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CAP Chaplain Corps Emergency Services Training Program

The world of emergency management has grown and expanded in recent years. As we strive to follow the best practices of the military and top emergency response organizations it has become clear that the team concept is the most effective way to respond to emergencies and disasters. Our new Mission Chaplain (MC) and Chaplain Support Specialist (CSS) programs help position us for relevance and impact in 21st century emergency response.

Here are latest changes in the Mission Chaplain (MC) and new Chaplain Support Specialist (CSS) training programs. For mission support, we now will endeavor to send in a team, the Chaplain Support Team (CST), consisting of MCs and CSSs.

For all currently qualified Mission Chaplains (under the old program), you are still qualified for CAP missions until your expiration date. After that time, you will need to re-qualify into the new program, as only the new SQTRs are now in eServices.

Goals of the Program

The need to acquire a sufficient cadre of trained, qualified Mission Chaplains (MC) and GES qualified CDI personnel, adequately equipped to respond to and support large-scale, long-term, sustained missions in the CAP has long been a pressing issue for our Chaplain Corps. This need was also addressed in a finding by the Secretary of Defense following the inquiry into the Fort Hood shooting in early 2013. The specific findings relative to CAP were: Finding 56, "The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Chaplain Corps Region Staff College does not include training on mass casualty response."; and, Finding 56.1 continues, "Air Force Chief of Chaplains and the CAP should review and to ensure CAP Chaplains are prepared to respond to the full range of emergencies, to include mass casualties."

The process for providing the kind of Emergency Services (ES) training, as described above, for all Chaplain Corps personnel is the CAP Mission Chaplain (MC) and Chaplain Support Specialist (CSS) Emergency Services Training and Ratings Program. The process is carried out via the Chaplain Corps Emergency Service School (ChESS) which is an established ES training school of the CAP National Emergency Services Academy (NESA), located at the Camp Atterbury Joint Training and Maneuvers Base in Edinburg, IN.

The ES training process for CAP Chaplain Corps personnel begins with training to acquire the Basic ES Rating for the Mission Chaplain - CAP Support (MC-CS for Chaplains), and the Chaplain Support Specialist – CAP Support (CSS-CS for CDIs). This will be a NO EXPIRE rating. The goal is to produce a specially trained cadre of individuals to better serve and respond to the regular training, duty, and mission needs of CAP.

The training process continues with training to acquire the Advanced ES Rating for the Mission Chaplain - Disaster Support (MC-DS for Chaplains), and the Chaplain Support Specialist – Disaster Support (CSS-DS for CDIs). The Disaster Support Rating will have a THREE (3) YEAR EXPIRATION requiring recurrent training as per the other ES disciplines in CAP. This will provide a cadre of Emergency Services (ES) trained individuals who are able to give full chaplaincy support to advanced level Disaster Response (DR), Search and Rescue (SAR), Natural Disaster and MassCasualty situations, whether they are training scenarios or “real-world” DR/SAR/Natural Disaster/Mass Casualty Missions CAP is called upon to support.

These trained Chaplain Corps personnel from both Ratings groups will work together to form the Chaplain Support Team (CST). The CST will be comprised of one (1) MC and (1) CSS at the CAP Support level, and two (2) MCs and one (1) CSS at the Disaster Support level.


The prerequisites for both Chaplain and CDI candidates for this program are as follows:

1. Establish CAP Senior Membership
2. Successful completion of CAP Professional Development Level I and II
3. Successful appointment as a CAP Chaplain or CDI
4. Completion of at least one (1) full year as a Chaplain or CDI at the Squadron level. (Exceptions to this requirement will be made for individuals who come into the CAP Chaplain Corps who have served as Chaplains in the Active, Guard or Reserve components of our US Military Branches)
5. Technician Rating in CAPP 40-80 pages 157-162 (for all Chaplain appointed personnel)
6. Technician Rating in CAPP 40-80 pages 170-173 (for all CDI appointed personnel).
7. Pass the General Emergency Services (GES) course 116
8. Pass the CAPT 117 – Parts 1,2,3

Training Locations

Because of the challenge for many of our Chaplain Corps personnel to be able to take a week of time off in their schedule, and the cost challenge involved for getting to various assigned geographical training locations, such as the current training site for NESA which is Camp Atterbury, in Edinburgh, IN, as of 2020, a “VIRTUAL” training track has been developed to be delivered on the ZOOM platform for offering the training needed for acquiring the MC-CS and CSS-CS ratings. This is the primary option available to all Chaplain Corps personnel training at this level. A second option is still available to receive the training for this level by attending the two-week training process of ChESS at NESA. This way the Trainee can acquire the necessary training for both ES ratings and leave NESA with BOTH ratings. This is the quickest option for those who are able to accomplish the time schedule requirement, travel expense, and participation cost to attend NESA.

All training for the Advanced Level MC-DS and CSS-DS ratings is ONLY available at NESA each summer (June or July as scheduled). Due to the specialized training that has to be done at this level, the NESA location and environment provides all the necessary in-person classroom and field training environments to accomplish this. For this reason the Advanced Level Ratings are optional.

A Deeper Look at the Program for Chaplains

Here’s a more detailed look at the two Mission Chaplain ratings:

Mission Chaplain–CAP Support Rating (MC-CS): This will be the primary MC designation (NO EXPIRE) for ALL Chaplain appointed personnel who meet the prerequisites listed above to qualify to begin ES training. This rating prepares the individual to support all CAP duty, training, and mission activity as a part of a Chaplain Support Team. This rating is mandatory for ALL Chaplain Corps personnel and will also serve as the basic prerequisite for the Advanced Level ES Ratings listed below.

Mission Chaplain–Disaster Support Rating (MC-DS): This is the advanced rating for individuals who desire to do more advanced ES training that will prepare them to support all “real world” DR/SAR/Natural Disaster/Mass Casualty Missions CAP could be called to respond to. Chaplains with the DS rating will respond as part of a Chaplain Support Team. This rating will have a three-year expiration requiring

recurrent training. Acquiring this rating is optional and open only to those personnel who desire to do the extra specialized training.

A Deeper Look at the Program for CDIs

Here’s a more detailed look at the two Chaplain Support Specialist ratings:

The designation for CDI appointed personnel in the Chaplain Corps will be “Chaplain Support Specialist” and will be reflected in two ratings for the Chaplain Support Specialist trainees:

Chaplain Support Specialist – CAP Support Rating (CSS-CS): This will be the primary CSS designation (NO EXPIRE) for ALL CDI appointed personnel who meet the prerequisites listed above to qualify to begin ES training, and prepares the individual to support all CAP duty, training, and mission activity as a part of a Chaplain Support Team. This rating will also serve as the basic prerequisite for the Disaster Support Rating.

Chaplain Support Specialist – Disaster Support Rating (CSS-DS): This will be the advanced designation for those individuals who desire to go on to do more advanced ES training that will prepare them to support all “real world”DR/SAR/Natural Disaster/Mass Casualty Missions that CAP could be called on to respond to and support as a part of the Chaplain Support Team.

Curriculum for the MC/CSS CAP Support Rating

1. Prerequisites
– Complete Level 1 Training
– Complete CAP Basic Officers Course
– Serve as a Chaplain/CDI at the Unit/Squadron level for one (1) year 
– Pass GES – General Emergency Services training
– Completion of the CAP Specialty Track Technician Rating in CAPP 40-80, Chapter 19 (Chaplains ONLY)
– Completion of the CAP Speciality Track Technician Rating in CAPP 40-80, Chapter 20 (CDIs ONLY)

2. Familiarization and Preparatory Training
– IS100 – Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS)
– IS200 – ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
– IS700 – Introduction to National Incident Management System (NIMS)
– IS800 D - National Response Framework, An Introduction. 
– ICUT – Introductory Communications User Training

3. Advanced Training
– The Ministry of Presence
– Mission Preparedness
– Mission Reporting
– Duties of the Mission Chaplain
– Duties of the Chaplain Support Specialist
– Chaplain Corps Universal Alert Procedures (CCUAP)
– Spiritual Resiliency

4. Continuing Education Examination
– CAPT 117 ES Continuing Education Exam – Part 3

5. Exercise Participation
– Participate in 2 SAREX/DREX/TTX/VTTX training activities as a MC Trainee at NESA or Virtual Training

6. Monitor/Evaluation/Re-qualification

– This rating will have a “NO EXPIRE” designation.

Curriculum for the Disaster Support Rated MC/CSS

1. Prerequisites
– Mission Chaplain/Chaplain Support Specialist – CS Rating above

2. Familiarization and Preparatory Training
– IS 405 – Overview to Mass Care and Emergency Assistance
– IS-505 - Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disaster
– IS-909 - Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone

3. Advanced Training
– Overview of the ICS, NIMS and WMIRs Systems
– Chaplain Corps Mission Support Operational Procedures (CCMSOP) –
– Crisis Intervention Ministry
– Pastoral Care in Mass Casualty Situations
– The Goal Of Pastoral Care In Crisis Intervention
– Psychological First Aid
– Traumatic Events Management (Chaplains)
– Overview of JG 1-05 Religious Affairs in Joint Operations (Selected Sections)

4. Continuing Education

– These requirements will be added or updated as needed as the scenarios and situations occurring in the real world require a change or update in the knowledgebase, training needs and response requirements that change in the ES community.

5. Exercise/Mission Participation

– Participate in 2 Disaster/Mass Casualty training exercises (SAREX/DREX/TTX/VTTX) at the Squadron/Wing /Region Level or actual Disaster/Mass Casualty missions as a Mission Chaplain Disaster support trainee

6. Monitor/Evaluation/Re-qualification

– These requirements will be monitored, evaluated and renewed on a Tri-annual basis by the ChESS training Staff and MC/CSS-SET qualified personnel listed in eServices.

In Closing

Our goal is to have specially trained CSTs to offer “ministry of presence”, quality spiritual care, and a “representation of the holy” in all of CAP’s activities and missions, as well as to be available to extend help and chaplain support to our communities and nation in times of national emergency and crisis, disaster and mass casualty events, and acts of terrorism. The motto for ChESS is: “RELEVANT TRAINING FOR READY SERVICE!” This new training and ratings program, and our new ChESS training venue insures that – WE WILL BE PRESENT AND PREPARED!

If you need direct help or guidance in any way as you transition into these new programs, feel free to contact the ChESS Senior Staff:

Chaplain, Lt Col Marcus L Taylor, CAP Chaplain Corps Emergency Services School (ChESS) Director/Instructor Email: Phone: (850) 326-7988

Chaplain, Col Linda J Pugsley, CAP Chaplain Corps Emergency Services School (ChESS) Asst. Director/Instructor Email: Phone: (813) 494- 6885

Chaplain, Lt Col Van Don Williams, CAP Chaplain Corps Emergency Services School (ChESS) Registrar/Instructor Email: Phone: (347) 528- 0060

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