Chaplain Candidate Program: Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) Experiences

I haven’t updated this series of posts in awhile because there has not been that much to say since I finished CHBOLC last summer. My last drill was certainly an exception. Our state Chaplain, over the last year, has allowed candidates who have finished CHBOLC to go and drill at various RSP units throughout the state. The mission of an RSP unit is to mentally and physically prepare raw recruits for basic training. They usually do a pretty rigourous PT session, have a variety of classes and briefings, and teach practical soldier skills like drill and ceremony and basic rifle marksmanship. Most of the new recruits in these units are between 17 and 21 years of age with a small minority being older than that.

My mission for January drill was to visit two of these RSP units and provide religious support for them. This usually consists of doing a 20-30 minute chapel service and then just hanging around and visiting with soldiers and doing counseling if needed. This drill was the first time I got to do some actual counseling.

I share this because doing the counseling sessions was a big step forward for me personally. A large part of what Chaplains do is counseling and there have been times that I wondered how I would handle an actual counseling situation. God definitely gave me grace and peace when I spoke with the soldiers in the RSP units and the experience helped build confidence that God will provide the words to say when I am faced with tough situations.

My RSP experiences have been some of the highlights of my Chaplain Candidate experience thus far. Hopefully, I will be able to get more experience the more time I spend in the program and the more time I get to spend at RSP units ministering to new soldiers.

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