Friday, February 16, 2007

Perspective: Chaplain Shortage for Army National Guard

A National Guard chaplain ministers to a soldier

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some Army National Guard units may have to deploy overseas without a chaplain if recruitment incentives, including $10,000 signing bonuses, don't work to fill hundreds of vacant positions.

Some chaplains have served repeated overseas tours to help take up the slack.

"We're all concerned that we don't wear the guys out _ there is a limit," said Chaplain Lt. Col. Randall Dolinger, a spokesman for the Army Chief of Chaplains Office in Arlington, Va.

The Army National Guard has 310 chaplain vacancies. That's 40 percent of its authorized level, but so far the Guard has not been forced to deploy units without a chaplain, Dolinger said.

Read the rest at the Washington Post