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! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Typical Day

Some people have asked about the sorts of things I am doing as a chaplain. Basically, every day is different, but typically, there are some major things that a chaplain does:

1) Counseling
2) Preaching/Worship Leadership
3) Crisis Response
4) Advising the Commander on religious issues
5) Visiting with soldiers

These are not in any particular order, and it does not encompass all that a chaplain does. Obviously, when a unit is at home, an active duty chaplain has other duties similar to a pastor in a church, but I'm speaking as a mobilized reservist.

As far as counseling, there is a quite a bit of that, especially relating to marriage issues. Preaching and worship leadership is obvious. Crisis Response entails things such as heading to the aid station if we get hit with rockets or mortars so I can be there for any casualties that may ensue. Advising the commander on religious issues is important in a war with such divergent religious factions as this one. Finally, visiting soldiers in their work environment is key, as it establishes relationships and helps the soldiers know that the chaplain is interested in, and supports them in what they are doing.

Crisis response is probably the one thing you can least prepare for. In combat, some wounds are quite horrific, and, of course, soldiers die. It is just something that a person learns, I guess. We have had attacks since I have gotten here, and I'm getting to learn the ropes now, of simply heading to the aid station/hospital in cases there are wounded soldiers that are brought in.

The work as a chaplain is fulfilling, and my prayer is that God can use me in whatever way possible.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris--in the pic of you in gear--what do you use the knife for?


8:57 PM  
Blogger Christian said...


As a chaplain, I cannot carry a weapon. Therefore what you see may "look" like a knife, but it is actually for, um, trimming my nails.


9:35 PM  
Blogger Larry said...


trimming your nails?!?!?

yeah, kinda like the "paper weight" next to my headboard?


9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well at least we don't have to worry about you getting busted for carrying a concealed weopon! I guess it's just the handle of a knife and not an actual knife. Plus, I suppose you use it for cutting your way thru the dense jungle undergrowth.

Take Care!!


11:24 AM  
Anonymous Rick J said...

Knife, what knife. I see a tapered bladed screw driver, good for both phillips and standard screws. It can also be used for eating peas:)You might check into one of those portable nail drivers, it's the latest thing! Instead of shooting nails it shoots lead plugs. With this you can drive in nails of various sizes and are not limited to just certain ones. I would suggest the 45 cal. It drives them home real nice!

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They also make a longer version of the automatic screw driver that many guys have grown used to carrying. Typically they either carry it over their back or across their chest, depending on what type of building program they are working on. However, when using such a version, you have to be careful to avoid pointing it in the wrong direction because it's range is much farther than the shorter variety.

On a related note, I am guessing Chris is finally working on that "Wood Carving Badge" from his Cub Scout days. Who knows, Chris, with enough time you might finally earn your Wolf Badge!

In case you are wondering, the grass is definitely greener on your side of the fence back home!!

And, I saw one of your neighbors the other day--I have to tell you I was surprised the two of you can peacefully co-exist on the same street (and I am not talking about the Vikings Fan who takes up 2 lots, either!) If the two of you can exist in close proximity, then maybe there IS hope for the mid-East.

God Bless!


3:45 PM  

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