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Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by bburgi, Nov 8, 2006.
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Your wife could potentially make or break your career in the Army. It's a good thing that she said that to you without any prompting.
Not sure how much progress youve made in your decision making process about the reserves, but yes, the reserves does have chaplains assistants. In fact, I know of several of them in my unit back at Ft. Jackson. Several of them have deployed to Iraq with us. One of our main missions state side is too train the chaplains on basic soldiering skills while they are in chaplain school. Not too say this is your rationality of thinking, but if you think for a second by joining the Reserves you will not be deployed, think again. Make sure your wife understands that. Ive experienced deployments as an active duty soldier, and now as a reservist, and it seems to be harder on the reserve soldiers and their families. Especially those families that have had no active duty experience. Good luck.
Are you set on the Army Reserve in particular? Depending on what you want to do, there are other options. I did 8 active in the Navy and 16 in the Air National Guard (just retired). Air Force training is better and the deployments shorter. When I retired last May, my unit's deployments were running 60 days; now I think they're 120.
I'm a Reservist and have been mobilized three times involuntarily. The last time I had one day notice to get my stuff ready to go to mob site to be an individual replacement. Since I was cross leveled, my local unit dropped all support including family support and the unit across the country had to support me. My wife had basic needs such as babysitting, location of laundry, id card, vehicle stickers and I wanted help for my wife and the local unit refused, since transferred out (although I had to be reassigned back to them when I returned). I brought this issue up with my Senators, and they deferred to the Army , whose commanders said that they could have called me up with zero day notice. Up to the local commander if they want to support.
When my group came back to Ft Hood, the CG said he wanted all Reservists out within five days. Our gear hadn't arrived yet, so we turned in what we could and were ordered to pay in cash for gear we did not turn in. Many did, I was in a group which refused, and it was eventually written off. We were due "return from active duty" REFRAD physicals and they refused saying the VA would do it. I took this up with Sen Cornyn and his office inquired and Ft Hood lied and said no one is refused a physical here upon demob.
This doesn't include carp that goes on overseas.
Not a good time to be in, especially if you are new.
My brother in law has been under heavy solicitation to become a chaplain since he is a pastor, but was repulsed because of the official word not to preach Jesus. Also, you have to be accomodating to other faiths, who need wood for ceremony, and other weird beliefs. I was in a conversation with a chaplain in Afghanistan and he had to accomodate some of the earthen beliefs of soldiers. We had no chaplain but occasionaly a female chaplain would fly to our FOB to have a service.
You would not believe the diversity of beliefs.
In toher words,
NO! NO! NO!
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
Dont let the experience of one individual, or in this case unit be your basis for a dicision. Sounds like PP deployed as a "filler" which I can see how a soldier like this could fall through the cracks. We had several individuals that were mobbed like this, however our unit still took care of them. I was lucky enough to deploy as a unit, that replaced a unit. PP sounds like you definately had a bad experience, hope it all works out for you. I would be looking for new unit, which is another bennifit if the Reserves.
Oh yeah, not sure about the not preaching Jesus info you got there. We have a chaplain that comes by the motor pool every Thursday before we roll out for mission, and he sure preaches Jesus. I think chaplains have a main denomination that they stick with, but are taught enough about most other beliefs to have an intellectual conversation with some one of another faith that may just want to talk with a chaplain. Again, Im just a grunt so you may want to get some info from a more reliable source. If you want, I can talk with the chaplain over here and see if he would mind exchanging info directly with you via email. If you would like email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The preaching part has been policy for quite a while. Chaplains are social workers *not* preachers, thus prohibited from steering anyone toward a particular faith. Your chaplain friend is sticking his neck out and since they are short in the sand, probably over look it. But it *is* policy.
Im definatly no authority on the subject but I did stay at a Holliday Inn last night, oh wait a minuite, no I didnt. Oh well. Good luck.
Be prepared - I tried to warn you. If you think you are getting into a Christian ministry - forget it. You are a social worker for the Army. Yes, you are desperately needed and a Christian is of importance, but you will fight against the system your entire career and it will get worse. Don't say I didn't warn you.
PP are you with the 104th?
bburgi, While I am a guardsman, so my experience will be slightly different than a reservist, I can say that I have found my 7 years of part time service to be mostly rewarding. The military is definitely a love hate relationship, and will many times be frustrating. And even moreso for you wife. Contact me through PM if you have any questions, and I will give you good straight answers.
I'm an Army Reservist and Chaplain Assistant. I got back about 4 months ago from a year in Iraq. I've been on active duty for the past 4 years, due to the Army being short on 56M's. If you have any Q's send em and I'll answer them. Understand that if you enlist as a 56M, you WILL be deployed and then you'll be deployed again and then you'll be deployed again - good luck.