The Navy chief of chaplains, Rear Adm. Brent Scott, briefed religious ministry teams (RMTs) on the recently released Department of the Navy Strategic Plan for religious ministry at Camp Lejeune, Feb. 21.
Scott and the Religious Program Specialist (RP) Master Chief Petty Officer and senior enlisted leader for the RP rate discussed goal three of the strategic plan and its impact to both chaplains and RPs.
The pair of senior leaders came to discuss a new strategic plan to the communities of chaplains and RPs currently under way in the Navy. The changes focus on developing professional leadership qualities in both occupational fields.
“We are making some intentional moves to develop leadership within our communities,” Scott said. “One of the ways we can do that is making optional education courses mandatory for Sailors.”
Primary military education such as the religious program specialist manager’s course, a class designed to provide RP1s and senior RP2s with skills to further implement and manage the command religious program, will be a part of the desired training for the revised strategic plan.
The leadership courses will help reinforce capabilities for the individual Sailor and give them the necessary skill set to do what is required of them in their occupational specialty, Scott said.
Chaplains and RPs are assigned all over the world. This town hall, however, gave the chaplains and RPs the opportunity to ask questions directly to the chief of chaplains and the senior enlisted leader of the RP rate, allowing them to have an inside look at the changes being made.
“It’s beneficial to come together to have these kind of discussions face-to-face with our Sailors,” Scott said. “It lets our Sailors know the purpose and intent behind the changes being made and give their opinions on the matters as well; it gives them the ability to have a sense of ownership when it comes to their job and their training.”
Historically, chaplains and RPs have always worked together in garrison or in a forward deployed environment as a RMT. Emphasizing this bond was also a major goal of the town hall meeting that the pair wanted to discuss.
“We don’t currently train together, so it’s important that we really highlight the teamwork aspect of the job,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Lissett Araiza, senior enlisted RP. “While moving forward, it’s crucial that we are all on the same page when it comes to the mission we hope to accomplish.”
For further information on the strategic plan chaplains and RPs can reference naval administrative message 250/18.