Air Force looks to make cuts in chaplain force

By Tyler Hemstreet on November 29, 2010

This from Air Force Times: The Air Force is pushing dozens of chaplains out the door at the same time it is urging airmen with personal struggles to get counseling, often provided by clergy.

By the end of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, the Air Force will have no more than 480 active-duty chaplains - the total stands at 528 today - and the number could dip to 470, according to the Office of the Chief of Chaplains. A PowerPoint slide obtained by Air Force Times puts the number at 465.

The number of Air Force chaplain assistant positions will hold steady at 338, according to Beth Gosselin, a service spokeswoman.

Chaplains of all denominations will be involuntarily separated through a selective early retirement board and reduction-in-force process. Roman Catholic priests, in shortest supply across the military, are eligible to leave only through early retirement.

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