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Old 08-21-2013, 03:31 PM
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Default Chaplain's assistant: backbone of chapel

Chaplain's assistant: backbone of chapel

08-20-2013 02:25 AM

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Chaplain's Assistant
100th ARW



Chaplain's assistant: backbone of chapel


by: Airman 1st Class Kelsey Waters
100th Air Refueling Wing PAO
published: August 20, 2013

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RAF MILDENHALL, England -- There are many world religions.

Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity are just a few of the many religions people practice throughout the world. Service members in the U.S. military have the right to worship as they choose. To help people worship, the Department of Defense provides chaplains, but working with a group as diverse as the military can be a challenge.

With all those people to look after, the chaplain needs a wingman who has his back and makes sure no one is forgotten. That wingman is a chaplain's assistant.

"Chaplain's assistants are important because they don't just assist the chaplain, they assist the chapel as a whole," said Capt. Henry Hahm, 100th Air Refueling Wing and 100th Operations Group chaplain from Westberry, N.Y.

Chaplain's assistants not only handle the logistics of the church, they also assist with services of every faith the chapel hosts.

"We are nondenominational. In our technical school we are trained in the basics of most DOD-recognized religions so we can accommodate everyone," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Hartvigsen, 100th Air Refueling Wing chapel NCO in charge of readiness and training.

The job of a chaplain's assistant is really to assist the whole base. They host religious and secular events at the chapel and are the main points of contact for certain events and volunteer opportunities.

"We get the chapel ready for many different events,"said Hartvigsen, a native of Bountiful, Utah. "From squadron picnics to vacation bible school, we are facilitators."

The chapel operates with Religious Support Teams each made up of a chaplain and a chaplain's assistant. In an RST at a deployed location, a chaplain's assistant's job is to be with the chaplain at all times, said Master Sgt. Perry Sharp, 100th Air Refueling Wing NCO in charge of the chapel.

The job of a chaplain's assistant in a deployed location is different than at home station. Although they still assist in hosting services and other events at the chapel, they are also permanently attached to the chaplain. They accompany him when he goes outside the wire, and in the event they take fire, the chaplain's assistant is the one who returns it.

Even though their jobs are secular, chaplain's assistants - depending on the base - participate in religious services. They are trained to assist and prepare the chapel for the variety of services held there.

Chaplain's assistants are also available to help people find their faith groups. Because of their training in most religions, and the fact they know the schedule of services for the chapel, chaplain's assistants are able to not only introduce Airmen to the chaplain who runs specific religious services, but also introduce them to members of the congregation.

"I love seeing the joy in people's faces when they make a faith connection," said Sharp, a native of Idaho City, Idaho .

The job of being a chaplain's assistant is only available to enlisted Airmen retrainees. Because of that, chaplain's assistants are usually experienced speakers who are capable of interacting with junior enlisted personnel.

Sometimes it's easier to get people to open up when there is a chaplain's assistant there, especially the junior enlisted, said Maj. Glenn Bright, 100th ARW deputy wing chaplain from Milwaukee.

Chaplain's assistants also have the ability to perform counseling sessions in the event a chaplain is unavailable.

"There have been times where an Airman has come to speak to a chaplain and they all happen to be out," Hahm said. "In times like that, the chaplain's assistants can perform counseling."

During times like that, a chaplain's assistant often sees his or her interaction with the person who is looking for comfort and answers as more of a habit than a duty.

"I just try to be friendly and talk to people," Sharp said.

The title chaplain's assistant is somewhat of a misnomer. The phrasing can lead one to believe the position only exists to help individual chaplains. In reality, their role is designed to help the entire base. From helping the chaplains to helping everyone on base in anything from becoming active in the religious community to running youth programs and ensuring the chapel facilities are operational and safe for the congregation, chaplain's assistants don't just assist chaplains, they assist us all.


Tags: 100th ARW, Chaplain's Assistant, RAF Alconbury, RAF Croughton, RAF Fairford, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, RAF Molesworth, News
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Chaplain's assistant: backbone of chapel


by: Airman 1st Class Kelsey Waters
100th Air Refueling Wing PAO
published:

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RAF MILDENHALL, England -- There are many world religions.

Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity are just a few of the many religions people practice throughout the world. Service members in the U.S. military have the right to worship as they choose. To help people worship, the Department of Defense provides chaplains, but working with a group as diverse as the military can be a challenge.

With all those people to look after, the chaplain needs a wingman who has his back and makes sure no one is forgotten. That wingman is a chaplain's assistant.

"Chaplain's assistants are important because they don't just assist the chaplain, they assist the chapel as a whole," said Capt. Henry Hahm, 100th Air Refueling Wing and 100th Operations Group chaplain from Westberry, N.Y.

Chaplain's assistants not only handle the logistics of the church, they also assist with services of every faith the chapel hosts.

"We are nondenominational. In our technical school we are trained in the basics of most DOD-recognized religions so we can accommodate everyone," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Hartvigsen, 100th Air Refueling Wing chapel NCO in charge of readiness and training.

The job of a chaplain's assistant is really to assist the whole base. They host religious and secular events at the chapel and are the main points of contact for certain events and volunteer opportunities.

"We get the chapel ready for many different events,"said Hartvigsen, a native of Bountiful, Utah. "From squadron picnics to vacation bible school, we are facilitators."

The chapel operates with Religious Support Teams each made up of a chaplain and a chaplain's assistant. In an RST at a deployed location, a chaplain's assistant's job is to be with the chaplain at all times, said Master Sgt. Perry Sharp, 100th Air Refueling Wing NCO in charge of the chapel.

The job of a chaplain's assistant in a deployed location is different than at home station. Although they still assist in hosting services and other events at the chapel, they are also permanently attached to the chaplain. They accompany him when he goes outside the wire, and in the event they take fire, the chaplain's assistant is the one who returns it.

Even though their jobs are secular, chaplain's assistants - depending on the base - participate in religious services. They are trained to assist and prepare the chapel for the variety of services held there.

Chaplain's assistants are also available to help people find their faith groups. Because of their training in most religions, and the fact they know the schedule of services for the chapel, chaplain's assistants are able to not only introduce Airmen to the chaplain who runs specific religious services, but also introduce them to members of the congregation.

"I love seeing the joy in people's faces when they make a faith connection," said Sharp, a native of Idaho City, Idaho .

The job of being a chaplain's assistant is only available to enlisted Airmen retrainees. Because of that, chaplain's assistants are usually experienced speakers who are capable of interacting with junior enlisted personnel.

Sometimes it's easier to get people to open up when there is a chaplain's assistant there, especially the junior enlisted, said Maj. Glenn Bright, 100th ARW deputy wing chaplain from Milwaukee.

Chaplain's assistants also have the ability to perform counseling sessions in the event a chaplain is unavailable.

"There have been times where an Airman has come to speak to a chaplain and they all happen to be out," Hahm said. "In times like that, the chaplain's assistants can perform counseling."

During times like that, a chaplain's assistant often sees his or her interaction with the person who is looking for comfort and answers as more of a habit than a duty.

"I just try to be friendly and talk to people," Sharp said.

The title chaplain's assistant is somewhat of a misnomer. The phrasing can lead one to believe the position only exists to help individual chaplains. In reality, their role is designed to help the entire base. From helping the chaplains to helping everyone on base in anything from becoming active in the religious community to running youth programs and ensuring the chapel facilities are operational and safe for the congregation, chaplain's assistants don't just assist chaplains, they assist us all.


Tags: 100th ARW, Chaplain's Assistant, RAF Alconbury, RAF Croughton, RAF Fairford, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, RAF Molesworth, News
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