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Interview with CH William Breckenridge.
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CollectionOperational Leadership Experiences
TitleInterview with CH William Breckenridge.
AbstractChaplain (CH) Breckenridge opens his interview with a discussion of how he joined the Army as a mid-30s adult. He describes the process of completing the Chaplain's Candidacy Course and his initial impressions of the Army. Breckenridge details his arrival at his first operational unit, and his experiences with training for deployment. He describes his arrival in Kuwait and the consequent realization of his presence in a hostile combat zone as a "Jacob wrestling with God" moment. CH Breckenridge describes his experiences with conducting Hero missions - the dignified and ceremonial movement of a deceased Soldier's remains off the battlefield - as a major shock. Breckenridge relates how he had no training or warning of his requirement to participate in the missions, yet had to conduct two missions early in his deployment. He describes the arriving at the pickup point, and performing a short but professional ceremony in order to minister to the grieving unit. Breckenridge closes his vignette by characterizing the Hero missions as "difficult but useful in forcing him to get out and interact with Soldiers." CH Breckenridge makes an interesting comparison between church planting as a civilian minister, and his assumption of Chaplain duties in a new unit "since there isn't an established church and congregation." Breckenridge observes how many Soldiers carry negative stereotypes of Army Chaplains; stereotypes which are often perpetuated by "Chaplains coming across as unplanned and not interested in Soldier's needs." In his final vignette, CH Breckenridge explains his method for earning trust and credibility with his unit Soldiers by regularly visiting workplaces, sharing experiences, and making himself available for small talk. Breckenridge notes the importance of gaining credibility "when First Sergeants accept you around their Soldiers, then you are in."
KeywordsOperation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); Iraq War, 2003-; 3-1 Aviation; CAB; Fort Riley, Kansas; COB Speicher; Hero Missions
IntervieweeCaptain (CH) William Breckenridge
InterviewerMAJ Allen Skinner
PublisherFort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute,
Date of Interview2010-03-02
Resource TypeTextual
FormatPDF; Adobe Acrobat Reader required; 11 p.; 116 KB.
Original FormatWAV file; 52:41 minutes
Distribution StatementApproved for public release; distribution is unlimited
RepositoryCombined Arms Research Library
DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed in these interviews are those of the interviewees themselves and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Combat Studies Institute, the US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, or the Department of the Army as a whole.
Date created2010-05-22
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