By (Courtesy article)
3d Medical Command (Deployment Support)
Those of us in the military know, chaplains serve directly alongside Soldiers, providing for their spiritual needs, improving morale, and aid both deployed and in garrison. The 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support) has over 60 Chaplains, Chaplain Candidates and Religious Affairs Specialists.
Making this support successful requires a team effort between Chaplains and the Religious Specialists. Chaplain (Capt.) Tierra Fincher and Master Sgt. Bianca Scott are examples of work both at the direct Soldier level, and too often hidden, support level.
Chaplain (Capt.) Tierra Fincher, 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support), is currently providing religious and resiliency support for U.S. Army Reserve, Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force Soldiers, in Gallup, New Mexico.
Fincher and her team are supporting U. S. Army North (Fifth Army), who has deployed over 4,400 military medical personnel to 68 hospitals, in 48 cities, in 14 states and the Navajo Nation, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in support of the whole-of-government response to the #COVID-19 pandemic.
For Army Chaplains like Fincher, resiliency is a way to strengthen the spirit. Regardless of their individual beliefs, Fincher supports Soldiers mobilized in COVID-19 relief, by finding commonality of life experiences, revival and persistence.
Fincher provides chapel services, a daily devotion for encouragement and coordinates Morale Welfare and Recreation events to build and maintain resiliency for the UAMTF team members. Recently, Fincher participated with a small group of UAMTF Soldiers on a nature walk at a nearby National Park, to allow UAMTF Soldiers the opportunity to take a short break and recharge in nature.
In addition, Fincher, has built relationships with organizations such as the United Service Organization for snack, toiletry and religious book donations and Kirtland Air Force Base for virtual art classes.
Large or small, no matter the hour, everything Fincher and her team (Including her Religious Support NCO, Sgt. Ryan Owens) do is designed to assist the UAMTF Soldiers and keep them engaged.
Closer to home, Master Sgt. Scott, Master Religious Affairs NCO, provides day-to-day planning and support to the Chaplain teams and detachments dispersed across the 3d MC(DS) through assisting with training and mentorship.
In addition to supporting well know programs like Strong Bonds, Scott works to provide spiritual and religious support to all 3d MC(DS) Soldiers through her weekly “Words of Wisdom” to the command.
For Scott, ensuring Soldiers stay connected, engaged and positive as Soldiers adjusted to Virtual Battle Assemblies and distancing has been a primary focus over the last year.
By combining spirituality and resilience in her words, Scott works to remind Soldiers to not forget to take care of themselves with topics focusing on “Staying Armored,” “Reset” and “Gratitude”.
One of the priority tenants for the entire Religious Support team, beyond Fincher and Scott, is if Soldiers are to be fully equipped to fight, they need to be spiritually resilient.