October 18, 2006:
The U.S. Navy is sending its chaplains back to school. The navy believes that new chaplains, sent to a ship, and serving with that ship for many years, get out of touch with the rest of the Chaplains Corps (over 800 clergy, from dozens of different faiths). To make the training program possible, about fifty chaplains will be withdrawn from serving on ships. This will leave some smaller ships without a chaplain. And this has caused some chaplains, and sailors, to complain that the training program would mean that chaplains, coming out of the training, would be assigned to a different ship than they had come from. This would break continuity. Chaplains often serve with the same ship for many years, and thus get to know the officers, crew and families very well. Thus it is believed that all the reassignments required to carry out this training program will destroy this continuity. The navy won't back down, especially since there have been lawsuits of late by groups of chaplains (usually from the same faith), protesting real, or imagined, injustices. The training program is meant to make sure all the chaplains are at least on the same page with what they are supposed to be doing for the navy.