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Chaplain’s Office earns awards

Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner and Chaplain (Capt.) Jennifer Ray, 50th Space Wing Chaplain’s Office, stand by various posters promoting 50 SW Chaplain programs at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, March 27, 2017. The office earned numerous awards for its service at Schriever, both on the Major Command and Air Force level. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner and Chaplain (Capt.) Jennifer Ray, 50th Space Wing Chaplain’s Office, stand by various posters promoting 50 SW Chaplain programs at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, March 27, 2017. The office earned numerous awards for its service at Schriever, both on the Major Command and Air Force level. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --

The 50th Space Wing Chaplain’s office recently received both Air Force-wide and Air Force Space Command chaplain awards for their exceptional service at Schriever.

Chaplain (Capt.) Jennifer Ray and Staff Sgt. Marcela Parker earned the 2016 Religious Support Team of the year for AFSPC and the entire Air Force. They will receive their award from the Chief of Chaplains in a ceremony March 29.

“I was in shock and disbelief when they told us,” said Ray. “We do the best we can and when we get recognized for it, it’s always great.”

Staff Sgt. Jacqulyn Rider earned the AFSPC Chapel NCOIC of the year, while on the officer side, Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner earned the AFSPC Company Grade Officer of the year.

“I’m getting to come to work and have fun, and I guess they’re telling me I’m doing that good of a job,” said Werner. “I didn’t think I was doing anything special, I was just enjoying my career and working with an amazing team.”

The individual awards indicate the quality of the 50 SW Chaplains Office’s composition and structure, said Ray.

“It (the office structure) gives us a good pulse on the base,” said Ray. “We have people placed in strategic areas, for example, Chaplain Werner and events like his geek lunch get a lot of the Airmen’s input, while I do a lot with the spouses and community needs.”

Despite not having a chapel, Ray says they compensate for this by increasing personal interaction with the Schriever community.

“Having a chapel is great, but we get to have a more one-on-one face time then just seeing most people for a few minutes during Sunday service,” she said.

The 50 SW Chaplain’s Office provides moral support and spiritual guidance for the more than 4,200 military, Department of Defense civilians and contractors throughout the base.

“We get to see families, spouses, Airmen every day,” said Werner. “We love it.”

The office is continuing its trend of upholding morale for Airmen at Schriever heading into the 2017 year, hosting programs such as marriage retreats were couples spend a weekend engaging relationship building activities, the last being the Center for Relationship Education retreat in Denver. The next retreat is scheduled for April 7-9.

To find out more about the various programs and support services the 50 SW Chaplain’s office provides, contact the Chaplain’s office at 567-3075.

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