SAN DIEGO – Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) recently hosted a conference for Surface Force Ministry Chaplains to discuss future training for junior Chaplains at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
SURFOR Chaplain Capt. Doyle Dunn, who led the two day conference in September, said the intent was to focus on how Chaplains could become better officers aboard ships, over seas, and anywhere they are needed. Topics covered were: orientation, Chaplain core capabilities and experiential issues.
“We (chaplains) go through extensive religious training before we come into the Navy,” Said Dunn. “The training that I want to provide will help them become better Navy officers so that they are comfortable working in any setting they may experience. "
To aid in this, Dunn created a website for senior Chaplains to allow for the sharing of best practices by submitting instructions, check lists, and even personal experiences important for the junior Chaplains to know. Dunn plans to combine the information to create an orientation program for junior Chaplains.
Orientation is planned to be a 45 to 60 day program that each senior Surface Force Ministry Chaplain would give to the junior chaplains to help them understand Navy standards and regulations. The core capabilities of Chaplains consist of 4 Secretary of the Navy directed categories: provide religious needs for all denominations, facilitate their religious background, care for all Sailors and family, and be an advisory for their command. Other topics will focus on managing personnel, captain’s mast requirements, and wardroom etiquette.
“I think all of us at the conference realize that we can’t do everything, there are going to be differences from being on a destroyer or LSD and we can’t train on every one of those little minor differences,” said Dunn, “but thank God we have the Surface Forces Ministry Centers where there is a senior Chaplain there to mentor the junior Chaplains and fill in the gaps where it is needed.”