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Developing spiritual fitness

  • Published
  • By Capt. Donnie Hatheway
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 910th Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps’ mission is to develop spiritually fit, mission-ready Airmen. They do this through unparalleled soul care, leadership advisement and religious liberty.

“The opportunity to minister to the Airmen who we make contact with on a daily basis is what the job is all about,” said Tech. Sgt. John Baltz, non-commissioned officer in charge of chapel operations for the 910th Airlift Wing. “My favorite part of being on the chaplain team is the people.”

The chaplain team intentionally visits units across the base, getting to know individual members and, in turn, building connections.

“We are embedding directly within the work centers,” explained 910th Airlift Wing Chaplain Jeffrey Lichlyter. “People are more willing to talk to the chaplain team if we are in their neighborhood, versus having to come find us.”

910th members can talk with the Chaplain team with no obligation for them to report anything as they maintain 100% confidentiality.

“What is shared with us, stays with us,” said Baltz.

910th members do not need to be religious to come talk to the chaplain corps.

“Approximately 99% of what we talk about with members has nothing to do with religion,” stated Baltz.

The chaplain team is always ensuring that Airmen are spiritually fit to stay in the fight.

“If your spiritual pillar falls, they all fall; but if the others fall, the spiritual pillar still stands,” said Baltz, referring to the pillars of resilience: mental, physical, social and spiritual. 

Being spiritually fit can equip Airmen to lead their people and execute the mission.

“I had an Airman come to me back at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, who was severely unhappy serving,” said Lichlyter. “So we chatted awhile and I provided her advice on next steps even though she was clear that she had one foot already out of the Air Force door. After a year I came back to Minot and ran into her and she informed me that since our discussion she promoted to the next rank, got married and had plans to retire from the military one day.”

Chaplain teams across the Department of Defense are providing unrivaled spiritual care—any time, any place.

“I had a security forces troop come talk to me while deployed out of concern for a friend’s wellbeing back stateside, so I made contact with the friend and worked with his unit’s first sergeant and leadership while staying on the phone with this individual,” recalled Baltz. “When direct intervention was made, this man’s life was saved.”

The Chaplain team is seeing lives changed daily.

To learn more about the 910th Chaplain Corps mission or to get in touch with the team, please visit