April 8, 2009
In November 2008 I became the Deputy Command Chaplain at U.S. European Command at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany. A couple of months ago I participated in a planning meeting for the annual NATO Chaplain Operations Course at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. The meeting included some chaplains who had attended the pilot course held in February 2003, and others who had been students there more recently. Military Chaplains face challenges on the battlefield that go beyond the boundaries of pastoral needs for the troops. We work in multinational environments where synchronization with command religious programs, encounters with Civil Military Operations, and non-governmental organizations are critical to the success in combat. In war or peacekeeping missions, working in a cooperative military chaplaincy environment is a force multiplier for commanders.