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Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.
Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.

National chaplain shortage hits New York's Army National Guard

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The National Guard has solved its recruiting problem, for the most part, finding plenty of rank-and-file soldiers willing to sign up. But here in New York and across the country reserve units are struggling to find enough clergy willing to serve as chaplains. All the Guard services are scrambling to bring more religious into their ranks, but the Army National Guard has the deepest shortage. In New York, only 8 out of 24 chaplain's posts are filled. And there are no Roman Catholic priests serving in the Army Guard despite the fact that nearly half the soldiers are Catholic. Brian Mann sat down to talk about the problem with Colonel Eric Olsen from Saranac Lake. He's the state chaplain for New York's State Division of Military Affairs.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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