2 MEPS CHAPLAIN MINISTRY What to Know About MEPS ChaplaincyByChaplain, Dr. Michael G. MarshallSenior Chaplain, Milwaukee MEPSInternational Representative, Armed Forces Baptist MissionsCommander, United States Operational Support Command
3 WHAT DOES “MEPS” STAND FOR? MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing StationEach individual processing station is a MEPS stationAll MEPS stations are commanded by either a western sector or eastern sector headquartersBoth eastern and western headquarters are commander by USMEPCOM
4 HOW THE MEPS ARE ORGANIZED The command for the MEPS is USMEPCOM (United States Military Entrance Processing Command) located at Great Lakes Naval Base, Illinois.USMEPCOM is also the headquarters for the Eastern Sector and Western Sector of MEPCOM. Each sector has their own commander answering to the commander of USMEPCOM.
5 HOW TO FIND A MEPS STATION AND INFORMATION ABOUT IT Access the MEPCOM website atThen on the page select “MEPS – Military Entrance Processing Stations.”This will bring up a map with all MEPS locations. Click on the one you want.This site will give you a commander’s biography, picture and the address, phone number and information of the MEPS station.
6 USMEPCOM SITEAmong the contact information found here is a video entitled “A Day At The MEPS.” This is worth watching to understand what goes on in a day to process applicants.
7 Steps to Enlistment & Where We Send Them To… Great Lakes, ILCape May. NJFt. Knox, KYFt. Leonard Wood, MOSan Diego, CAParris Island, SCFt. Sill, OKFt. Benning, GAFt. Jackson, SCShipLackland AFB, TXApplicantsEnlistTraining Centers NationwideAdministratively ProcessServe OurPartnersMedically ExamineAptitudinally Test
8 Daily Snapshot OPERATIONS TESTING HOTEL MEDICAL OPERATIONS 0400 APPLICANT WAKE UPBREAKFASTINITIAL BRIEF& CHECK IN0530 SAME DAY PROCESSOR (TESTING)(MON & MISSION DAYS)1000 SPECIAL TESTING1500 START TIME FOR NIGHT TESTING(MON-THURS)MEDICALOPERATIONS0600 SHIPPER/INSPECT PROCESSING0630 PHYSICALS BEGIN0830 SPECIAL PHYSICALS1100 SHIPPER PROJECTIONS DUE (FOR NEXT DAY)1300 REGULAR PROJECTIONS DUE1600 PROCESSING CUT-OFF1600 HOLD-OVER PROJECTIONS DUEOATH OF ENLISTMENT CEREMONIES: EVERY HOURAND A HALF FROM OR SPECIALS AS NEEDED
9 HISTORY OF THE MEPS VOLUNTEER CHAPLAIN PROGRAM (MVCP) The MEPS Volunteer Chaplain Program started in March Chaplain Dr. Mike Marshall was the second chaplain nationwide to be placed into the chaplain slot at the Milwaukee MEPS.
10 HISTORY OF THE MVCP CON’T Marshall then proposed a full coverage concept to MEPCOM to built a chaplain team to have chaplains on duty 5 days a week and on call after hours and on weekends to give a 24/7/365 coverage for the MEPS personnel and inductees.
11 HISTORY OF THE MVCP CON’T His idea was accepted. He then recruited an additional 6 chaplains to work in this capacity. These were all unpaid volunteers. Duty rosters were set up and hours kept for onsite and on call hours for reporting purposes. The chaplain team was cited by the Inspector General team specifically as a positive resource adding to the organizational climate. See next slide for copy of said letter.
13 HISTORY OF THE MVCP CON’T Since that time other MEPS stations have taken on these chaplains in locations such as Detroit, Denver, Harrisburg, Shreveport, Los Angeles, and others. The Milwaukee chaplain team has become a paradigm for chaplain coverage among the 65 MEPS nationwide.
14 HISTORY OF THE MVCP CON’T As a result of this service the 347th Air Force Recruiting Squadron has used chaplain Marshall to cover their chaplain needs as well. The squadron covers a large area of Illinois, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
15 THE LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PROGRAM Army regulation provides for volunteer work in the MEPS for religious purposes.A volunteer does not have to belong to any NFE (Non Federal Entity) first to do such work for the MEPS on a volunteer basis.
16 MISSION OF THE CHAPLAIN Provide direct ministry to the USMEPCOM personnel and familiesProvide ministry support to applicants during processing in MEPS facilitiesEnhance the Wellness and Readiness program
17 SUPPORT MINISTRYMinistry of Presence- Available on-site or telephonically when needs ariseCrisis Ministry - Response to assaults, suicide (actual or attempted), shootings, or injury.Healthcare Ministry- Support for situations involving illness, hospitalization, or drug abuse treatmentFamily Ministry - Available for religious counseling and guidance,and a resource for referralsMilitary Counseling- Provide guidance to military personnel onconduct and its affect on career
18 SUPPORT MINISTRY CON’T Disciplinary Ministry- Provide direct ministry to service member in situations of disciplinary action, including visits to confinement facilities. Provide additional support to family members.Supplemental Ministry- Provide referrals of clergy, religious groups and supporting agencies for other military personnel (recruiters, liaisons and support staff).
19 HOW TO BECOME A MEPS CHAPLAIN Anyone who is clergy can approach the MEPS commander about becoming a MEPS chaplain.This is not advised however, since many MEPS commanders are not aware they can have chaplains that are volunteer in nature.
20 WHAT HAS WORKED FOR USWe have been successful by issuing a letter from the Milwaukee MEPS Chaplain for the prospective MEPS chaplain to the respective MEPS commander. This letter includes an introduction to the MEPS Volunteer Chaplain Program and information concerning the prospective chaplain along with the chaplain’s biography. This then is approved by the Milwaukee MEPS commander to be ed and/or mailed to the other commander.
21 WHAT HAS WORKED FOR US con’t. The prospective applicant then should wait 7-10 days and call the MEPS station to see if he can arrange an appointment to meet the commander.The commander will either take you on board or tell you he doesn’t need a chaplain.He may first want to contact the Milwaukee commander or MEPCOM for clarification concerning the program.
22 WHAT HAS WORKED FOR US con’t. If the commander is interested, give him a realistic amount of time you can volunteer each week and your availability per telephone. That should be a 24/7 availability per phone.
23 CHAPLAIN AS STAFF OFFICER In the military the chaplain is a staff officer and present at commanders staff meetings. This may or may not be extended to you as a MEPS chaplain. If it is, then participate in the meeting.
24 CHAPLAIN UNIFORM WEAR AT THE MEPS The commander determines what he may or may not want a chaplain to wear while ministering at the MEPS. Some chaplains may belong to civilian organizations as the USOSC (United States Operational Support Command). The commander may allow uniform wear of this type.
25 CHAPLAIN UNIFORM WEAR AT THE MEPS CON’T The uniform should always conform to the uniform standards set by the organization it represents in a proper fashion. This includes appropriate awards, ribbons and unit patches. Chaplains should avoid wearing any active duty military patches or unit markings unless specifically designated by the MEPS commander.
26 CHAPLAIN UNIFORM WEAR AT THE MEPS CON’T Improper unit patch wear could result in dismissal from the MEPS chaplaincy or your sponsoring organization.
27 TRAINING DAYSMEPS station periodically have training days either monthly or quarterly. They usually occur on Fridays or Mondays. If you are invited to these you may be asked to take part by addressing the troops or teaching a lesson on how to reduce stress or some such subject.
28 COMMANDER’S CALLThe Air Force commanders have a commander’s call. This is when the commander may arrange training, instruction or days of recognition. If invited you may be asked to briefly address the troops on some subject.
29 PRAYING AT PUBLIC EVENTS This area has been a problem among Bible believers in the military chaplaincy. This was seen recently in the case of the Navy chaplain who was disciplined for the problem. “Jesus name” usually is discouraged from use and a generic name used for deity or God. This clashes with Biblical mandates for Bible believing people.
30 HOW TO PRAY AT PUBLIC EVENTS WITHOUT COMPROMISE Chaplain Mike Marshall, Milwaukee MEPS chaplain, has used a prayer form concept for a number of years with Army, Air Force Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Joint Services events. He has had no problems or repercussions praying in Jesus name when done this way. He has actually been commended by commanders for thinking of a way to pray but not excluding others in the audience. It does not exclude others from other faiths to pray, but encourages them to do so while he prays the way he is commanded to pray. The next slide features a sample prayer using this technique.
31 HOW TO PRAY AT PUBLIC EVENTS WITHOUT COMPROMISE This method does not exclude others from other faiths to pray, but encourages them to do so while the chaplain prays the way he is commanded to pray. The next slide features a sample prayer using this technique.
32 HOW TO PRAY AT PUBLIC EVENTS WITHOUT COMPROMISE Sample introduction, remarks and prayer:Today we have here people from many different faith groups and religions. Since I have been asked today lead in prayer, I ask you to pray in the way your faith group prays silently or in a subdued manner while I lead in prayer the way my faith group prays.Prayer In Jesus name, Amen.
33 COUNSELING WITH INDUCTEES Legally MEPS chaplains are not allowed to encourage or discourage inductees to join or abort their intent to join the military. You may help them explore their options but the choice must be theirs or legal ramifications can result with the command for your actions.
34 COUNSELING WITH PERSONNEL Be careful not to get caught in between personnel and the commander. You may listen to any complaints, etc. but be careful about your answer that could wrongly quoted by the said personnel such as: “The chaplain agreed with me that the commander is out of line,” could be used against you when you never meant it that way. Others usually hear what they want to hear so make it clear what you mean. It is best to listen and not comment substantially.
35 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS Your commander may allow you to pass out Bibles and literature. Remember you cannot force or coerce any applicant to take a bible or literature or to converse with you.
36 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS CON’T In the view of the MEPS mission, applicants are not there for purposes of evangelism. Evangelistic opportunities will present themselves often. This then can be done in the proper time and setting with the applicant’s permission.
37 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS CON’T The inductees are there for the MEPS mission, be inducted into the U.S. Armed Services. Stay out of the way so MEPS personnel can do their job. Work around the MEPS task and mission. Be flexible.
38 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS CON’T Remember where you are. This is not your church and you don’t command this place, the commander does.Pray and the Lord will open the opportunities for soul winning if you remain alert to the situation.
39 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS CON’T Gideon’s personnel have been in many of the MEPS for years. They are permitted to pass out Bibles only.Gideon’s are not allowed to pass out any literature such as tracts and are not allowed to counsel with military personnel as does the chaplain.Gideon’s sometimes are turf conscious and may resent the fact you can do things they are not allowed to do here.In some cases they are made reportable to the MEPS chaplain depending upon the commander.
40 THE BIBLE AND GOSPELTRACTS CON’T Ordinarily Gideons hand out a pocket version of the NKJV in desert camo. They no longer print the pocket version in KJV.They do however print a KJV in a whole Bible that is hardbound similar to ones found in motel/hotel rooms.Sometimes they will supply you with the whole Bible or even the NKJV pocket versions if you choose.
41 THE BIBLE AND GOSPEL TRACTS CON’T Bibles will be hard to keep stocked so use people like Bearing Precious Seed and other organizations to obtain Bibles for the troops.Avoid gospel tracts on issues like Christmas Trees, rock music and other such things. You have one shot to reach them so keep it on salvation. Use your head. This is not a church.
42 SWEARING IN CEREMONYA swearing in ceremony is a very solemn event. Parents and friends are invited to join the applicant in a special room set aside for that purpose.They will be allowed to take picturesThe room will usually be one with red carpet the military logos for each service on the wall and the American and service branch flags. The Army flag will contain a plethora of battle ribbons on its staff.
43 CELL PHONES ON THE MEPS FLOOR Cell phones are not usually allowed when you are on the MEPS floor. This is for security reasons and for purposes to protect information and/or test answers from being exchanged electronically. If you cell phone rings or you need to make a call go outside or to an acceptable location inside the building.
44 MINISTRY OF PRESENCEWhile at the MEPS practice a ministry of presence. Move around and visit the different branch offices letting them know who you are.Stay out of the way while work is going on but you can converse with personnel when they are able.Try to touch bases with everyone that you can where practical.
45 CAUTIONSNever lead people to believe or imply that you are Department of Defense personnel.Always be forthright letting them know you are a MEPS volunteer chaplain.You do however, provide a service for the Department of Defense by volunteering your services at your respective MEPS station.
46 SUGGESTED MEPS TEAM MINISTRY SCHEDULING During the on site duty day the chaplain is responsible for that day from 0800 to the next day at 0800 (24 hours). He may serve 4 hours on site during that time. He then has 4 onsite hours and 20 on call (standby) hours. Each chaplain should do duty weekends being on call. That is a 48 hour on call (standby) period and would be reported as such.
47 TEAM MINISTRY HOURLY REPORTS For reporting purposes the totals may look like the example below:144 onsite hours annually1346 on call (Weekends and weekdays) hours annually_____________________________________________ TOTAL: 1,490 combined onsite and on call hours
48 MILITARY CHAPLAINSMilitary chaplains from nearby bases may provide coverage for the local MEPS making it unnecessary for you to minister there.Chaplains can be very “turf conscious” about volunteer chaplains for a number of reasons. Some reason are valid.Any time they question your ministry there make it plain you are not there to replace them but to “supplement” their coverage only.
49 MILITARY CHAPLAINS CON’T Sometimes civilian chaplains are employed as “contract chaplains.”The military chaplain may feel threatened by this.Inform them you are not a contract chaplain but there to supplement only.
50 RANK STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED SERVICES by Rod Powers, About.comThree terms are important when discussing authority and responsibility in the military: rank, rate, and grade. A military member's "rank" determines their status and authority in comparison to other military members. The Navy/Coast Guard calls it "rate," for enlisted sailors. The other services refer to it as "rank."
51 RANK STRUCTURE CON’TGrade" is used for personnel and pay functions. Military personnel across the services receive the same base pay, based on their rank and time-in-service. But as the "ranks" are named differently in different services, so save confusion, "grade" is used. For example, the lowest enlisted rank in the Air Force is called "Airman Basic." That person is in the grade of E-1, and receives the same basic pay as an E-1 in the Army, who has the "rank" of "Private." An E-2 in the Air Force is termed "Airman."
52 RANK STRUCTURE CON’THe/she is in the same pay grade as an E-2 in the Marine Corps, which is a "Private First Class." The "E-2" indicates they are one step above the lowest enlisted rank (E-1 is lowest, E-2 is next, E-3, E-4, etc., all the way up to E-9), no matter what their "rank" is called by their respective branch of service.
53 RANK STRUCTURE CON’TThere are three general categories of rank/rate: Enlisted personnel, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers.
54 RANK STRUCTURE CON’TAll commissioned officers "out-rank" all warrant officers and enlisted members. All warrant officers "outrank" all enlisted members.
55 RANK STRUCTURE CON’TIn other words, a brand new commissioned officer in the grade of O-1, would "out-rank" a grisly old Army Sergeant Major, in the grade of E-9 (however, any 2nd lieutenant stupid enough to unnecessarily "pull rank" on such would quickly find him/herself having a talk with his/her own boss).
56 RANK STRUCTURE CON’TTo view the rank structure insignias please visit the site at usmilitary.about.com and download the charts for your files.