By: Adrienne Vititoe
As rewarding as it may be, there is no denying that life in the Army is often challenging, and these challenges start with Cadet Summer Training.
Cadets have to deal with long days, hot temperatures and trying tasks.
It is enough to make one weary at times, but fortunately, weary soldiers are an Army chaplain’s bread and butter.
“Part of our function is to be a morale booster for the cadets,” said Emonena Itugbu, chaplain for First Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training. “Whenever we look around and we see that anyone’s morale is coming down, we think of a strategy of how we can pump them up so that they can get out and do what they need to do.”
Itugbu said cadets come away from counseling with a chaplain feeling refreshed.
“They come more alive,” she said. “It’s like ‘Okay, we’re ready.’”
Itugbu said all counseling is confidential unless permission to share is given.
While most Cadet Summer Training cadre are responsible for the physical development of cadets, Itugbu said a chaplain’s concerns are primarily spiritual.
“My main function is to act as a trainer to my chaplain candidates and also as a spiritual leader to the regiment,” Itugbu said.
To ensure that cadets are spiritually nourished during their time on post, Itugbu and her fellow chaplains hold weekly worship services.
For the convenience of those interested in attending religious services, the days on which they are held are listed below:
- Protestant service at 1900 on Sundays and Wednesdays.
- Catholic service on Sundays and Wednesdays.
- Jewish service on Fridays.
Although chaplains may be on the sidelines when it comes to physical combat, Itugbu said a very important part of their role is that they are always there when soldiers need them.
“We go where they go,” she said.
Itugbu said she is pleased with the progression of the summer thus far.
“So far so good,” she said. “I think the cadets are doing a great job. We’re excited because they are just on top of it and this gives us a sense of satisfaction that we are doing something good.”