Chaplain - A Friend In The Air Force
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Taryn Butler
“Airmen are not alone, and always have a friend in the Air Force:
These words spoken by the 23d Wing chaplain
lend proof that despite your background, who you are, having faith
or no faith, Moody’s chapel staff strive to ensure no Airman is
alone and helps in whatever capacity is needed by providing
different services to Airmen around base.
here at the chapel,” said Lt. Col. Steven Cuneio, 23d Wing chaplain.
“The chapel is a safe haven for Airmen to meet me, or a religious
affairs Airman, to bare their soul. Regardless of whether you’re a
four-star general or an airman basic, there comes a point in our
lives where we need somebody.”
February 3, 2020 - Lt. Col. Steven Cuneio, right, 23d Wing chaplain, speaks with an Airman during a simulated counseling session , at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The 11 Airmen assigned to the Moody Chapel provide all Airmen and their dependents the opportunity to freely exercise their religion. Other services, such as crisis intervention counseling, resiliency programs and leadership advising, are offered on a walk-in or appointment basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taryn Butler)
The 11 Airmen assigned to the 23d Wing chapel provide all Airmen
and their dependents the opportunity to freely exercise their
religion. However, this is only one aspect of the services provided
by Moody Chapel.
Other services, such as crisis intervention
counseling, resiliency programs and leadership advising, are offered
to people of any or no faith by appointment. If it’s an emergency,
walk-ins are welcomed during the duty day, and after duty hours
there is always a chaplain on-call who can be reached by contacting
the Command Post.
“Our counseling services are unique to us
because of the 100 percent confidentiality component,” said Cuneio.
“What is said in the chaplain’s office stays in the chaplain’s
office. If you don’t want to talk about religion, we don’t. We are
here to meet you where you’re at, regardless of who you are. If we
can’t specifically help you, we can always refer you to someone who
Chaplains and religious affairs Airmen have been
engaged in events such as retreats and studies, both designed to
improve resiliency within Airmen. Marriage, couples, singles and
squadron retreats often occur 1-2 times per year, whereas the
studies typically occur weekly for a 3- to 4-month period.
“Retreats provide a temporary strategic pause for individuals to
focus on strengthening relationships and connectedness to others,
enhancing resiliency, and providing much-needed rest and relaxation
from the daily grind of life and work,” Cuneio said. “[Studies are]
important because it is a spiritual fitness opportunity that
directly ‘strengthens a set of beliefs, principles, or values that
sustain an individual’s sense of well-being and purpose.’”
For Tech. Sgt. Lance Chunn, 23d Maintenance Group Air Force Repair
Enhancement Program technician, the Men’s Study, a group meeting
that discusses issues men of faith may encounter, has given him
tools he has applied to his own life.
“Being in Chaplain
Cuneio’s Men’s Study has really helped me put all the happenings in
life into perspective,” said Chunn. “In doing these things, stress
levels have decreased and productivity has increased, not only at
work but at home. I can’t help but notice that life is, and has
become, less worrisome and more fulfilling when you fill your life
with positive influences.”
Moody’s chapel staff don’t only
serve individual Airmen. They also serve squadrons and different
groups of Airmen, providing company in good times and bad.
A photo illustration of
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Cuneio, right, 23d Wing chaplain, and
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Yolanda Wallace, 23d Wing religious affairs superintendent at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Taryn Butler
- January 30, 2020)
“We’re a helping agency,” said Cuneio. “We send a chaplain and a
religious affairs Airman for unit visitations to make sure they have
a pulse. They are there to increase morale and, really, to be a
ministry of presence if Airmen would need them.”
associate religion with a chaplain, but a chaplain’s ultimate goal
is to help all Airmen of any background.
chaplains are endorsed by a faith community,” Cuneio said.
“Chaplains are ordained ministers, but they’re also officers. We
have an obligation to make sure we uphold our denominational
distinctives. At the same time, we’re here to care for all Airmen.
If an Airman came in and asked me to help them in a particular way
that violated the tenets of my faith, I would try to find someone on
staff, or refer them to another helping agency on or off-base, to
accommodate. I want all Airmen to know I care about them, so I
always try to get to the ‘yes.’”
Our Valiant Troops |
Citizens Like Us
U.S. Air Force |
Air National Guard
U.S. Air Force Gifts |