Wow, it's hard to believe that I finished week four already and Phase I of Chaplain's school is now complete. The time has gone by pretty quickly, but I'm eager to be done with the training. I have learned quite a bit, and I want to put my knowledge into practice in my own way, with my own personality.
This last week we took a trip to NAS Mayport to experience the naval chaplaincy. You would think that is what I have been doing the last few weeks, but you'd be mistaken. A few years ago, the DOD decided in their infinite wisdom to move the Naval Chaplaincy School from Newport, RI to Ft. Jackson, SC. For this reason, there are not too many things "Navy" around here. It's odd to be wearing our NWU's (Naval Working Uniform/Digital Camo) and get stopped by people who say, "What branch of service are you from?" We would reply that we are with the Navy and they would smile, and say, "THANK YOU. I feel like I'm the only Navy person around here.
Yet, suffice it to say, we don't see too many things Navy. Colors in the morning, include Reville, not the national anthem. There are bugles sounding all the time, I see Army uniforms here, there and everywhere. So the Navy takes a back seat here at Ft. Jackson. We have our little building and that's it.
So to give the chaplains a taste of Naval ministry, we went to Mayport. This was a fantastic trip. It was wonderful to interact with many chaplains in the Navy. They all loved their jobs, loved their sailors and really got along well with other chaplains. The chaplains were super friendly and informative and very relaxed. It put us at ease, and made a lot of us feel compelled to be a Navy chaplain again.
We first toured a guided missile destroyer, and then spent the night aboard a cruiser. The ship was nice and clean (The galley, food was terrible) and the bunk where I stayed wasn't too bad. We stayed in enlisted berthing so we had 3 bunks in one compartment. Imagine if you will, three coffins on top of one another. Then you'd get the idea of how you slept on ship.
The comfort wasn't bad, the NOISE was. I didn't sleep hardly at all. I kept waking up to every little sound. Oh well, it was a great experience!
We ended the week with a couple papers and our second test. I did much better and got a 91% on it. So praise the Lord.
This coming week, we begin RMTEX. It involves lots of things...one of which is a gas chamber.