Minnesota National Guard in need of chaplains

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota National Guard is hiring, just like all branches of the U.S. military, and seemingly every other organization or business in America.

That includes the Minnesota National Guard’s chaplains corps, which met on Monday to discuss growing its own ranks and the greater mission. The COVID-19 pandemic, plus an assortment of societal and cultural issues, have greatly affected the number of young Americans signing up to serve their country.

“The world we live in today struggles with emptiness and feeling alone and feeling disconnected with the rest of society,” Head Chaplain Buddy Winn explained to WCCO. “In the Guard you’ve got an opportunity to connect with people like yourself and there’s a bonding there, like in the spiritual aspect of what we do, it sustains them in those times of difficulty.”

In both 2021 and 2020, the Guard missed its recruiting targets of 1,850 by up to 18 percent. In 2022, the guard lowered its target to 1,600 recruits.



“Faith leaders are so often the voice of communities,” Winn said. “I think specifically it’s just service, and if your faith is something that sustains you, then I think a lot of people have that connection.”

The corps has recently added to its ranks the first rabbi to ever join the Minnesota National Guard.

“it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do, to be able to serve,” Rabbi Ricky Kamil said. “There’s always a need.”  

Kamil said his desire to “serve those who serve” was inspired by his grandfather, an Army physician in the Korean War.

“He was the last Captain Kamil, and just knowing that having that experience, and that desire to be able to serve those who are around me, and to serve those who serve is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Kamil said. “I think in some ways the military is always under stressful environments, so I think that there is that need of spiritual care for those that are under a lot of stress.”

Chaplains have to meet the same physical requirements as soldiers and airmen. They won’t carry weapons in combat, but they will go as far as the forward aid station. 

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/minnesota-national-guard-in-need-of-chaplains/

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