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La. National Guard chaplains sharpen skills during annual sustainment training at Gillis W. Long Center

By Staff Sgt. David C. Kirtland, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office



NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard chaplains from across the State attended their annual sustainment training at the Gillis W. Long Center in Carville, La., Jan. 19.

“Just like medics and judge advocates have to conduct training for continuing education, this is the continuing education for chaplains,” said Col. Page Brooks, the LANG State Command Chaplain. “We provide policy updates and training updates, and it’s also a time for other professionals we work with within the State to come and talk to us.”

During the two-day training, chaplains discuss training on funeral honors, mental health support and suicide intervention.

“Getting all of the chaplains together from across the State in the same room is a unique opportunity each year because this is probably the one time that we’re able to have two days together for that type of fellowship,” said Brooks.

Attendees included Louisiana Army and Air National Guard chaplains as well as State Guard chaplains.

“During training we tend to emphasize or focus on something different each time in a way to sharpen our tools and ensure that we are being the best chaplains that we can be,” said chaplain Capt. Travis Milner, 3rd Battalion, 156th infantry Regiment.

Military chaplains are responsible for tending to the spiritual and moral well-being of service members and their families. Their responsibilities include performing religious rites, conducting worship services and providing confidential counseling.

“I enjoy the mental and behavioral health portion of the training because that’s a big thing in today’s age. I think it is imperative to continuously discuss this topic to aid chaplains in evolving with the current landscape of the world,” said religious affairs specialist Spc. Kylien Leday.

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