This morning, I answered the phone like most mornings when I get a call: “Good morning, this is Neil.” The voice on the other end of the phone sounded upbeat and vigorous. “Good morning, Chaplain.” The voice was that of the Chief of Chaplains of the Air National Guard, Ch. Robert Marciano (Col.).
That’s all I needed to hear. I’m swearing in! Finally, after ten years of deliberation and prayerful consideration; and after six months of processing, interviews, paperwork, licensing counsels and dropping about 40 lbs, the end of the process will come next Tuesday, January 20th. How ironic that I swear in the same day as President-Elect Barack Obama becomes the President of the United States of America. Wow. On that day, my life (and that of my family) will forever be changed. I will become Chaplain Neil Schultz (1st Lieutenant) ANG on the Wing Staff of the 124th Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard. My family will be a military ministry homeschooling family.
Another hat to wear, which will add to our family, our country and hopefully will bring much glory to God and expand His Kingdom. It is a unique and very interesting ministry, to say the least. In case you’re wondering, I will be involved in the following:
CHAPLAIN CORPS MISSION STATEMENT: “While serving as a visible reminder of the Holy, the Air Force Chaplain Corps provides spiritual care and the opportunity for Air Force members and their families to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of religion.”
Our new CHAPLAIN CORPS VISION STATEMENT consists of three energizing phrases that call us toward an even greater outward ministry focus and a posture of servant leadership: “Glorifying God, Serving Airmen, Pursuing Excellence.” These words provide a “job description” for chaplains and chaplain assistants serving around the globe and they point the way ahead for our strategic planning.
Upon swearing-in, I will begin Drilling on the first weekend of the month in Boise and then serving for two weeks in the Summers. This year will be a full year however, as I will attend Commissioned Officer Training (COT) for 5 weeks March 10th-April 10th. Then in the Summer, I will have to attend Chaplaincy School for about 6 weeks.
Once you read this, will you please consider praying for my family’s well-being and God’s ministry through me to the Airmen of the Air National Guard?