By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Frank L. Andrews, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs
CORONADO, Calif. – Religious Program Specialists from various San Diego based commands participated in career development training hosted by Naval Special Warfare Command RPs at the Inchon auditorium on Naval Base Coronado, Mar. 19.
RPC Lanae Galang is the senior RP at NSW Headquarters in Coronado. As the training facilitator, she spoke about her experiences with NSW members, explained the duty characteristics of an RP within the NSW community and the unique training, requirements and career advancing opportunities.
“The character of an RP must to be ethically, intellectually, professionally and physically prepared to serve their country and humanity, and be strong in their resolve to build on the long heritage and proud accomplishments of the United States Navy,” said Galang. “RPs bring a specific set of knowledge, skills and abilities to the community.”
Each month the training is located at a different Navy base in the San Diego area and is hosted by RPs from various naval platforms and bases.
“The point of this training is to change the location and topic for discussing for each monthly meeting”, said RPC Patrick McCormick the senior enlisted advisor for Religious Ministries and Region Chaplains community at Commander, Navy Region Southwest. “We typically do a lot of didactic training in the chapels. This type of training gives RPs insight on the various duty options out there.”
RP1 Kevin Johnson from Commander, Naval Surface Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet attended the meeting and said he benefited from Chief Galang’s presentation and that it broadened his career horizon.
“As a 1st Class Petty Officer you’re always thinking about the next step in your career so it is good to learn about the roles RPs play in different platforms”, said Johnson. “Especially since I’m up for Chief, I always want to learn about what I can do differently to set myself apart from the rest when the chief’s board looks at my records.”
RPs provide Chaplains with the administrative, technical and logistical support they need to carry out the religious programs and services. They also carry the responsibility of ensuring the safety of Chaplains who are noncombatants and not authorized to bear arms. RPs are trained as combatants, and one of their essential duties is to protect Chaplains.