Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Solhjem, chief of U.S. Army chaplains, and Sgt. U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Sergeant Major Ralph Martinez visited U.S. Army Pacific Soldiers April 29-May 3, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Spiritual Readiness Initiative was introduced as they conducted their battlefield circulation meetings with commanders, spouses and UMTs.
“It’s important for us to be here with members of the Chaplain Corps to give them the opportunity to ask us questions,” Martinez said. “Not just questions about the spiritual preparation initiative, but just in general. Give them advice on where chaplaincy is going over the next 10-15 years and give them the opportunity to understand what training and development awaits them, as well as a thorough reference to the priorities of the Chief Chaplain.
The education of leaders, chaplain teams and behavioral health teams, all part of the Spiritual Readiness Initiative, raises awareness and emphasizes the importance and value of holistic health and the spiritual pillar , Solhjem said.
“The Spiritual Readiness Initiative is an Army initiative that stems from Holistic Health and Fitness and FM 7-22 Chapter 10 Review, the spiritual readiness component that we want to bring to the people of the military with the help of Dr. Lisa Miller, who is our nation’s leader in this area of spiritual life and a clinical psychologist,” Solhjem said.
Miller is a graduate of Columbia University and has over 25 years of longitudinal research that shows scientifically proven evidence that everyone is born 30% spiritually innate and 70% of human spirituality is socialized, he said. declared.
“Dr. Miller is shaping change in our culture through this partnership this year,” Solhjem said. “This is a big deal. It is significant for all of us. It is important for our culture. This is necessary not only for the army, but also for civil society.
Miller identified a national crisis that translates into a national opportunity for the renewal of young adults aged 18-25 in the United States. The challenge these young adults face is the high rate of diseases of despair: substance abuse, depression and suicide.
“The suicide death rate is now reaching the car accident rate in high school and it’s going down in middle school,” Miller said.
Martinez explains that the military is good at assessing and caring for nutrition, sleep, mental illness, injury and physical fitness and not for spiritual readiness, which is the driving force behind the Spiritual Readiness Initiative . The SRI will be an assessment that is able to help commanders and unit ministry teams identify where to focus in order to address the issues of adversity their soldiers face.
“When you PCS from here and go to another organization, you will complete your spiritual readiness assessment,” Martinez said. “That data will follow you like their fitness test.”
The team visited US Army units in Alaska and will travel to South Korea and Japan in the coming weeks.
“It is imperative that we invest in people, connections in spirit and cultivate new people and communities,” Solhjem said. “Caring for people and the community are priorities for the Unity Ministry team as workers and part of something bigger than themselves. It’s an unwavering mission that is truly timeless and they have the opportunity to do something monumental,” Solhjem said.