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    230th Sustainment Chaplain builds "Trust Equity" with soldiers

    National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, California- The first thing a soldier sees when they walk into the logistical support tent here at NTC is a sign for free drinks. Likely the second is a warm smile from Maj. Patrick Brownell, Brigade chaplain for the 230th Sustainment Brigade headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
    Over 4,000 troops from the 278th Armored Calvary Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard are here at NTC conducting training operations to prepare for a deployment to Poland and the Ukraine. The training is intense, stress and fatigue abound. In these conditions, soldiers’ mettle is tested, and resiliency becomes paramount.
    Something as simple as staging by a busy entryway and offering free drinks can make a difference, according to Chaplain Brownell. “It buys me trust equity,” said Maj. Brownell. “(The soldiers) see my face, and muscle memory tells them to come back to me if they have an issue later.”
    “Soldiers will not go to a chaplain they do not trust,” when they experience trauma or need assistance, Brownell added.
    Brownell has done everything from driving cold watermelons to gun ranges to bringing snacks and drinks to units as they unload gear upon arriving at NTC. His home church provides funding for his ministry of care, and they believe they are getting their money’s worth, according to Brownell.
    "Religious services and support by our service's chaplain corps provide the compassion and grace that enables the soldier to effectively balance the requirements to perform challenging duties while maintaining professional resilience to manage stress,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Patterson, acting brigade Commander for the 230th Sustainment Brigade. “Soldier performance is optimized when they can consistently achieve that critical balance."
    A substantial component of the Roman Catholic Brownell’s job is accommodating those who are of another faith. “If the Army provided a chaplain according to the faith of its soldiers, there would be 300 chaplains in each unit,” said Brownell. Since arriving at NTC, Chaplain Brownell has found religious accommodations for soldiers of Jewish and Muslim faith in addition to holding services himself.
    “The official Army Chaplain’s motto is ‘Pro Deo et Patria’ (for God and for country),” said Brownell. “My motto is that is it my job to bring God to the soldier and the soldier to God.”
    Elements of the 278th ACR will be at NTC for training throughout the month of May. This is the final joint training exercise the unit will conduct before their Poland rotation.



    Date Taken: 05.08.2018
    Date Posted: 05.08.2018 15:06
    Story ID: 276186
    Location: CHATTANOOGA, TN, US
    Hometown: CHATTANOOGA, TN, US

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