The Army is now fielding a new piece of equipment called a “Chapel in a Box.” It’s a self-contained chapel for use by chaplains of all faiths in the field. There’s an interesting description of the unit, but it’s also interesting that there’s such a demand for religious services by soldiers on deployment.
- “I just came back from Afghanistan,” said Mike Hope, chief of the combat field-service equipment team for the Natick-based U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center. “They have to set 10, 12 different times because soldiers want (to worship).”
And wherever they set up these units, they increase morale (although how one calculates morale to a percentage is beyond me).
- Before a containerized chapel arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, soldiers had to worship in the air terminal, said Wheatley, who recently returned from the field. “Attendance went up 55 percent once they had a unit in place,” he said. “Morale went way up real fast. Those containerized systems are like gold.”