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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I met this guy around my age, (Thirties) who said he was an Army Chaplain Assistant for 8 years. Had several deployments to Iraq, Afg. What struck me as odd is what he said he did, and I would like clarification as to if these are things Army Chaplain Assistants do.

What he said.....

He was a tail gunner in a chinook
He would do house raids with Infantry (many times he said he was the first one inside)
He would go on convoys (sometimes he was the hatch gunner)
He would regularly collect the dead/ body parts on the battle field

During all this he said he was a Chaplain Assistant his entire time in the Army. So my question..... Would a Chaplain Assistant really be doing all of those things?

I just find it odd a Chaplain Assistant would be clearing houses and be the first one inside, also a gunner in a chinook?
 

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Never was a chaplains assistant and never heard of one going out on missions, but I guess that would be possible, if the assistant is motivated, the chaplain and chain of command approves and its considered good for the morale of the troops.

I do know that they do carry weapons. Chaplains dont.

The assistant is assigned to the chaplian for many religious and admin/log functions and also to protect the Chaplain.
 

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Never was a chaplains assistant and never heard of one going out on missions, but I guess that would be possible, if the assistant is motivated, the chaplain and chain of command approves and its considered good for the morale of the troops.

I do know that they do carry weapons. Chaplains dont.

The assistant is assigned to the chaplian for many religious and admin/log functions and also to protect the Chaplain.
A SPC I deployed with to Afghanistan in 2011 went on missions from time to time, also ran the free store in our BN area. It is not without some precedent.
 

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In the Navy, Chaplain's Assistants are called Religious Program Specialists (RP).

The duties performed by RPs include: supporting chaplains of all faiths and religious activities of the command; maintaining records, ecclesiastical documents and references of various faith groups; maintaining liaison with religious and community agencies; assisting in preparation of devotional and religious educational materials, and audio-visual displays; determining, developing, managing and maintaining the administrative and logistical support requirements of religious programs and facilities aboard ships, shore stations, hospitals, Marine Corps units and other sea service commands; providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments; operating and maintaining libraries aboard ships and isolated duty stations; performing bookkeeping and accounting functions related to Religious Offerings Fund and OPTAR fund transactions; as custodians, rigging and unrigging for religious activities; publicizing the command's religious activities; training command religious program volunteers on logistics and instruction methods; supervising chaplain's office personnel; performing administrative, clerical and secretarial duties; stocking and maintaining field mount-out boxes.
 

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Tail gunner-BS
First one through the door with Infantry-BS

Flight crews don't just let any swinging dick man the guns on their helos. Only the crew mans those guns. Having been in the Infantry, we did not just let some guy who has no idea how we clear buildings, take the number one spot going through the door. We wouldn't let an outsider stack up with us at all. They could come in after the building was secured.

The other stuff he said he did is possible.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tail gunner-BS
First one through the door with Infantry-BS

Flight crews don't just let any swinging dick man the guns on their helos. Only the crew mans those guns. Having been in the Infantry, we did not just let some guy who has no idea how we clear buildings, take the number one spot going through the door. We wouldn't let an outsider stack up with us at all. They could come in after the building was secured.

The other stuff he said he did is possible.

Thats what I had thought, I can see him being in a convoy and collecting remains. But when he said he was allowed to man the gun in a helo I was like what? Because I know with the UASF being a gunner is an AFSC and I doubt they would let some random Airman man a gun on a helo.

And when he said he was participating in house raids and he was the first man in, I also thought that odd... Im no Soldier so I just had to clarify these things. I know in the Air Force Chaplains Assistants wouldn't do that, but I was unsure of how the Army worked.
 

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I know in the Air Force Chaplains Assistants wouldn't do that, but I was unsure of how the Army worked.
I've been doing the Army thing for 14 years and 99% of times I've seen chaplain assistants, was in the chapel, not living the Rambo experience. Chaplains don't clear buildings, nor do they linger when units are. They sometimes go on convoys and sometimes a convoy is a few guys short and may need someone to man a gun. Even then, a chaplain assistant doesn't ever shoot machine guns so I doubt one would be asked to man one in a tactical convoy, but if the convoy commander needed a gun manned bad enough I guess it could happen. Chaplain assistants are head shed guys, their chances of doing high speed stuff are only marginally better than those of a PAC clerk.
 

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Tail gunner-BS
First one through the door with Infantry-BS

Flight crews don't just let any swinging dick man the guns on their helos. Only the crew mans those guns. Having been in the Infantry, we did not just let some guy who has no idea how we clear buildings, take the number one spot going through the door. We wouldn't let an outsider stack up with us at all. They could come in after the building was secured.

The other stuff he said he did is possible.
Actually, I'm with you on this, . . . but I do know that in RVN, . . . if you had two working hands, . . . and were willing to go, . . . you could volunteer to be a door gunner on a Huey, . . . and if there was an opening, . . . you were in the slot.

May God bless,
Dwight
 
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Believe it or not when I was in 2nd brigade of the 82nd, we had a chaplain who had the budweiser badge. He was one of the coolest officers ever. The guy looked like a freakin admiral of the turkish navy when he was in class A's.
 

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Chaplin Assistant is a regular Soldier, if a Chaplin goes out why can't he do these things.
Primarily, because he isn't trained to. Find me a crew chief that will let some guy who isn't trained to use a machine gun, let alone trained in aerial gunnery, that will let such a person provide security for his bird. I don't know how many military aircraft you've been on, but the deal is that if you aren't aircrew, you sit down and enjoy the ride. Find me an Infantry squad leader that will let a POG get in his stack, a POG that has no idea what that squad's TTP's and SOP's are. Ain't gonna happen.
 
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Tail gunner-BS
First one through the door with Infantry-BS

Flight crews don't just let any swinging dick man the guns on their helos. Only the crew mans those guns. Having been in the Infantry, we did not just let some guy who has no idea how we clear buildings, take the number one spot going through the door. We wouldn't let an outsider stack up with us at all. They could come in after the building was secured.

The other stuff he said he did is possible.
I dont really buy the tailgunner story, however, I did sit in the gunner seat once on a chinook, my SL new the dude from a previous squad (the gunner was a 12b and reclassed). Th rest I would say depends on the unit and the assisant himself. One of the Chaplain's assistants my BN had was pretty dang hi-speed, having a chaplain Sapper tab wearing, E-6 didn't hurt. That CA used to go to all our demo, room clearing, and breach training. He went to Sapper school too, ending up breaking his ankle or something on ropes day.
 

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Flight crew might have "hooked him up"... i.e. let him borrow a gunners belt and hang out on the ramp with the tail gunner. But acting as a crew member, unsupervised, manning the gun? That's a stretch. I know a few guys, combat camera, corpsmen, who have gone out on a flight and were allowed to shoot, however that was in a range, under the direct supervision of an aerial gunnery instructor qualified crew chief, and they were up coms with the crew, had attended the flight crew's preflight briefing, so on and so forth.

Afterwards they might say stuff like 'yeah, I shot the m240 from a helicopter' but they would never claim to be a "tail gunner on a chinook"...
 

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I dont really buy the tailgunner story, however, I did sit in the gunner seat once on a chinook, my SL new the dude from a previous squad (the gunner was a 12b and reclassed).
I can believe that. But you don't go around telling people you were a gunner, do you?
 

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I might give the guy a little more credit... I'm a UH-60 pilot; when we went to Iraq and Afghanistan we trained up everyone in our unit we could as door gunners and flew them in combat, just to give our crew chiefs as much rest as possible - they are way overworked!
 

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I can believe that. But you don't go around telling people you were a gunner, do you?
When asked what our badge was for (see avatar), if we were feeling flip we'd tell people we were bombarders on a Huey (that dates me). It was a lot quicker than trying to explain what EOD was...
 
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