News: Religious services at NIE foster spiritual readiness
FPRT BLISS, Texas - Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, maintained their spiritual readiness at the first Sunday-morning service held during Network Integration Evaluation 14.1 at Fort Bliss, Texas, Oct. 27.
While chaplains from the brigade are always on hand to provide individuals with guidance, they also hold services in the field area during the monthlong evaluation.
“In the Army we talk about readiness,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Doug Downs, 2/1 AD chaplain. “In all different ways, folks have to be ready. Spiritual readiness is just as important for soldiers who are getting ready to, or who will potentially go to war.”
NIE 14.1 is more than fostering unit and individual readiness. The 2/1 AD Soldiers are evaluating new equipment to modernize the entire Army.
The diversity in the Army extends to the religious and spiritual beliefs of soldiers. Field services provided by the chaplains in the brigade area are general Protestant, non-denominational to meet the needs of the large Christian population.
Downs said the battalion chaplains also go to each company area to meet with the Soldiers, even when they are scattered among many different sites.
Army chaplains are taught to be multi-faceted so they can provide spiritual guidance to any soldier, but the 2/1 AD has a unique asset — a Jewish rabbi chaplain.
“We have a pluralistic view and provide a non-denominational service, regardless of faith,” said Capt. Raziel Amar, chaplain, 1st Battailon, 35th Armored Regiment, 2/1 AD.
According to Amar, the last time there was a Jewish chaplain at Fort Bliss was approximately 28 years ago. He said some Jewish soldiers have found solace having a rabbi within their brigade.
With readiness and diversity being key to the Army, chaplains providing assistance through services and individual guidance give Soldiers another tool to be at the top of their game.