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NEWS | Sept. 14, 2021

Airman led to serve as Chaplain- Answers her Calling

By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey 168th Wing

The 168th Wing gained a new Chaplain, 2nd lt. Jennifer Pottinger. Before serving at Eielson Air Force Base, Pottinger was stationed at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., serving since 2008 as an Aerial Porter. 

Pottinger earned her master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. In 2016 Pottinger decided to become a Chaplain after serving and having a goal to help Airmen but felt she was restricted.

“I found the calling to become a Chaplain,” said Pottinger. “I wanted to be there for Airman with no strings attached – or be the bearer of bad news – I wanted to care for Airman and be fully engaged. I just wanted to be a person who cared for Airmen.”

Pottinger said her primary goal as Chaplain is to provide a safe place for Airmen to talk. I’m hoping to be a distraction from the day for a few minutes and, more importantly, someone who will not expect anything.

“The spiritual pillar and to be balanced is important,” said Pottinger. “A safe space to grow spiritually- that is part of what the Chaplain Corps is here is to help people find and grow in spiritual balance.”

Most recently, Pottinger served as a Religious Affairs Airman at the 168th Wing. Her husband is active-duty maintenance in the 354th Fighter Wing, and they have two kids. She was born and raised in Roanoke, Va.

“My dad served in the Army, and his stories were always fun,” said Pottinger. “His stories and the idea of camaraderie was the reason I joined. Of course, I joined the Air Force instead because, well, you know.”

Pottinger attends and serves as Pulpit Supply at a nearby North Pole Church when she is not at the unit.

“I grew up in the faith in the same denomination as I am affiliated with now, Presbyterian Church USA.”

Pottinger said, as of today, I can be a Chaplain, and there is peace in fulfilling what I felt called to do.

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