HomeNewsArticle Display

Analyst turned Chaplain committed to providing spiritual resiliency

Chaplain (Maj.) W. James ‘Jim’ Bridgham speaks to an Airman at the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Darnell Cannady)

Chaplain (Maj.) W. James ‘Jim’ Bridgham speaks to an Airman at the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Technical Sgt. Darnell Cannady)

When the search for a new chaplain began at the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, who could have imagined an ISR analyst would be selected to fill those empty shoes. Chaplain (Maj.) W. James ‘Jim’ Bridgham said he can see that his ISR career prepared him for this assignment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Darnell Cannady)

When the search for a new chaplain began at the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, who could have imagined an ISR analyst would be selected to fill those empty shoes. Chaplain (Maj.) W. James ‘Jim’ Bridgham said he can see that his ISR career prepared him for this assignment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Technical Sgt. Darnell Cannady)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- When the search for a new chaplain began at the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, who could have imagined an ISR analyst would be selected to fill those empty shoes?

Chaplain (Maj.) W. James ‘Jim’ Bridgham said he can see that his ISR career prepared him for this assignment.

“I understand the stress of shift work and the challenge of warfighting during the day and then going home to family,” he said.

“It can be difficult to compartmentalize that stress. It is not the same as downrange, where we have opportunities to process challenges after a shift with colleagues,” he said. “We try to live in our minds and compartmentalize our life. Work life stays at work and home life (stays) at home. That can be hard.”

Sometimes ISR Airmen deal with issues in their mind, Bridgham said. They might ask themselves, ‘Did I make the right decision?’

Bridgham finds that if he can connect with people on their level, then he can help them sort through their problems better, building better resiliency.

Resiliency is the ability to recover readily from stress, illness, depression, adversity or the like.

"I genuinely care for the people I interact with. What I do is who I am," Bridgham said. "I love hearing Airmen’s stories and helping them connect the pieces so they can see when they've had a rough patch, and that it’s just part of a great story they're writing.”

To help the ISR Airmen Bridgham now supports, he started implementing spiritual meditation and religious programs to help increase performance in every area of an Airman’s life.

“Every Tuesday, we have a brown bag lunch workshop where Airmen can learn specific tools benchmarked in industry,” Bridgham said. “They can start processing the challenges they are going through immediately.”

“I spend a lot of time talking to folks using the tactics and techniques of the top performers, to help them increase their performance in every part of their life,” he said.

Bridgham also believes connected people are more resilient than isolated people.

Airmen should strive to become a part of a community, Bridgham said. This can be the ISR community, a spiritual community or any other group of people who support each other.

Bridgham reminds Airmen that chaplains are available for anyone who needs to talk. He encourages Airmen to contact an Air Force chaplain in their time of need, but also to build resiliency for the future.

“From the start of my Air Force career, I felt called to be a chaplain,” Bridgham said. “That has always been my ultimate goal.”

Throughout college, Bridgham led Bible studies and worked at a church. He attended the University of Tampa on a Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship, and after graduation he was commissioned as an active-duty Air Force intelligence officer.

In 2006, after three years in ISR, Bridgham decided to attend seminary and became a chaplain candidate. Once he completed seminary, Bridgham led Airmen spiritually at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, while also continuing his ISR career at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Virginia.

“I was an NGA civilian and went on three deployments in my seven years with the agency,” Bridgham said. “Then, the Air Force called asking me to come to active duty as a chaplain. Orders were issued, and I was to report in two weeks to the 363rd ISR Wing.”

Bridgham said the position at the 363rd ISR Wing was the opportunity he had been waiting for; a chance to be a wingman full time.

“The wingman idea is central to Air Force culture,” Bridgham said. “Wingmen take care of wingmen, and spirituality can be a part of that. I think spirituality can bring value professionally and otherwise. It can make a difference.”

Engage

Twitter
Supporting the Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. From development to ops in less than a year! These inn… https://t.co/kDXsw1hJ8P
Twitter
Taking care of people The Women’s Health Transition Training, which is offered virtually, provides information on… https://t.co/yL9UQ0V9rf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I believe that success takes a team, but failure you can do alone. Grateful for the chance to sit down and connect with a…
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: A new $33 million contract is increasing #COVID19 testing capabilities at 42 #military treatment facilities across the @usairf
Twitter
Accelerate change or lose. @GenCQBrownJr expressed his vision for fulfilling the Air Force's mission and protectin… https://t.co/t2iHEW5yAM
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: Every operation and campaign is only as strong as its supply chain. Tune into #AMO2020 today to watch teams compete in a w…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @MilFamiliesMag for talking with Sharene and me today. The wellbeing of our families is essential to the suc…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: While many people are sleeping, Maintainers are still hard at work... Our teammates Ellsworth AFB, shared a picture of…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: It’s the Airmen who aren’t in this photo that I want to talk about. They are out there right now turning wrenches, gene…
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: 13 teams are competing to help the @USAirForce with better performing, more cost-effective & reliable technology that prod…
Twitter
Keeping combat agile 💪 @USAF_ACC is testing agile combat employment & a new lead wing deployment concept intended… https://t.co/0F3nAwIZnx
Twitter
Strengthening international partnerships. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/m5YeqA8i5G
Twitter
Modernizing our fighting force! #AimHigh #InnovativeAF https://t.co/pEQUJdqYFE
Twitter
#DYK The 563rd Rescue Group directs flying operations for the #USAF's only active duty rescue wing dedicated to Com… https://t.co/QYDiSZ50qe
Twitter
Another day at the office. Can't comPLANE. 😉 ⚡ #LoveThisJob #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/7Vjemy7gP7
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Blinded by the light 😎🔆 @TeamFairchild is taking #innovation to another level by setting the standard for Project Tesse…
Twitter
Defense data for academia! 🎓 “Digital engineering isn't a fluke … It is our future.” - Dr. Will Roper, assistant… https://t.co/NQsFQpmu2N
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Dr. Anderson participated in Global Thunder, US-Stratcom’s annual NC2 exercise while traveling to Minot. This exercise i…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Laid a wreath at the American Cemetery in Münsingen, Switzerland, which hosts the gravesites of 61 U.S. Army Air Forces…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: ASKED/ANSWERED. Friday, a @usairforce U-2 spy plane updated code during flight--a military first! Update #2 improved automat…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,296,119
Follow Us