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Military Chaplains Undergo Unique Boot Camp

For chaplains to become effective ministers to troops in the field, they undergo specific training about the rules and customs of Army life. Saul Gonzalez reports on how Army chaplains are pepraed to provide religious guidance in war zones and the guidlines of their ministries.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Finally tonight, boot camp for military chaplains.

    NewsHour correspondent Saul Gonzalez of KCET-Los Angeles has the story. A version of this report aired on the PBS program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."

  • SAUL GONZALEZ:

    At Fort Jackson, South Carolina, soldiers train for the dangers of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • SOLDIER:

    Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

  • SAUL GONZALEZ:

    This recent afternoon, it was a simulated insurgent ambush on a military convoy.

  • SOLDIER:

    Combat base. This is Charlie One. Copy that.

  • SAUL GONZALEZ:

    But many of the troops in this exercise, the ones not carrying weapons, aren't warriors. They're members of the clergy attending the Army's boot camp for chaplains.

    COLONEL CLARKE MCGRIFF, Commandant, U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School: So, we are not a theological school, but we take theologians and train them on how to provide or perform religious support in an Army setting.

  • SAUL GONZALEZ:

    Colonel Clarke McGriff, an American Baptist minister, is the commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School. It teaches new Army chaplains who have already been ordained by their own religious bodies the rules and customs of Army life.

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