Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Legacy of the Army Chaplain Corps

It's been a couple days since I've posted...and it's been busy. The classroom work has really been quite interesting. Much of it has been a sort of review from seminary; for example, we spent a day talking about briefing Commanders on making ethical decisions. The Army has a step-by-step system for making ethical decisions about policies and operations, and the chaplain is the expert on staff for advising the Commander of a unit on these sorts of issues. So, part of the instruction was practical- how to walk through the process. Part of the instruction was more theoretical...looking at the different major ethical systems, such as utilitarian ethics, divine command ethics, deontological ethics, and so on.

We also had our regimental ball on Thursday. This was a formal ball for all of the chaplains at Fort Jackson, including all of us students. What an event it was...the formality, the food, the history. They commemorated the 229th anniversary of the US Army Chaplain Corps. The Chaplaincy is the oldest Corps in the Army; founded in 1775, it actually predates the Declaration of Indepence. The speaker for the event recounted the story of the four Army chaplains on the USS Dorchester in World War 2. They four chaplains, of different faiths, were on a ship that sunk in the north Atlantic. Each of them willingly gave up their life jackets to soldiers who would have otherwise drowned. As the ship sank, the chaplains were last seen with their arms linked, singing hymns. What an incredible legacy!

The rest of my weekend has been more low key. A group of us attended a minor league baseball game here in Columbia last night, and a movie tonight. I've also been working on homework this weekend. It's hard to believe I have only one more full week here, plus a couple days the next week.


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