The United States Army chaplain's role during times of traumatic injury and death in a combat environment
AuthorsRindahl, Steven G.
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AbstractIt is critical that anyone responding to a traumatic event must be able to fulfill his or her purpose in the situation. The US Army Chaplain must be prepared to provide valued minisry during times of traumatic injury and death in a combat environment. The purpose of the investigation was to establish core ministry actions based upon identified common expectations and standards between chaplains, officers, and Soldiers of their command relating to ministry during times of traumatic injury and death in a combat environment. The intent was met though a series of steps beginning with the identification of the problem that US Army Chaplains have not been adequately prepared for the task of Combat Trauma Ministry. A review of current scholarship in the field demonstrated that significant works on Combat Trauma Ministry are almost non-existent. In order to accomplish the investigation two research methodologies were employed. There was use of quantitative data and large scale use of qualitiative research. The qualitative research provoed to be particualrly useful becauise of its focus on the study of problems in the social context. Research of the issue began with an examination of chaplain qualifications. This included a rebiew of the educational and ministerial prerequsities applicants must meet. A study of the training provided by the Army to those newly entering the US Army Chaplain Corps follows. This process revealed the challenges posed in trying to teach clergy from civilian parishes tom minister in the Army context of which many have no experience. The heart of the research is the body of interviews of chaplains, officers, and Soldiers. These personal accounts of ministry done, and failing to be done, with the theological impetus behind it provided the groundwork from which to draw the research conclusions. The research concludes that preparation for Combat Trauma Ministry within theArmy is still lacking but improving. In order to covercome remaining deficiencies individual chaplains, supervisory chaplains, and the US Army Chaplain Corps need to personally and professional augment training to ensure that the Chaplain Corps' Core Competencies Continuum - Nuture the Living, Care for the Wounded, and Honor the Dead - are adequately performed. The research identified three priorities of ministry to accomplish this intent. They are: Maintain Composure, Give them Something Tangible, and Share in the Burden. Finally, there is the recognition that the US Army Chaplain Corps must become more stringent in three specific concerns: Training and Qualification standards, developing self and supervisory care for chaplains, and prepating for the long-lasting effects of combat exposure and PTSD with a Soul Care emphasis.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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