Chaplain’s have vital role in Soldier, Family resiliency
DAEGU GARRISON — One might say with the physical, mental and even religious stress acting on today’s Soldiers and Family members, the Chaplain’s Corps fills a vital niche in maintaining community resilience.
Chaplains have a dual role in the military. They are Army officers, and at the same time, they are pastors. The primary duty of the chaplain is taking care of Soldiers and Families’ spiritual well-being.
“Unlike other officers, who provide guidance for operations and missions, for us, Chaplains, we focus on providing religious and spiritual support, and that is the reason why the Army brought us in,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Moon Kim, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Command Chaplain.
When Soldiers have very strong beliefs, regardless of a particular religion, it can help provide a foundation to overcome certain difficulties in their lives, how to bounce back, or, in modern Army terms, be resilient.
“Our core mission as a chaplain is to ‘nurture the living, care for the wounded, honor the fallen.’ This is our mission and it has remained unchanged for over 200 years,” Kim said. “However, as time changed, the method of delivery changed little. For example, message or the preaching, as the audiences are different, it became more interactive, more casual, and more shortened preaching. But the content is always the same.”
Religious support is provided in multiple ways to the community, including worship services, bible study, and pastor counseling.
In addition, chaplains work as ethics trainers, helping Soldiers face dilemmas and struggle to deal with problems, clearing up their confusion and assisting with making good choices.
Kim anticipates seeing all the communities growing to fill the excellent capacity of the recently renovated chapel. Walker’s Soldier Memorial Chapel has approximately 400 seats, but only about 250-300 seats are filled during Sunday services.
“As my professional goal, I would like to see more people coming to chapel,” Kim said. “For the community goal, I want people to be more engaged in the programs that USAG Daegu offers. When our body is active, engaging in certain sports makes our mind healthier. And making sure that people are healthy either physically or spiritually… that is the role of Chaplain.”