Chaplain Initial Military Training (CIMT) is a three-week period of indoctrination during which a civilian is transformed into a soldier. All newly commissioned chaplains and chaplain candidates are required to attend CIMT (on a case-to-case basis, some prior service chaplains are given exemption) before they proceed to Phase I of the Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course (CH-BOLC). In the tradition of the United States Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS), student chaplains and chaplain candidates will “earn” the beret when they graduate from CIMT. The “Beret Donning Ceremony” was done on the last day of CIMT and marked a chaplain’s graduation from initial military training. From then he or she can proceed to the next phases of BOLC.
For me, this concludes the first part of my military training. Tomorrow I will head back to Illinois to attend to my parish. Maybe I’ll get lucky next year and find a few weeks off from parish work so I can continue with Phase I with another CH-BOLC cohort.