FT JACKSON, S.C. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps recently relocated and consolidated its chaplain and enlisted religious program specialist (RP) training schools from Newport, R.I and Meridian, Miss. to a new facility at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.
The new facility, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, is collocated with the Air Force Chaplain Corps College and the U.S. Army Chaplain School and Center at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center.
Although the center will hold its official dedication ceremony sometime in early 2010, it is already hosting new students.
Collocating the three military chaplaincy schools satisfies a decision by the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
According to the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Board of June 2006, "The three chaplain schools will prepare chaplains and chaplain assistants/religious program specialists to serve in their respective wartime and peacetime service-unique roles and missions... providing necessary service-unique training, the center will consolidate training where appropriate."
In 2007, the Navy Chaplain's School transitioned from a department within Officer Training Command, Newport to a shore activity under the auspices of Naval Education and Training Command, Naval Personnel Development Command, and the Center for Service Support in order to support its relocation to Fort Jackson and its collocation with the Army and Air Force schools.
Along with chaplains, religious program specialists will also be trained at the Chaplaincy Center. Religious program specialists, who provide administrative and technical support for chaplains, were previously trained at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Meridian, Miss.
The Navy Chaplain Corps' mission is to maintain a chaplain corps and religious program specialist rating which deliver religious accommodation, care, and advisement, to strengthen faith, values, and virtues, so that Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Merchant Marines and their families may best serve our country. The Naval Chaplaincy School and Center is responsible for training chaplains and RP's to perform this vital mission.
For more news from Chaplain Corps, visit www.navy.mil/local/crb/.