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    Army Reserve ramps up religious support readiness in multi-compo training

    Unit Ministry Teams Prepare for Large-Scale Combat Operations

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Crystal Harlow | Students are asked to close their eyes and listen to "traumatic" audio during Battle...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Crystal Harlow 

    81st Readiness Division

    Religious affairs personnel help protect and enrich the mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical health of America’s armed forces. They march into battle and become on-the-ground assets who help maintain the strength of formations. During June 7-10, religious affairs specialists in Active Army and Army Reserve components (COMPO 1 and COMPO 3, respectively) joined together to participate in Battle Focused Training where the end-goal was to further prepare religious affairs personnel to provide the best wartime care for Soldiers within their reach.
    “The Battle Focused Training is intended to prepare Unit Ministry Teams for large scale combat operations,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Williams, 81st Readiness Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and an organizer of the BFT here. “During the training they did a lot of critical thinking analysis for situations they could be in downrange and were tasked with how they would provide religious support in those situations.”
    Like all Soldiers, religious affairs specialists need to prepare and train for anything they may encounter while in combat or garrison environments. COMPO 1 Soldiers, who practice military religious affairs activities daily, gave multiple blocks of instruction during the BFT to add a perspective that Army Reserve religious affairs Soldiers may not be presented with often.
    “At the end of the day we all have the same mission when it comes to the Army,” said Staff Sgt. Isaac Hughes, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “As UMTs, in order for us to all be on the same page and move as one entity while we take care of Soldiers, it’s important that the different COMPOs train together.”
    This is the third year that the 81st Readiness Division has hosted a BFT, but the first year that COMPO 1 was integrated into the training. Sgt. 1st Class Joey Honeycutt with the 188th Infantry Brigade in Fort Stewart, Georgia, gave a block of instruction on ‘Providing Religious Support and Traumatic Event Management.’ During his class he played a video with traumatic content. He then asked the class to close their eyes and listen to just the audio of that video.
    “I wanted them to understand that sometimes when Soldiers are coming back and they’re healing from a traumatic event… every time they close their eyes, that’s what they hear,” Honeycutt said. “I talk to them about senses ‘this is what you see, what you saw was traumatic. This is what you hear, what you heard was traumatic.’ But one of the senses that they don’t always deal with is the sense of smell, which I believe is one of the greatest links to your memory. A lot of people have memories of things based on smell. Sometimes Soldiers can have very traumatic memories just based on smell,” Honeycutt emphasized.
    The passion that comes with looking out for the well-being of Soldiers is not just a job, it emanates from the hearts of Soldiers who have chosen this career path in the military.
    “I love helping people,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Bittinger with the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “Whatever the Army does to make someone’s life easier, it brings me a significant amount of joy to know that I can be a part of that beacon of hope. I love knowing that I’m making a difference.”



    Date Taken: 06.25.2022
    Date Posted: 06.25.2022 21:07
    Story ID: 423794
    Location: US
    Hometown: ENGLEWOOD, CA, US
    Hometown: MANCHESTER, NH, US
    Hometown: SHELBY, NC, US
    Hometown: WARREN, OH, US

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