Air Force Chaplain History And Mission And Development Research Paper Sample
Air force chaplain is a position created in the air force to take care of the needs of the soldiers even as they are engaged in war battles. It was considered vital for the air force to have a religious body that will effectively handle their spiritual needs of the soldiers. Being a soldier is one of the most challenging careers that require one to be psychologically, physically and spiritually fit to manage. There are very many things that happen even as the soldiers work at securing the borders of their nation. The air force chaplain was considered to be the best way through which the spiritual needs of the soldiers can be met. Air force chaplain is composed of men and women, derived from various religious backgrounds. The air force ensures that all members, irrespective of their religious backgrounds are well represented in matters concerning their spiritual needs.
Among some of the responsibilities that the air force chaplain is ordained with are providing general counseling, ministering to he spiritual needs of the soldiers, accompanying the soldiers to their missions filed and provide the necessary guidance, perform and carry out religious rituals as required by their religious inclination, help the soldiers observe all religious events, dates and occasions as stipulated by their calendars. Apart from the normal and obvious religious training they are supposed to posses, air force chaplain members also have to go trough vigorous army training that will ensure that they are fit for the job. This therefore implies that the member is not just supposed to be spiritually mature in their various religions but also physically and psychologically fit to be in the army. Interviews are usually carried out for the men and women that desire to take up the positions of air force chaplain to determine their capabilities. Once they are found fit, they are taken through a training that is aimed at ensuring that they are adequately equipped for their assignment.
Since the outbreaks of the civil wars and the various world wars, spiritual nourishment for the soldiers has been considered an important aspect that cannot be ignored. Compared to the recent times when a chaplain for the air force has to be recruited and even vetted, chaplains in the earlier armies volunteered to provide spiritual nourishment to the soldiers. The chaplains were mostly missionaries who felt a burden within them to encourage the soldiers. The chaplains were not necessarily trained for their job, but found their way to where the soldiers were camping and speak to them. In some occasions, they would also follow them to the battle fields, pray with them and even support them in other areas that were not necessarily spiritual. Since they were not armed and less equipped to fight like the soldiers, the only protection they had was from the soldiers themselves, who did so out of their need to maintain and preserve them.
As years passed by, the vital role that the chaplains played in uplifting the spiritual and psychological needs of the soldiers was recognized and hence prompting the government to come up with a professional team. While in the mission field, it was also realize that some soldiers from particular religious backgrounds were not represented, and hence feeling neglected. They would not feel comfortable being encouraged basing on the faith they were not standing for. The government hence came in to seal the loopholes that were observed in the air force, by not only employing chaplains from different religious backgrounds but also ensuring that they were well equipped for battle. Among some of the concerns that the US government addressed was their remuneration, which they were not receiving as they volunteered.
Feelings of depression, loneliness, guilt and weariness are some of the challenges that are associated with soldiers in the army. Most of them are made to stay away from their families for longer periods without getting any form of communication from them. Their lives are also at stake as the fear of being killed in the line of battle overwhelms them. While in combats, soldiers are also made to engage in activities that involve violating or even assisting the humanity of others. The feelings of mercy and guilt which they have to face cause them distress and hence making it difficult for them to function. Many a times, they only receive solace from their fellow soldiers, who could be facing similar issues. However, with a spiritual body among them, they can share their concerns and receive the necessary encouragement. At times, all that the soldiers want to know and hear is that their work is being appreciated and some of the inhuman acts they are made to engage in do not discredit them from being human. These are some of the assurances they need to get even as they serve their people.
Apart from counseling, air force chaplain members also pray for the soldiers before and during the time they are fighting. One of the important factors that was considered for the air force chaplain is their ability to empathize with the issues that the soldiers go through. Such empathy can mainly be facilities through experience. It is therefore important for the chaplains to accompany the soldiers to their various mission fields and have a first hand experience of what they go through. They are in fact considered to be soldiers themselves, just that they are not physically involved in the battles. Having gone through and even witnessed what the soldiers face while in battle, they are able to effectively relate their actions to their spiritual needs and therefore being able to encourage and support them. The soldiers are also fee o share their issues with them, considering the fact that they have been with them and will understand them best.
Post traumatic disorder, which is one of the most common psychological conditions faced by soldiers during and after battle ahs been related to inadequate counseling. In most cases, soldiers are usually neglected and in many cases mistaken. Many cases of war veterans, who came back and felt like they were not needed in the society have been on the increase. Changing from their previous lives of being soldiers and back to living a normal life has been the most hectic transition for them. Nobody appears to understand what they go through and instead of being supported, they are neglected and sideline even by their own family members. Despite the medical insurance and support they are given, they are not able to fir back into their societies if the people around them fail to offer them the necessary support. However, with regular and frequent counseling and spiritual guidance, the soldiers will be made to feel good about themselves and adjust well, once their time of service is over. The picture that the society has towards soldiers and the stereotypes held against them makes it even worse for the soldiers who feel unappreciated for their hard work and diligence.
Air force chaplains are majorly required to merge their careers with their spirituality, to ensure that they are at ease. For instance, it is believed by the society that soldiers are tough people who are trained to kill and to hate. They are therefore looked at as merciless people who harbor inhuman feelings. Some of the things that the soldiers do, especially having to kill innocent people makes them indeed feel less inhuman. The chaplain is hence supposed to ensure that such feelings are dealt with before they take toll on the soldiers. They guide them through prayers of repentance, where they felt they acted wrong and also assure them that their work is based on order and hence need not to feel guilty about it. The assurance that the physical battles they are engaged in are just the manifestation of the spiritual battles they have to fight against their enemies as recorded in the spiritual books gives them courage and consolation. The soldiers are meant to understand and believe that the physical wars are not against their religious believes and that God also used such battles to fight for his people. With the developments that have been recorded in the air force chaplain, the army looks forward to having a more motivated team that will fearlessly engage in battles they have been assigned.
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