HomeNewsArticle Display

Chaplain team builds faith with Airmen

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The room buzzed with tension as Airmen stressed to complete all necessary preparations for the Patriot Wyvern scenario. As he entered the room he smiled, putting members of the 349th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at ease.

For Chaplain (Maj.) Matthew Ellis, for the 349th Air Mobility Wing, interacting with military members during exercises helps build relationships and a healthy level of comfort for Airmen.

Ellis and fellow 349th AMW chaplain teams were accompanied by the Air Force Reserve Command chaplain team as they participated in exercise scenarios at Travis Air Force Base Feb. 11, 2017.

One of the difficulties for the Chaplain Corps is having the ability to spend time and build trust with the Airmen, Ellis said.

Fighting against time is the battle for these noncombatants.

Chaplains struggle to balance mission requirements while nurturing positive connections with Airmen, Ellis said.

Exercises such as Patriot Wyvern give chaplains an opportunity to integrate with Airmen.

Ellis worked with the 349th ASTS Airmen during the transportation of communicable disease victims scenario, and later rode in a convoy with the 349th Security Forces Squadron.

“You’ll find that we are very creative on how we visit work centers,” said Chief Master Sgt. Darmel Richardson, the AFRC individual mobilization augmentee chaplain assistant functional manager. “We take advantage of formations where we can expose who we are, so we can develop a rapport with Airmen.”

Engaging with Airmen is pinnacle to the success of the Chaplain Corps operations.

“We have to continually assess the needs of the Airmen and get feedback to modify our mission set to serve their needs,” Richardson said.

Patriot Wyvern allowed Airmen to interact with their chaplain team, and gain shared experiences that acquaint them to this personal resource.

Using occasions like Patriot Wyvern to cultivate familiarity can increase an individual’s opportunity to express concern or discuss private issues with the Chaplain Corps.

“Chaplains and chaplain assistants alike offer complete confidentiality, so counseling can be sought without any formal repercussion,” Richardson said.

Though a resource for all Airmen, the Chaplain Corps’ purpose can be misinterpreted.

There is a myth that chaplains are only for people who are spiritual or religious, and that’s very much not the case, Ellis said.

It is a chaplain’s duty to provide protection for Airmen’s First Amendment rights.

The Chaplain Corps is about allowing individuals to express their own faith, whatever that may be, Richardson said.

Chaplain (Col.) Randy A. Marshall, of the AFRC deputy command, provided mentorship and guidance to his fellow chaplains in addition to engaging with Airmen during his visit.

Chaplains need words of encouragement too, they need to know that they are valued, Marshall said.

“Ministry is people,” Marshall said. “When we forget that, we’ve forgotten our whole mission.”


Facebook Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: What an honor to accompany @SecAFOfficial on her first trip to meet our deployed #Airmen. Looking forward to introduci…
#USAF's 555th Fighter Squadron a.k.a the Triple Nickel and their F-16 Fighting Falcons recently deployed for the fi… https://t.co/0qCMua0WAi
RT @FedExField: Swearing-In Ceremony during the @Redskins #SaluteToService Game. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/pox97AAekX
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Watch USAFE-AFAFRICA Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Basham & @RoyalAirForce Air Marshal Gerry M. Mayhew explain why our strong U.…
RT @cmsaf18: “You (don’t) become a #leader by fighting your way to the top. Rather, you become a leader by helping others to the top.” - W…
RT @USAFCENT: SHARED COMMITMENT | The Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, Staff MG Pilot Salem Bin Hamad Al-Nabet, met with Lt. Gen. Gu…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Our teams at the @AFResearchLab are forever #innovating ... even in the ways they approach problem solving! #creativity #Airme
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Let there be no mistake about our continued commitment to the region. I look forward to continuing the important dialo…
RT @DeptofDefense: A @usairforce airman w/the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, performs refuel training w/ROK Air Force F-16D Falcon during a…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: When you spend 24 hour alerts in the silo, it becomes a second home… Learn about how the 341st Force Support Squadron a…
.@GenDaveGoldfein engaged recruits this past #VeteransDay weekend, asking each why they chose to serve prior to con… https://t.co/vToX52rixv
RT @USAFCENT: DETERRENCE | Check out the view from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 as it refuels F-22 Raptors and U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers over no…
RT @AFSpace: The Vandenberg Tracking Station is a remote station in Calif., operating w/in the Air Force Satellite Control Network. This st…
#Airmen at @CannonAFB_ rolled out a new smart toolkit to help improve productivity and overall efficiency for work… https://t.co/DFsNQqVDz8
As America’s top cover, ICBM operators have the Specialty Code of 13N, allowing #USAF to recognize these profession… https://t.co/G6aNX0FSLI
RT @USAFCENT: INTEROPERABILITY | A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft refuels a USAF F-22 Raptor, Nove…
DYK - Pitch Day events are continuing @AFLCMC Nov. 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio. #USAF's Life Cycle Management Center is r… https://t.co/LH5XmKuVff
You'll want to add this one to your playlist. https://t.co/aZXefMZocR