CHBOLC: Day 73 “Memorial and Graveside Services/Ceremonies”

Today was a nice break from the seemingly endless hours spent at the Chaplain School in class. This morning the entire class met at one of the chapels on post to observe (and in some cases, participate) how a Chaplain will conduct memorial and graveside services.

The staff and cadre did a great job of getting all the pieces in place to do a solid simulation. They had a herse and a casket and a squad of seven soldiers to fire the 21 rounds in salute at the end of the graveside service. It was good to see how a military funeral is conducted from beginning to end with all the pieces in play.

One of the things that I have learned since I have been here is that there is a “Chaplain School” way of doing things and most likely the way things actually get done at the unit will be somewhat different. The training today was no different. The Chaplain who was leading the training had done over 800 services at Arlington National Cemetery so he obviously knows his stuff. However, what he taught was the “Arlington” way and just in the two short days of trianing on this we have already heard of other ways to conduct the services. I guess it all comes back to what truly is the Army’s motto: “Semper Gumby”- Always flexible.

I will be offline until later this week but plan on a post with a lot of pictures at the end of the week.


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