This week I had the opportunity to attend my first CAST (Chaplain Annual Sustainment Training). In order to be able to attend CAST, I took all my finals last week. That was a lot of extra stress considering I did them all on one day and had about five days less to prepare for them, but it was worth it.
For the most part, CAST was pretty interesting. I enjoyed getting to sit and chat with some of the Chaplains and Chaplain Candidates from Oklahoma that I don’t get to see as much of since I am drilling with a regular unit now and not with the other Candidates. I really enjoyed hearing from the Chief of Chaplains (Chaplain (MG) Doug Carver). CH Carver is an incredible man to have as the chief. He has a great heart for the Chaplain Corps and really believes in the mission of the Chaplaincy. His speech had a lot of energy and a lot of good information about things happening in the Corps.
As with any military event, there was an abundance of PowerPoint and briefings, but most of it was interesting. It was also really nice that they only did a half day on one of the days. The leadership said that they understood that many of the Chaplains and Assistants had been working like crazy so they wanted to give everyone sometime to rest, relax, and explore Fort Worth. Since the conference was held five miles from my apartment, I didn’t have much to explore, but it was nice being able to recommend some good places to eat for the Chaplains who weren’t as familiar with the city.
Overall, CAST was a good experience. For those of you who are Chaplain Candidates and stumble upon my blog, I highly recommend going to CAST if you can get authorized to attend. It will give you a chance to rub shoulders with Chaplains from all different backgrounds and all different stages in their careers and ministries.