera said chaplains and unit ministry teams are critical to unit readiness in his command.
The commanding general encouraged the chaplains and religious specialists to spend time in the field with their Soldiers.
“You all play a huge role in the readiness of our formations,” said Munera, a native of Fairfax, Virginia. “I don’t know of anybody else that has a better pulse on what’s going on in an organization than you.”
Munera also recognized Chaplain Capt. Emeka O from the 110th Chemical Battalion on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Staff Sgt. Julio I. Texeira-Hernandez from the 48th Chemical Brigade on Fort Hood, Texas, for their service.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Arzabala thanked the teams for their efforts to support Soldiers, civilians and their families. A 22-year Army veteran from El Paso, Texas, Arzabala said chaplains increase the readiness of the command and the Army, one Soldier at a time.
“There is a perception that the grass is greener somewhere else. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that the grass is greenest where it is watered. That’s what we really need to get to all our Soldiers,” said Arzabala. “We are here to make this organization better. We are here to enable lethality for our Army and it all starts with one individual at a time.”