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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:57 PM
Original message
Question for military people:
A freeper type on another forum is a 37-ish chaplain's assistant in the US Army. He insist that he has been trying hard to get himself sent to Iraq.

I'm skeptical that with the recruitment situation being what it is, a army guy who wants to go fight would not be given a way to do just that?

Also, for those who know, I speculate that a chaplain, or chaplain's assistant in the army is one of the safest jobs that can be had. Am I correct about that?
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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. They probably don't have need for many
CA's in Iraq, but they DO need some. He'll get his chance if he volunteers.
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lcordero2 Donating Member (832 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. that depends on the chaplain
If the chaplain doesn't travel a lot then he is safe. If the chaplain does travel a lot then the assistant might meet his maker through IED.
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clintoncomeback Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Exactly. It all depends on how much time he is out on the
roads. Also, the Army is trying to keep some chaplains stateside. This is so they can provide counselling to soldiers returning from combat. Much needed, BTW.......
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Isn't that what Cindy's son Casey went into the army to become
And instead he was reasigned to another unit? :shrug:

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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Really?
I didn't know first-termers could get that MOS. You learn something new everyday here on DU! Thanks!!
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I am going from memory from a statement that Cindy had made
I was really asking for verification from someone who may know for sure.

I will go back through my files and see if I can find it.
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Nordmadr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. To the best of my knowledge, chaplains are always officers. NT
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Chaplain's assistant
is what Casey wanted to be, like the fellow the OP is talking to.
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Nordmadr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Missed that in the original post. Need sleep. :)
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_ed_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'll answer a few people's responses at once
First, Chaplains are always officers. Chaplains' assistants are enlisted soldiers. They have not been through seminary (or whatever you call religion school).

With a small, specific, job like a CA, he might be telling the truth. CA's do quite a bit stateside, I would imagine, and are probably needed here as well as in Iraq. Just consider the amount of funerals, wounded guys coming back, etc. I'd venture that he's needed more in the states.

CA could be a very safe job, depending on where you are. When I was in Iraq, Chaplains were not permitted to carry firearms, even for their self-protection. CAs did carry firearms. Our Chaplain rarely, if ever, left our Forward Operating Base. I don't think that is a "fear" or "safety" issue or anything. While I'm not religious, a lot of guys take solace in talking to the Chaplain, and many Chaplains are just good listeners who can act like therapists. A Chaplain is like a Battalion Physician's Assistant - they are too valuable to lose.
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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Your statement
"When I was in Iraq, Chaplains were not permitted to carry firearms, even for their self-protection." is correct for all war zones. They are never allowed to carry weapons; they'd lose their protected status.
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_ed_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yeah
I remember there being a big deal about it, since there was some sort of ambiguity about the Geneva Conventions since the enemy in Iraq obviously didn't sign it.

I'm quite sure that our Chaplain deployed with a sidearm, but quickly had to give it up, maybe before we even entered Iraq.

I'm no expert on the Chaplains' Corps.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Here's his comment on my apparent (transparent?) skepticism:
"The job is for an E-4...I'm quite a bit higher in rank than that, army rules won't allow me to go in that position. I volunteered when we were tasked to send a soldier to Katrina Releif...same answer. "


Just a bit amazing to me that an able bodied man can't get himself transfered into a combat assignment with things being as they are.
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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. You have to have a billet in which to go into
If he's an E-6, they aren't gonna allow him to go into an E-4 billet. What he's saying sounds true.
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_ed_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I really don't know
A Battalion level CA position is an E4 (Specialist). I actually have no idea what a CA does once he attains the rank of E5 (Sergeant) or higher.

Here's my only guess:

Battalion Chaplain=CPT
Battalion CA=E4

Brigade Chaplain=MAJ or LTC
Brigade CA=??? Must be a higher ranking enlisted guy

And so on...

Just a bit amazing to me that an able bodied man can't get himself transfered into a combat assignment with things being as they are.

I agree. It seems strange. But, there might be different issues for that particular job that I'm ignorant of. Like I said, I know little about the Chaplains' Corps.
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