Chaplains Lead Paratroop Jump: All Things Through Christ

An official Army article describes a fascinating tradition of the Army honoring the patron saint of paratroopers, Saint Michael, with a parajump training event:

The Saint Michael’s Jump is meant to celebrate the airborne community’s patron saint and promote spiritual resiliency across the Division.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact the jump is explicitly a chaplain’s event:

[T]he Saint Michael’s Jump is significant in several ways, starting with the way a paratrooper qualifies to get on the jump.

“You have to go through a spiritual training event with your unit chaplain,” said [Chaplain (Col) Randy] Griffin… “That could be a physical fitness spiritual event or some other type of formal spiritual fitness event…”

Then on the day of the jump…the chaplains have an opportunity to help instill encouragement, hope and courage into their paratroopers. Sometimes this is through prayer, sustained airborne training or when they perform jumpmaster duties during the jump.

And, of course, there are direct analogies to the military profession and the Christian walk:

“The Scriptures say ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ for ‘With God all things are possible,’” said [Chaplain (Capt) Hank] Mauterer. “If you make sure you’re properly connected, to God and family, when you’re jumping out of an airplane in flight you can boldly leap forth with confidence and defeat the enemy.”

Well said. Read more.


One comment

  • Well this article mad me sad again–because my friend SPC Nick Roberts died jumping out of an airplane that was [supposedly] determined to be a bad exit and poor performance by jumpmasters. Guess Nick didn’t have Saint Michael on his side or the benefit of Chaplain (Col) Randy Griffin’s spiritual event.

    Reading things like this not so fascinating tradition will never help anyone, its just a dangerous thing to do and you take your life in your own hands making the leap. Statics may prove this to be rare, but telling our soldiers a deity or faith will protect them is not really the truth; accidents happen, nothing can prevent them.

    Peace, and long life.