Earlier this month I attended the Air Force Chaplain Corps Summit.
The chaplain summit is the annual gathering of Air Force, major command and wing-level chaplain corps leaders to hear from Air Force leadership, review the needs of the force and determine ways to meet those needs, from our perspective as providers of spiritual care.
As I grew up in the chaplain corps, this meeting was the monumental event that I hoped to attend someday. This spring I was finally able to attend, and yes it was epic. Seeing the Air Force chief of staff, the secretary of the Air Force, the chief of chaplains and other leaders was inspiring. I could not begin to tell you everything I heard, but the greatest take away for me was this simple concept — our Air Force chaplain corps exists for Airmen.
We exist to take care of the Airmen who have been entrusted to us. Moms and Dads send their sons and daughters to us with the expectation that they will be taken care of as they fulfill the mission of defending our country. Your chapel team will do all within our power to meet the needs of our Airmen.
That’s why we have two chaplains physically located in the units. It’s why we have the Spiritual Maintenance Center, to provide hospitality ministry to our hard working Airmen on the flightline. That’s why we have the Oasis Airmen Ministry Center to care for our dorm dwellers. That’s why we have a monthly deployed family dinner and flightline feast to meet and interact with Airmen and their families. That’s why we conduct worship services each weekend to meet the religious needs of our Airmen and to prepare our team to meet the wartime requirement of providing religious services in theater.
We exist for Airmen. Our goal is to interact with our Airmen with such frequency that they will see us as safe people with whom they can talk when times get rough.
We exist for Airmen. We fulfill our physical training requirements, meet all the mandated training obligations and we deploy just like all other Airmen. We do this because it is a price worth paying for the privilege of caring for Airmen who do amazing things to defend our nation. We exist for Airmen.
Thanks for your service and sacrifice.