Sunday, January 22, 2006

SPC Cowell

To everyone who doesn't know him, I would like to introduce my assistant SPC Cowell. He serves as sort of a combination of head usher/ bodyguard. He helps me with my religious services and some of my soldier counseling. He also takes care of our equipment and keeps me in touch with what is going on with our base line troopers. I have allowed him permission to post on here so you just might hear something from him from time to time.

Anyway together we make the Unit ministry Team. That just sounds cool doesn't it? We are learning some stuff together like a couple of weeks ago we went to Combat Lifesaver class together. We learned how to do some basic medical lifesaving treatments. It was kinda funny seeing as I spent my first 16 years, wow did I just say 16 years!, as a combat medical NCO. I tried to explain to them that I already knew this stuff, but in the end my answer was, "check the box hooah!" Just do it and get it over with even though you already know exactly what the training entails. In fact in a past military life I used to teach the class. The information in the class was nothing new but it was still fun to go and practice up on old skills. And it is nice to know that my assistant knows those skills as well.

Just a little sample of the fun, fun, fun training we are getting here. A few weeks before that we went to Combatives class. This was an interesting hand to hand training class. Now back when I joined the Army back in 19..*cough* aitteysiks. We had hand to hand combat training using our weapon as a club, "BUTT STROKE TO THE HEAD!!!!"

Now this new training we had was nothing like that old training at all. It was actually very physical and very cool. We learned how to handle ourselves in close quarters combat with various weapons and in various situations. At one point it got somewhat redicilous how many things he was using as a weapon. It was more like a martial arts training event than anything else. We learned stuff like the Judo flip with body armor on, very cool. If I remember correctly I landed on my back hard a few more times than I would have liked to. Which in turn caused my head to feels a little spinny, but I was glad to have the training--oh and if Cowell had poked me in the throat one more time -grrrrrrr :) end of the day we both learned quite a bit about how important close quarters combat can be. It really is a forgotten art.

Now I do not want to give the impression that all of our training is fun and interesting, for the most part it fulfills just the opposite mission. This is where we get mileage from our motto, "check the box hooah!" We have had hours upon literally hours of boooooooooooaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg power point training. If I were to design hell it wouldn't include as much burning lakes as it did endless pointless powerpoint slides. I am not sure why we have to do this, but I have taken the stance that asking that question will only lead to insanity.

We are also getting some training as a ministry team. Every, well almost every, Monday and Thursday we go and learn ministry specific stuff. This for the most part is training that I have already have, but I relish the time I get to spend with other chaplains and chaplain assistants. This morning we did a chaplain AAR(after action review) on the FTX(field training exercise) we just had the last 2 weeks. Usually those sessions turn into a pat yourself on the back session, but this one was..... No different. Ha almost has ya there. Not to be too critical of everything, but I have been to too many of these things and I am a little jaded I think. Although it was nice to hear my Brigade Chaplain say that I was always in the right place at the right time. I am not sure if that was true or not, but hey I got my pat on the back.

What I did learn on the most recent FTX was the memorial service. We had a few SIMULATED casualties and I did their memorial service. It was difficult for everyone involved. There were even some higher ranking individuals who refused to participate. I guess they thought it would be too difficult for them. On the ones we did have it was very moving and realistic training. At the first on you could really feel the tension in the air and it really felt for all those involved that we had in fact lost a soldier. It is a hard slap of reality when you do something like that, but I am convinced it is very important training.

Writing this blog is a learning process for me so I am not sure if it will always include inspirational chaplain stuff. I think it will from time to time but for now it will be just what I am doing on a day to day thing. I feel some compulsion to write something spiritual seeing as yesterday was Sunday and all. But instead of going to church yesterday I went out and took some time off with some fellow soldiers. It was great. Not much just some wings and conversation, some laughs and stories. I do believe that it was sorely needed.

I am learning that there is more to spiritual fitness than bible study. More to being spiritually well rounded than spending your evenings in prayer. I am learning that to be spiritually fit you need a certain level of emotional and physical fitness. Well maybe you don't "need" it but it sure helps. So I say with some level of confidence that I was working on my spiritual fitness last night at BW3s eating wings and watching the Seahawks annihilate the Panthers.

CH Luken

4 Comments:

Blogger Difster said...

On the ones we did have it was very moving and realistic training. At the first on you could really feel the tension in the air and it really felt for all those involved that we had in fact lost a soldier.

That sound a lot like the old Moundsview North training. Some of those scenarios really got people worked up. I'm sure it's even worse with simulated funerals during a time of war.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Difster said...

Welcome Specialist Cowell, you're working with a good man! Oh, I could tell you some stories though! MUST RESIST!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Roland said...

I am learning that there is more to spiritual fitness than bible study. More to being spiritually well rounded than spending your evenings in prayer.

I can fully agree. I have come to a fuller understanding of this over the past year.

I love to read what is going on and try to point others to the site.

I am encouraged by your blog. Keep it up!

9:25 PM  
Blogger unckrandy said...

Hey Todd
Love Ya and Love reading your blogspot.

2:16 AM  

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