Kentucky Chaplains maintain readiness to support the troops

Nov. 21, 2014 | By kentuckyguard
Story by Chaplain (Maj.) Bill Draper and David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs [caption id="attachment_23968" align="alignleft" width="300"]photo Chaplain (Col.) David E. Graetz, Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains for the National Guard, conducts Tier 1 Post DOMA Training during the State Chaplain Training event on Sept. 26, 2014 at Boone National Guard Center, Frankfort, Ky. (Photo courtesy Chaplain (Maj.) Bill Draper) FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Like any other element of the military, the chaplain corps has to conduct training to maintain its readiness to support the mission. On Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, the Kentucky Army National Guard's chaplains gathered for their annual state chaplain training event. “These events are extremely important for our chaplain corps because it allows us to conduct specific training that better equips our chaplains and chaplain assistants to provide religious support across the organization," said State Chaplain (Col.) Yong Cho.   "We are grateful for the support of our senior leaders who support this training because they too believe in its value and worth to our Guard Families.” [caption id="attachment_23972" align="alignright" width="300"]Chaplain Cho State Chaplain Yong Cho during predeployment training with the troops. A chaplain's services can be needed by a soldier in the field or at home with their family.  (File Photo) During the one day training event attendees received mandatory training on Tier 1 Post-Defense of Marriage Act, along with Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention refresher training.   In addition, there was open discussion on other subjects dealing with everything from security clearance to suicide intervention skills and religious preference profiles. "Chaplains have to be ready to respond to a wide range of problems, sometimes in a professional military environment, but more often on a personal level," said Chaplain (Maj.) Bill Draper, who has twice deployed to Iraq.  "It doesn't matter if it's on the battlefield or here at home, we are committed to helping our soldiers and their families in all facets of their lives.  That's why this training is so varied ... and valuable." [caption id="attachment_23974" align="alignleft" width="300"]Chaplain Slaughter Chaplain Mark Slaughter says a prayer at a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, on Oct. 18, 2012. Chaplains have to support a wide range of duties, from ceremonies to private counseling. (File photo) One subject of importance was the Strong Bonds program, with helps Soldiers and Airmen with marriage relationships and life skills. Click here for information on an upcoming Strong Bonds event. Two new chaplains have come on board as well:  Chaplain (Capt.) Brandon Candee, 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention Command and Chaplain (Capt.) Shane Blankenship for the 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery. The Kentucky Army National Guard currently has two full-time support chaplains, Chaplain Draper and Chaplain (Capt.) Phil Majcher, both of whom assist Chaplain Cho in providing administrative support and direct religious support across the state to supplement the additional 14 M-day chaplains and chaplain assistants. For more information on the Kentucky National Guard's chaplain corps contact Chaplain (Maj.) Draper at 502-607-1729 or email him at    

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