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434th ARW chaplain tops in AFRC

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Damon Kasberg
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
Glorifying God, serving Airmen, pursuing excellence aren't just ordinary words; they are the chaplain corps vision statement and job description for every chaplain in the Air Force.

Chaplain (Maj.) Obadiah Smith, Jr., 434th Air Refueling Wing chaplain, was selected as Air Force Reserve Command Chaplain of the Year for 2010.

"It hasn't even sunk in yet," said Chaplain Smith. "It's a great accomplishment for me to be selected; it's a humbling experience."

As a chaplain, he advises the 434th ARW commander and base leadership, while providing for the spiritual needs of almost 1,500 Airmen.

Chaplain Smith was also named 434th ARW Officer of the Year for 2009 and was recently mobilized for 365 days to support the implementation of Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program.

"God is the motivating factor for me," said Chaplain Smith. "When I was 38 I consulted my step dad, and he suggested I become a chaplain for the Air Force; I prayed on it and found my calling...serving is truly a calling."

Chaplain Smith holds a service every Sunday at 11 a.m. during unit training assemblies. People who attend can witness his passion to serve.

"He is definitely a man of deep spirituality," said Master Sgt. Paul Tomlinson, 434th Seasonal Training Flight course director. "His service gives me a special charge that helps me get through the day; it's very inspirational."

Chaplain Smith not only glorifies God and serves Airmen, he also ensures that he is always pursuing excellence. He is enrolled in Air Command and Staff College, achieving the next steps of responsibilities as an officer. He also achieved over a 90 percent on his last physical fitness test and attended Wing Chaplain School.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.

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