Ministry build relationships

595th Transportation Brigade
Story by Sgt. Timothy Adkins

Date: 04.01.2017
Posted: 04.01.2017 07:24
News ID: 228857
Ministry Build Relationships

It is said that the first 90 days and the last 90 days of a mobilization or PCS are the most difficult for the Soldier and their support network back home. Within these 90 day windows there is a floodgate of issues that could arise.
The 595th Transportation Brigade Unit Ministry Team (UMT) recognizes these critical windows and makes regular battle field circulations to brigade personnel. The 595th TB UMT is a unique brigade support element because there are no battalion UMTs.

The circulations are necessary to ensure religious support to the diversity of the brigade; consisting of contractors, civilians, Army Reserve Component, Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA), and Active Army Component.

The UMT meets all of the personnel at different professional development stages through their career from first mobilization to their last few months before retirement.
Brigade members face multiple stressors like new living arrangements, distance from home, and variable operation tempo. These stressors can wear-away at a soldiers resolve to complete their mission. The UMT circulates through each brigade section and battalion to give moral support, religious accommodations, and counseling to all who are in want or need. Without the support of the UMT the soldier could be left feeling isolated and disconnected from their unit. Frequent circulations through the brigade helps soldiers to maintain healthy relationships and group unity.

Events such as a unit brigade prayer breakfasts have allowed soldiers to participate as a group in an expression of their faith and enhance spiritual resiliency with other unit members and the command team. These functions bring a personal and spiritual connection for individuals in the brigade that would not normally be achieved through the regular attendance of worship.

By attending unit functions a soldier has the opportunity to identify someone upon whom they can consistently rely on when a stressor occurs. Battlefield circulations allow the UMT to assess brigade members during the deployment.

“I enjoy building relationship bridges so that when they have a need they can walk across that bridge for help,” said Maj. Andrew C. Parker, 595th Transportation Brigade Chaplain. UMT members engage Soldiers and civilians on a personal level building relationship bridges that personnel cross when a stressor occurs.

In addition to counseling and religious development, morale is positively enhanced through participation in group events. During a recent battlefield circulation through Afghanistan the UMT took part in their five-mile ruck march, and in Bahrain they joined physical training for a game of five-on-five basketball.

“Part of building that bridge is engaging soldiers in their regular activities so that when they have a need to talk to me or someone the relationship is built on common activities in the unit,” said Parker.

Also, in Qatar the UMT was able to provide training on the culture of the country for the new reserve component group.

The 595th Transportation Brigade Unit Ministry Team is always on call for those in their hour of need whether it be a few minutes to vent, professional one to one counseling, or hours to work through a traumatic event. “Nurture the Living, Care for the Wounded, Honor the Dead.”

By Sgt. Timothy Adkins, Chaplain Assistant
595th Trans Brigade Unit Ministry Team