CHAPLAINS' CORNER: Who is the wingman for the chaplain?

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. -- A top priority for all of us in the Air Force is to be a good wingman and to have a wingman. Have you ever wondered who the wingmen are for the chaplains? We have them and they are the best -- they are our chaplain assistants.

The job description for a chaplain assistant reads: "To provide support for the chaplains, to oversee the chapel, maintain all chapel operations, ensure readiness for all chapel personnel and be worldwide qualified for deployment."

They provide ongoing support for all of the chaplains and serve alongside the men and women of the 452nd. Chaplain assistants are enlisted members who bridge the gap between the chaplains and enlisted personnel. They serve alongside the chaplains as members of the religious support team.

The chaplain assistants at the 452nd Air Mobility Wing are the backbone of the base chapel program. Let me introduce the chaplain assistants who serve at March.

Master Sgt. Gil Demara serves as the NCOIC of chapel operations. He has been at March since July 2006. He previously served in the Air National Guard as a chaplain assistant in Alaska, and before that he was active duty Army working as a quartermaster who specialized in fuels.

Demara recently graduated with his Masters degree from Arizona State University, where he also works full time in residential life. He deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in 2009 where he served as the NCOIC of chapel operations, and is currently preparing for a 2012 deployment.

Staff Sgt. Alexis Boyd served on active duty at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., in the transportation management office before joining Team March as a chaplain's assistant in May 2009.

She and her husband live in Huntington Beach where she is a full-time college student. She recently traveled to Korea with the 701st Combat Operations Squadron to provide valuable chaplain support for chaplains on that mission.

Senior Airman Stacy Irvin served on active duty at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as a nutritionist at the base hospital. Irvin joined the 452nd in October 2010. She recently married her Marine husband who is attached to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.

Our newest member is Senior Airman Sarah Dyroff. Before joining the 452nd in March 2011, Dyroff served on active duty at the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, Calif., and Nellis AFB, Nv., in the field of weapons. She is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in theology.

All of our chaplain assistants bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our chapel team. They are here to serve you and to provide each member of the 452nd spiritual support and encouragement from your chapel.

Come on by the chapel and introduce yourself. The next time you see one of your chaplains around the base, you can be assured his wingman isn't far behind!

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