I’ve been drilling as a Chaplain for almost six months now. During May and June I spent a total of five weeks on orders. I am very grateful for those weeks for a number of reasons. One obvious reason is the extra money. The extra weeks also allowed me to get to know a lot of the staff in our rear detachment. It’s always tough on a drill weekend to chat people up because everyone is so busy. The time on orders let me start really getting to know a lot of the full time staff. Since I’m introverted by nature, I tend to be a bit slow getting out to meet people. Having those few weeks gave me the time I needed to start connecting with people.
Overall, there wasn’t a lot going on for me during the weeks I was there. That gave me chance to stake a claim on an unused cubicle and start populating it with the tools of the trade. In the previous months, I didn’t really have a spot to call my own and just kinda hung out wherever people were. My cubicle is right in the middle of the battalion area and allows me to keep up with everything going on and easily connect with all the people regularly moving in and out of the area. Knowing what is going on in the battalion also lets me know where the soldiers are so that I can make it a point to go out and interact with them in the motor pool or wherever they happen to be.
Perhaps the nicest thing about having a space of my own is that I was able to stash Bibles, books, and other Chaplaincy related items. I was able to move all the stuff out of my car and into my cubicle. It also means that if someone wants to grab a Bible or another book during the month they are sitting out in my cubicle where anyone can grab one. I also bought a coffee maker so that I can provide tea or coffee on drill weekends and facilitate more conversation with the soldiers who come by for a refill.
Here’s a few pictures: