Navy Chaplains Help Facilitate Warrior Toughness and Resiliency at IWTC Monterey

29 January 2021

From Glenn Sircy

The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain is continuously pursuing and employing the latest support services and resources in support of its number one priority – its people and their families. The Navy Chaplain Corps is one such resource essential to ensuring the CIWT team is always ready to support its mission.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain is continuously pursuing and employing the latest support services and resources in support of its number one priority – its people and their families. The Navy Chaplain Corps is one such resource essential to ensuring the CIWT team is always ready to support its mission.

“I can personally attest to the inspiring impact our Navy Chaplain Corps delivers to the entire force and their families,” said Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer of CIWT. “I am inspired how our chaplains lean forward to provide a powerful support structure for our Sailors and Marines to maintain a high level of performance within our intense learning environments. The Chaplains are a linchpin across the spectrum of maintaining a balance of mind, body, and spirit.”

At the direction and coordination of CIWT and Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey leaders, to include CIWT domain Navy Chaplain Cmdr. John Ismach-Eastman, dedicated full-time Chaplain support for Sailors and Marines onboard IWTC Monterey is currently being evaluated by Navy Reserve Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Dolder, who is temporarily in Monterey to assess the current landscape and determine what are the needed resources that can speak to the emotional, mental and spiritual needs of Sailors and Marines.

Since there is currently no Navy chaplain assigned to support Sailors and Marines, a total population of 825 Sailors and Marines that includes 89 permanent staff managing students and 736 students attending courses offered by Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), they are currently supported by one Army Chaplain, which pulls that Chaplain from the Army’s needs.

In the short three weeks onboard IWTC Monterey, Dolder has been very busy and engaged, participating in numerous unit events, providing over 150 personnel visitations, and visiting over 30 workspaces during her assessment with key military unit and religious leaders, staff, and students, to thoroughly compile a recommendation to the way ahead.

“Due to the unique service cultures of both the Navy and Marine Corps, the demands for counseling caused by academic stress, anxiety associated with COVID-19 restrictions along with the increase in suicide ideation, and the many other needs and life uncertainties facing leadership, staff, student population, and families, a full-time Navy Chaplain onboard IWTC Monterey to support Sailors and Marines is imperative,” shared Dolder. “A Navy Chaplain will be a vital enhancer to resiliency, readiness, and well-being for the Sailors and Marines, especially in this intense learning environment where mostly young adults are taking part in specialized studies while continuing to become adults and learn what it means to be a Sailor or Marine.”

Ismach-Eastman, who operates out of Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, persistently advocates to ensure the entire CIWT domain of approximately 1,200 military, civilian and contracted staff members who oversee the training of roughly 22,000 information warfare professionals annually at four information warfare training commands, a detachment, and additional learning sites located throughout the United States and Japan, have the appropriate chaplaincy resources to fight and win.

“Our Navy Chaplain resources provide an indispensable element to the mission at hand, and Chaplain Dolder’s assessment and recommendation is highly appreciated and valued,” shared Ismach-Eastman. “As a vital element of the Navy team that helps build personal, unit, and family readiness strengthening spirit, moral character, and toughness, we also seek to refine the elements of a holistically complete service member through faith in the Creator (for most), core values, and morality. When applied, these core elements offer a more mentally, physically and spiritually capable ready Sailor and Marine.”

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
 
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