Fort Jackson

I’m at Fort Jackson, SC, to attend the Brigade Chaplain Course at the US Army Chaplain Center and School–aka, “The Schoolhouse.”

When I first went to Chaplain Officer Basic Course in 1986 it was at Fort Monmouth, NJ. In family lore that became “Fort St. Monmouth”–I called home to give my parents my address and my youngest brother, then 11, answered the phone. I made sure to spell out the name: “Fort — ‘F’ ‘T’ — Monmouth.” He wrote “Fort St. Monmouth.”

Accommodations are sure a lot nicer than there. In 1986 we had to stay in the USMA Prep School barracks–kind of grungy high school dorm type billets. In 1990, when I was there for phase II, we stayed in the BOQ, which was like a Motel 6. The Fort Jackson Inn, where I am now, is more like the Hilton Garden Inn–I have a very nice two room suite with full kitchen. When I was last here, in 2010, for the Chaplain Captain Career Course (C4), we were the first to stay in this building.

Class starts in the morning. I’m a little restless, so got up to post a blog. We have a weigh-in at 0730, then will be starting the course with a day of retreat. I’ve seen one friend already; I have at least one more in this class. I look forward to making more, as I always do.

It was a busy weekend, starting with a trip to Austin on Friday night for my unit’s Yellow Ribbon event Saturday–a day for the family to experience Death By PowerPoint as they were overwhelmed with pre-deployment briefs on all kinds of subjects. Saturday was also my birthday, and when one person was brought forward to be recognized, my son had to shout out, “It’s my dad’s birthday, too!” Oh well, I have lived another year, and this next one will prove very eventful.