The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - August 22nd 2018
Brett Hall

Navy Chaplain Training School to Return to Newport

NEWPORT - The Navy is planning to relocate the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center back to Newport from Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

The move, which will add two dozen jobs to Naval Station Newport, will go into effect March 1, 2019, according to a press release from Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee.

The NCSC, the lone command in the Navy Chaplain Corps, is "responsible for the education and professional development of chaplains," the release said. Chaplains assist members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard in their emotional and emotional needs.

The chaplain corps is "made up of more than 800 Navy chaplains who confirm more than 100 different faith groups," the release said. Those chaplains work with religious program specialists and enlisted service members to provide protection in combat situations. Chaplains are unarmed.

"I am thrilled the Navy has agreed to return the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center back home to Rhode Island," said Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. "The Chaplain Corps has a vital mission training chaplains to provide religious ministry, pastoral care, and support to our Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. This move will bring jobs and longer waves of students to Newport, the Navy's intellectual home, and will help NCSC effectively train and professionally develop chaplains who can minister and serve as an integrated part of the Navy team."

The move marks the school's return to Newport, its home from 1951 to 2005, when the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission process sent it to South Carolina. The school was founded in 1942 in Norfolk, Virignia, before being decommissioned in 1945. It was re-established in Newport in 1951.

As a result of the relocation to Newport, NCSC will move 10 officers, four enlisted personnel and seven civilians to Rhode Island, as well as the students who annually attend the training school.

The Navy's decision to return to Newport was "based largely on providing new accession chaplain students the formative opportunities of Naval culture and sailorization while receiving their initial training," the release said.

Currently, newly commissioned chaplains begin training with five weeks of development in Naval Station Newport, then complete seven additional weeks of training at Fort Jackson. The change means less travel to continue training.

Between 1951 and 2005, more than 50,000 chaplains were trained in Newport, the release said.

Executive Director  Notes


Congratulations to the following chaplains for their selections as MCA Distinguished Chaplains 2018. These outstanding servants of the men, women, and families who serve our nation will be honored at our Annual Award Dinner on Tuesday evening, 6 November, at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel. They include:
Department of Veterans Affairs: Chaplain Will Kinnaird
United States Army: Active Component - CH (MAJ) Douglas Ochner
             Reserve Component - CH (CPT) Rachel Zarnke
             National Guard Component - CH (MAJ) Andrea Baker
Unites States Navy: Active Component serving a Navy command - LT William Butts
           Active Component serving a Marine Corps command - LCDR Robert Nelson
           Active Component serving a Coast Guard command - LT Robert Hess
           Reserve Component - LCDR Robert Lecompte
United States Air Force: Chaplain (Maj.) Walid Habash
Civil Air Patrol: Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Timothy Miner
   I hope that those of you who know these outstanding chaplains will reach out to them to congratulate them on their selection as MCA Distinguished Chaplains. I know that I look forward to meeting them on November 6th, and certainly hope that you can join us in the festive award ceremony!
Two weeks ago, in our Newsgram of August 8th, we reported the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2019 was signed and delivered to the President for his action. This past week President Donald Trump signed the Act into law.
Language establishing the three Chiefs of Chaplains ranks to be O-8 (Major General or Rear Admiral (upper half)) remains in the statute. 

This clearly represents the value of advocacy by member and institution based civilian organizations on behalf of our military members who serve. We have long recognized this for military and veteran associations. Our advocacy for chaplaincy is also critical to defend the necessary over against those who may not understand the essential nature of our contributions. 

I congratulate our strategic partner NCMAF for their work communicating the importance of this recognition our Chiefs of Chaplains must have rank commensurate with responsibility to meet the needs of our serving forces. 

We are pleased also with the support of our members who worked alongside NCMAF and others in shepherding this through. From my position as Executive Director, I am particularly encouraged by our contribution to this essential achievement coordinated by our Director of Communications, Lyman Smith. The MCA continues to be a critical player ensuring professional military chaplaincy remains strong and viable to care for all who serve.

Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC

Chaplain, Capt. Molly Lawlor, 99th Air Base Wing Chaplain, Maj. Mary Mangum, 99th ABW Comptroller Squadron commander, and Chaplain, Lt. Col. Dwayne Jones, 99th ABW Wing Chaplain, cut a ribbon at the grand opening of the Nellis Chapel lactation room on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, August 3, 2018
Chaplains Supporting the Needs of All Who Serve
Nellis opens two lactation rooms for breastfeeding moms

To celebrate this year's National Breastfeeding Month, Nellis Air Force Base opened two private lactation rooms for nursing mothers.

To improve the quality of life for base members, the chapel and the 99th Medical Group have focused on nursing needs and committed rooms to mothers by providing clean and secure locations.

"We acknowledge the challenges our Airmen face balancing mission accomplishment and quality of life," said Col. Michael Davis, 99th Air Base Wing vice commander. "Our remarkable Airmen make tremendous personal sacrifices achieving the mission. This facility is an important improvement to the quality of life for our Airmen who are also working mothers."

Having access to the private lactation rooms provides the nursing women of Nellis with a sense of security and relief.

"It's important as an Air Force team that we all support each other through unique challenges, even if we don't personally face those same challenges," said Chaplain (Capt.) Molly Lawlor, 99th ABW. "We're very happy to be able to support our Airmen who need a dedicated space to pump during their duty shift."

"Breastfeeding is a really significant part of bonding with my kids," said Chaplain (Capt.) Sarah Sampas, 99th ABW. "Being able to maintain my supply while at work is amazing for me and my children. When women don't pump when they need to, their supply can go down and they won't be able to give their child the right amount of milk."

In addition, the lactation rooms at the chapel and medical center offer comfortable seating and a relaxing environment. The chapel lactation room also offers a refrigerator to store breast milk throughout the day.

"Before, [the lactation rooms were available] the most stressful part of my day, every day, was trying to find a place to pump," said Maj. Raquel Dronenburg, 26th Weapons Squadron MQ-9 weapons instructor pilot. "Having this room is very relieving. It gives myself and other mothers a safe place to go where we have an encouraging community and support from our leadership."

TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP)
TRDP sun-setting on Dec 31, 2018

The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will be "sun-setting" at the end of this year and the retirees will be able to enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) for their dental and vision coverage. 

There is NOTHING that folks need to do right now, but in order for them to continue with dental coverage for 2019, the retirees MUST select a plan during this fall's Federal Benefits Open Season (Nov 12 - Dec 10, 2018); they will not automatically be rolled into a FEDVIP dental plan. 

There are up to 10 Dental Carrier options in FEDVIP from which to choose, including Delta Dental, current administrator of the TRDP. We are taking new enrollments in the TRDP until 10/31/18 and enrollees should continue to use their TRDP benefits with confidence throughout the rest of the year.

The Defense Health Agency, DHA, has created a  TRDP Transition Fact Sheet to explain the differences between the TRDP and our current FEDVIP offerings, as well as updated website content on both our  TRDP and  FEDVIP websites. More information regarding premiums and benefits for 2019 will be available in early October on our  Get a Plan page.  

The Military Chaplains Magazine
2018 Themes and Submission Deadlines
Fall Issue - Religious Accommodation in 2018
Articles to be submitted by August 31
Publication September 24
Winter Issue - Chaplaincy and Religion in a Post-Truth World
Articles to be submitted by November 30
Publication December 21

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