Even in cases where a DRE is serving, a senior
RP can provide that vital link between civilian and
military to coordinate the program. In this
function, the RP is not acting as the DRE,
chaplain, or curriculum instructor, but rather as
one who enables, one who provides, one who
monitors, one who assists, one who informs, and
one who evaluates.
SPECIFIC TASKS INVOLVED IN
There are four specific tasks related to
coordinating religious education programs. These
four tasks are addressed in the following sections.
Assisting the Chaplain in the
Recruitment of Volunteers
In order to have a continuous religious
education program to benefit military members
and their families, volunteers are needed in every
facet of the program. Volunteers who assist in the
operation of the religious education program not
only are helping the students but also, in a very
true sense, are benefiting the Navy.
It is established, then, that volunteers are
needed. But, will they show up in droves to set
the religious education program in motion?
Hardly. If even one lay person would volunteer
through a sense of service or loyalty, then that
would certainly be a banner day for the Command
Volunteers should be made fully aware of
what they are being asked to volunteer for. For
example: A volunteer is needed to teach the
Protestant Sunday School curriculum during 1986
to the 4- and 5-year-olds. Curriculum analysis may
be involved. Logistical support and teacher
training will be provided.
Sometimes lay persons who are fully qualified
and available to volunteer for any facet of
the religious education program are reluctant
to offer their services because of previous
unpleasant experiences. For example: I volun-
teered to serve as Sunday School secretary at our
last duty station because I had done that in our
church back home. Little did I know that there
was much more to it than keeping attendance
records. After a couple of weeks I was tasked with
teaching the high school class. If they wanted a
teacher, why didnt they say so instead of
Since there are frequent transfers of personnel,
the recruiting effort must be a continual process.
If possible, substitute teachers should be identified
as well. Illnesses of teachers or leave periods must
be taken into account, and alternate teachers may
be needed or some classes may have to be
combined for a session or two.
The actual recruiting, interviewing, and assign-
ing of volunteers are functions of the chaplain.
However, the RP can greatly assist the chaplain
in the identification of prospective volunteers.
This can be accomplished in the following ways:
The chaplain may choose to conduct an
actual survey of command personnel and their
families, at which time the need for volunteers can
be emphasized and talent searches can be
The chaplain may choose to distribute a
command religious program questionnaire, such
as the one shown in figure 6-4.
The chaplain may seek volunteers from
responses made on pew cards available at religious
The chaplain may emphasize the need for
volunteers at welcome aboard briefings.
If a survey is ordered by the chaplain, the RP
should check the results of any previous surveys.
In order to have a worthwhile program of
religious education, assigned personnel and their
families must be aware that a program exists and
that a chaplain and RP staff are present to make
the program function. Target areas for a survey
should include all work spaces and all family
housing areas. On a survey, the leading RP should
accompany the chaplain to record survey infor-
mation. Many questions concerning any facet of
the Command Religious Program could be
answered by these two individuals working in
It should be remembered that the chaplains
key function in the recruitment of volunteers is
to elicit a religious commitment from individuals.
This function should not be conducted by RPs,
because it relates to the chaplains responsibility
as a member of the clergy.
Individuals who may be thinking about
volunteering to assist in the religious education
program should be permitted to state their
preference for the areas in which they would like
to serve rather than being pushed into a