Chaplain team earns AFSPC honors
By 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 07, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Chaplain (Capt.) Jennifer Ray, 50th Space Wing chaplain, and Staff Sgt. Jacqulyn Rider, chaplain assistant, earned Air Force Space Command's Outstanding Religious Support Team for the third quarter of 2015.
Chaplains and chaplain assistants are assigned as Religious Support Teams to each of the Schriever units. Each RST takes care of the needs of every squadron by encouraging them in work, in life and providing for their free exercise of religion.
Both Ray and Rider earned the award by upholding support for their Wildly Important Goal, set by the Chaplain Corps, to spend quality time with their units and support them by always being available and approachable.
Ray explained there is a shared energy in the relationships they have with their units.
"We've just been successful at getting into our [assigned units] and being who we are," said Ray. "If they're receptive and happy to see us, it makes our job that much easier and it's just a pleasure."
It's not always the case a chaplain and chaplain's assistant mesh well together as a RST. An important aspect to Ray and Rider's success is the trust in their partnership.
"It's not always guaranteed that you're going to have a RST partner that you're going to like," said Rider. "But I've been so fortunate to have been partnered with Chaplain Ray. As soon as she got here, we bonded instantly and it was just so amazing. Chaplain Ray puts a lot of trust in me and gives me a lot of ownership with our programs."
Rider explained their primary focus is warrior care-caring for Airmen across the different units on Schriever.
"All of those agencies have such vital missions and we all work together to complete the wing mission as a whole," said Rider. "If there is a strained relationship between [Chaplain Ray] and I, we won't be able to serve our units effectively. When we're in sync, our units are more likely to feel comfortable coming to us."
Ray explained Rider has been in the chaplain corps longer than she has - a huge benefit to her.
"Her expertise just complements the ministries we offer and we're able to effectively serve our units," said Ray. "Her input and experience is very valuable to me. As we're going forth in whatever we're doing, I'm constantly learning from her."
Ray and Rider are currently assigned to several space operations and support squadrons. However, Ray stressed all Schriever personnel may approach them, regardless of unit affiliation.
For more information on RSTs or Schriever Chaplain's office initiatives, call 567-3705.