Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is this going to be what the Chaplaincy is like?

So this past week has been insane here at Chaplain School. We had 2 practicum projects due where we were to brief our XO (executive officer), and CO (commanding officer) about a religious concern situation, and then with our new Command Religious Program for the command. Then we had our final knowledge test before we go out to the field (what Navy instruction covers this situation, what are the basics of just war theory, what are the details of the Religious Offering Fund and what can be purchased with that money?) On and On the questions came, and I past by the skin of my teeth. Then we had a paper due on how we measure success. Yes give a thought out response to the question of how do we measure success. But now it is over and I am waiting to go out to the field with GYST (Gunnery Sergeant) on Monday. Chaplain School just roles on and on.
The difficult part about this week was not so much all the assignments and projects that we had to do, it was the experience in the practicums of briefing the XO and CO. Now we didn't really have an XO and CO in the class room but our Class Officer CH. Williams and CH. Crouterfield (the CH who will take over as the class officer for the next Chaplain class) acted as the CO and XO. The experience was not a fun one. We all got our butts handed to us. Class wide we are really hoping that their goal was to make it more difficult than anything we would probably encounter in the fleet, but they never said that was what they were doing. For the brief we would go up to the front of the class where the XO and CO would be seated. We would then bring up our powerpoint presentation and go to it, but after a short time we would be asked questions that were so specific about the programs we just learned about that often we would just be left with a dumb look on our face and reduced to muttering "Um, Um, well Um." I did ok but just because my presentation and answers to the questions weren't "that bad."
I don't mind getting my butt handed to me, it is just going to happen, but that doesn't mean that I like it. I want to be a good chaplain and yes that will always begin with my own spiritual life and being a reflection of Christ love to the sailors/marines that I come in contact with, but I am going to need to become an expert in alot of other things before I can say that I am excelling in my position as a Navy Chaplain.

Please pray that I won't be overwhelmed before I even begin. It is always easier to go back to what you are comfortable with and what you know.

God Bless
Joshua Earls

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