Monday, December 14, 2009

Army Fighting To Fill Chaplain Shortages

Via Army Times:

The Army chaplaincy is reporting shortages of Roman Catholic priests, Buddhists, Eastern Orthodox priests, Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis. The Army has just eight Jewish chaplains to serve 1,800 Jewish soldiers, 2009 Army statistics show. There are six imams, one for every 280 Muslim soldiers. For 1,900 Buddhists, there is one Buddhist priest. While a chaplain's job is to serve soldiers of every religion, seeing a chaplain of his or her own religion affords a soldier a sense of home and community, of vital importance amid the stress of repeated deployments, said Chaplain (Maj.) Peter Dubinin.
Dubinin heads the Special Categories Recruiting Team, which recruits clergy from minority religions and the Roman Catholic Church.
To become a chaplain candidate, one must be a U.S. citizen, endorsed by a religious organization, with a graduate degree in theology and two years of related experience. From there, candidates must qualify for to receive a favorable security clearance, pass a physical and make it through a 12-week Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Jackson, S.C.
The team's mission this year includes bringing in at least one chaplain and one chaplain candidate from each of the minority religions represented in the Army.

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