Thursday, March 05, 2009

Capture the flag

SFC McG and I constitute the 142nd Chaplain Detachment. I'm the supposed "Commander" (even though Chaplains can never be in command!), so I guess that means that he's my Acting First Sergeant. He's also my S1 through S9 NCOIC, my Motor Sergeant, my Retention NCO, my Property Book Officer, Safety Officer, and to hear him tell it (well, tell *me*), the Drill Instructor.

(I tell people he's mean to me and makes me stand at Parade Rest when I address him.)

In our two-person unit, he's also our Guidon Bearer.

Despite being such a tiny unit (among the tiniest in the Army), we merit having our own Guidon -- a unit flag -- because we have our own UIC (unit identification code). Before we mobilized, SSG L from our parent Brigade went to the trouble of having the United States Army Institute of Heraldry design and create a unit Guidon for the 142nd Chaplain Detachment, which we've brought with us Down Range.

We pinned the Guidon to the wall above SFC McG's desk after we arrived (just below the California State flag we'd brought). Shortly after the first of the year, SFC McG managed to come up with a staff for our Guidon. Recently SFC McG brought the Guidon with us as we went out on the road for a couple of days.

I felt a bit as if we were playing "Flat Stanley" as we posed for photos at the various bases we visited during our mission. At one of those outposts, there's a long-unused -- and quite tall -- sentry tower that SFC McG ascended (after a playful suggestion on my part). It looked as though he were claiming territory on behalf of the California Guard.

SFC McG is younger than I am, of course, but still older than all the other Chaplain Assistants we've encountered Down Range. Because of that, I call us the "Geriatric Unit Ministry Team."

At one of the places where I celebrated Mass there are hand-made signs indicating the four triage groups: immediate, delayed, minimal, and expectant. Given that we're the "Geriatric Unit Ministry Team," SFC McG suggested we have our picture taken in front of the "Expectant" sign.

If you're not familiar with the "expectant" triage designation, I suggest you look it up.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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Pete said...

As a nearly 42 year old who is moving towards Army Chaplaincy, this was pretty hilarious!


Anonymous said...

Hey this post is really timely as your birthday is here! Happy day to you! Love from the Grechs

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