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Navy RP Training Returns to its Original Home

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (NNS) -- Navy Religious Program Specialist (RP) training returned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Feb. 25, after about a 10-year absence.

RP training moved to Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 2009. The relocation was part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission mandated collocation of schools to design and foster closer cooperation among the three military chaplain corps.

“The Fort Jackson community was a gracious host for almost a decade; however, the return to Meridian is vital for continued professional growth which provides systematic, comprehensive leader development of our RPs,” said Capt. Steve Moses, commanding officer, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NSCS), who was present to welcome the inaugural class. “The relocation to Meridian allows our RPs the opportunity to develop as leaders and Sailors alongside their Navy enlisted counterparts.”

RP “A” School, or initial skills training following boot camp, conducts classes at NAS Meridian through an NCSC learning site. Twenty students are enrolled in the first RP class.

“The training conducted here in Meridian is an important first step in the development of our enlisted personnel,” said Senior Chief Religious Program Specialist Tameca Brown, NCSC’s senior enlisted advisor. “We must ensure that our religious ministry teams are agile and adaptive in ministry that supports the warfighter.”

Almost 200 RPs graduate from NCSC residence courses each year to prepare them to deliver professional religious ministry to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Merchant Marine. Another 300 RPs receive professional development training annually through mobile training teams.

RPs play a critical role in helping the Department of the Navy achieve and maintain a ready force. Religious ministry teams are agents of individual spiritual readiness and unit cohesion. They encourage communication, help to resolve inner struggles, highlight strategies for personal and family harmony, and contribute to a ready spirit. They promote the character qualities that empower individuals to overcome adversity and help build the esprit of our Navy and Marine Corps team. RPs are embedded within commands operating at sea and ashore to ensure 24/7 availability for service members and their families.

For more information on NCSC, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/chaplain/Default.aspx

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