Go Forth and Multiply: How the Chaplain's Actions can Have Strategic Impact in the Current Operational Environment
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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While the main body of the chaplains work has not changed over time there have been a number of recent factors that have impacted his or her role and mission. These dynamics have now more than ever necessitated that the operational commander provides clear guidance through the Joint Force Chaplain to the area chaplains. The guidance should clearly delineate and restrict those activities that could negatively impact the mission. Such guidance will help the tactical chaplain to perform his or her duties in a manner congruent with joint force mission objectives and avoid inadvertently detracting from that mission and will serve to underpin the chaplains role as a contributing member to the operational mission. There have been several recent incidents involving chaplains that have stressed relations with our coalition partners and have provided our adversaries with information operations leverage. This paper will provide an overview of the role and function of chaplains as specified in Joint Pub 1-05, analyze several chaplain activities that have caused concern for joint commanders and consider some of the implications of curtailing controversial activity. The emphasis of the paper is to provide recommendations for the joint commander to consider when directing chaplains in his or her area of operations. The arguments for and against the employment of chaplains in operational settings are considered around four major themes 1 Chaplain access to the operational environment to provide pastoral service to the troops 2 concerns about proselytizing 3 the chaplains interaction with the civilian community and 4 legal considerations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics