Chaplains: Taking care of Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Being in charge of the morale, well-being and spiritual fitness of Airmen, dependents and civilians is the number one mission of a chaplain.

"We all have issues in our life. We can go from being on a mountain to being in a valley in seconds," said Chaplain (Maj.) Raymond Moncrief, 86th Airlift Wing chaplain. "Everyone needs to know that they can talk to the chaplain because of our 100 percent confidentiality. We are here for the well-being of our Airmen and their families."

With 12 chaplains in the 86th AW, there are a variety of religions being represented, which enables them to take care of an individual's specific spiritual needs. Even if someone isn't religious, they can still talk to a chaplain.

"We have Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Protestant and Catholic chaplains," Moncrief said. "If we have someone come in with a religion that we don't have a chaplain for, we find someone in the surrounding area who can assist them with their needs."

Each chaplain has a unit in the 86th AW to ensure that particular unit has all the tools needed to do their job and stay spiritually fit to fight.

"It is important that all of us chaplains work hand-in-hand to make sure our people are taken care of, it's our No. 1 priority," Moncrief said. "We take care of the living and we take care of the dead, but overall we are here to take care of our capital A Airmen."

If someone has an issue regarding work related things, the unit chaplain cannot take care of the issue, however, that shouldn't prevent someone from being able to talk to a chaplain they feel comfortable with.

"As unit chaplains, we walk through our units, sometimes bringing doughnuts or other goodies, to check in on our Airmen," Moncrief said. "We know what is going on in the unit and have a direct line to be able to talk to unit commanders."

There are many ways someone can get a hold of a chaplain to talk. If it is during duty hours the Northside Chapel has someone answering phones at all times. That person will take the phone call and get a hold of the correct chaplain for that person's needs.

"Being able to talk to a chaplain at the drop of a hat is incredibly important," said Senior Airman Richard Moore, 86th Communications Squadron. "It's really comforting to know that someone is there for you day or night."

If someone needs to talk to a chaplain after duty hours, there is a chaplain on-call for emergencies. To get a hold of the on-call chaplain, call command post and they will connect you with the on-call chaplain.

If in need of the chaplain's services, contact the Northside Chapel at 480-6148 or 06371476148 during duty hours. After duty hours contact command post and they will connect you to the on-call chaplain.