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Unit Religious Affairs Airman

Unit Chaplain AssistantThe Category "A" Program (Cat A) is administered from Headquarters, Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC)/HC, 255 Richard Ray Blvd, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, 31098-1637, phone toll free 1-800-223-1784, ext 71475, or DSN 497-1475.

Religious Affairs Airmen in this program serve at a unit stationed in the United States. Most units are collocated on active Air Force bases; some are on Air Reserve bases; and a few are at local airports. The Religious Support Team (RST) has total responsibility for the chapel ministry in its unit, and train with its unit one weekend a month.

Religious Affairs Airmen function like their active duty counterparts: The primary role of Religious Affairs Airmen is to provide support for ministry. This is done not only through administrative means, but also as the "eyes and ears" of chaplains on deployments, visitations, and a wide variety of other exciting opportunities. They support worship services for unit members; conduct humanitarian programs; help with spiritual triage; arrange clergy days, etc.

Religious Affairs Airmen

perform their Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs) at their unit each month. These are all paid positions. Besides the monthly UTA, Chaplain Assistants perform an annual tour of two weeks. AFRC Religious Affairs Airmen attend the regular courses offered at the USAF Chaplain Corps College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

Religious Affairs Airmen are also eligible for short tours to augment the active duty and for "exercises."

The Category "A" program is part of our nation's deterrent force. Thus, training is the name of the game. Religious Affairs Airmen, like all other members of the unit, take part in all the testing and training that makes up a weekend of duty. They train to deploy to an Air Expeditionary Force individually or as a Religious Support Team (one Chaplain and one Religious Affairs Airman). Reserve Religious Affairs Airmen are expected to take part in the same Career Development Courses (CDC) as active duty enlisted personnel.

As indicated, most of the Category A units are located on active duty bases. As such, the reserve chaplain teams are expected to stay in close touch with their active duty counterparts. Much good can come of this close association. Both sides will benefit from this Total Force experience.