Airmen helping Airmen: Chaplain Corps
By Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 12, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- In the midst of Airmen’s permanent change of station moves, deployments and growth in the military community, the Chaplain Corps offers a safe haven for individuals experiencing life’s victories and defeats.
The Chaplain Corps’ mission is to provide spiritual care and ensure all Airmen have opportunities to exercise their religious beliefs.
“The Chaplain Corps provides a stable opportunity to exercise one’s constitutional right and human need for spiritual engagement,” said Chaplain Maj. Shawn Bishop, 92nd Air Refueling Wing chaplain. “The Chaplain Corps is a place where Airmen and their families, who already have a lot in common by serving their country and moving around, can find each other to develop and grow in faith and life together.”
The Chaplain Corps’ capabilities include spiritual care and advising commanders, first sergeants and superintendents about the morale and trends in their units.
Whether it’s to find counsel, encouragement or celebration, Airmen are welcome to the chapel during whatever season they are experiencing in life, Bishop said.
Through religious programming, morale building, visiting units and counseling support, the Chaplain Corps offers Airmen resources to stay physically, emotionally and spiritually fit.
“In the same way the physical domain requires physical activity to maintain physical health, the spiritual domain benefits from spiritual activity to maintain spiritual strength,” Bishop said. “Ultimately, having something to hold on to through thick and thin is essential to getting through life; that is what spiritual resilience offers us.”
Recognizing the hardship within the requirements to complete the mission while being far from family, the chapel offers completely confidential counseling. Airmen who visit the chapel will find chaplains, as well as Religious Affairs Airmen, who will listen, be supportive and keep their conversations private.
“We hope that all of these resources boost people’s sense of self,” Bishop said. “We offer support to help Airmen find purpose and perspective about what is happening in the world around them, grounded in a good reality, and development and maintenance of character-all of which address spiritual resilience. We hope these resources help people stay strong in the understanding of their spiritual life and encourages them to further develop their resilience.”
The Chaplain Corps offers religious and non-religious based resources to Airmen and their families.
“Being spiritual doesn’t always mean inside of a church; it is anything that centers you,” said Master Sgt. Samantha Ferguson-Oliver, 92nd ARW Religious Affairs superintendent. “Part of my job is to help Airmen find what centers them.”
Chaplain Corps ministry employs a variety of means to reach the heart of individual Airmen and their family members.
“We’re here for Airmen, we are here for you,” Ferguson-Oliver said. “If Airmen are unsure of resources and programs available at the chapel, we welcome them to come ask questions.
For more information on religious programs and support services the Chaplain Corps provides, contact the base chapel at (509) 247-2264. For immediate assistance, contact the on-call chaplain, available 24/7, through the Command Post at (509) 247-4051.