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    1st Space Brigade’s multi-component unit ministry team supports readiness

    Space Chaplains visit JTAGS

    Photo By Master Sgt. Robert Segin | Soldiers from the 20th Space Company, pose with 1st Space Battalion Chaplain, CPT...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Rognstad 

    1st Space Brigade

    FORT CARSON, Colo. - When you say readiness, most Soldiers think administrative or weapons qualification, but spiritual readiness is just as important. One way a unit ministry team does this is to simply be there when a Soldier is in need, while maintaining unit readiness.

    The motto of the Chaplain Corps is Pro Deo Et Patria (For God and Country) and the1st Space Brigade's UMT takes that to heart. For instance, May was National Mental Health Awareness Month, and the team, led by Maj. Sean Levine, was there to help support Soldiers and their families with tools, education, and sometimes simply just an open ear. Whereas unit ministry teams are not experts in mental health counseling, often they are the first place Soldiers will come to for guidance.

    “Most chaplains have some preliminary level of training in counseling for people’s well being called pastoral care,” Levine said. “We provide that to anyone who just needs someone to talk to. We are the only group you can speak to where you will have absolute confidentiality. We are not going to share what you say with other people, so it provides a place within our formations, no matter what your faith, or lack thereof, to share whatever is on your mind, and perhaps we can offer some sort of guidance.”

    The UMT’s primary mission is the protection of and the provision for the free exercise of religion in the Army, said Levine. Its secondary mission is the facilitation of spiritual readiness - a new initiative outlying people’s natural inclination toward the development of some form of spirituality.

    Staff Sgt. Lexi Van Patten is the 1st Space Brigade religious affairs non commissioned officer in charge. A radio maintainer/operator before reclassing into religious affairs in 2013, she crossed over to focus more on Soldiers’ needs and their wellbeing.

    “This MOS (military occupational specialty) really focuses on that people first mentality that the Army is really pushing these days,” Van Patten said. “You really see how your job can impact the Soldiers and their families first hand as you help them through different, and sometimes difficult, situations. Unfortunately, with our job, you might only see us when something bad happens, like with memorials, but to be able to provide those faith-driven events for the Soldiers and their families is also a big part of our job.”

    One such event will be a unit foundational readiness day at Prussman Chapel on post July 8 to focus on suicide intervention and prevention. Levine will brief Soldiers on its importance, and also on Strong Bonds - a unit-based, chaplain-led program which assists commanders in building individual resiliency by strengthening the Army family.

    Capt. Jonathan Graham, 1st Space Battalion chaplain, said UMTs are certified in event planning, some emergency medical training, and suicide intervention and prevention.

    Graham has been all over the world where 1st Space Battalion Soldiers are stationed.

    “We are constantly trying to bring encouragement and a spiritual perspective to the fight,” Graham said. “Our warriors deserve quality religious support.”

    1st Space Brigade's UMT is comprised of active duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers, and is the Army’s only multi-component UMT, which falls within its Chaplain Corps.

    The Corps is one of the oldest and smallest branches of the Army, and dates back to July 29, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized one chaplain for each regiment of the Continental Army, with pay equaling that of a captain. There are 1,300 active duty Army chaplains and 1,200 in the Reserve components, representing five major faiths groups (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist) and over 120 denominations.


    Date Taken: 05.06.2022
    Date Posted: 06.06.2022 12:24
    Story ID: 420199

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