Mighty Ninety welcomes rabbi to base

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mike Tryon
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
In a rarity of sorts, the 90th Missile Wing recently welcomed a new wing chaplain to its ranks.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Josh Narrowe joined the base's chaplain corps and became the wing chaplain toward the end of July. While every wing across the Air Force has a chaplain, very few wings are graced with a non-Christian chaplain. Narrowe is one of six rabbis. The rest of the chaplain corps consists of two Muslim chaplains and more than 400 Christian chaplains.

"Most non-Christian chaplains are going to be found at training bases," Narrowe said, "Lackland, [Air Force Base, Texas] the [Air Force] Academy, [Colo.] and Ramstein [Air Base, Germany]."

The reason for this is mainly because of the number of new recruits at the stateside bases, and for Ramstein, it's because that is the largest Air Force hub in Europe, Narrowe explained.

Having a mix of Christian and non-Christian chaplains is great for the base Narrowe added.

"There's a flexibility here that allows me and my staff to work well off each other," he said. "They cover for me during the Jewish holidays, and I cover for them during the Christian holidays."

A mix of staff aids in developing with solutions for Airmen who are trying to find ways to practice their religions.

A chaplain's primary job is to guarantee Airmen their 1st Amendment right of freedom of religion. Their secondary job is to help provide the spiritual pillar of resiliency.

"To me, the spiritual pillar is connecting with something bigger than you; it can be God, but it doesn't have to be," Narrow said.

Narrowe said he went to rabbinical school to become a teacher, but that quickly changed when he started taking social worker classes.

"I had no plans growing up of joining the military," he said. "During Rabbinical School, I got my master's in social work. After school, I was attending a social worker fair in New York City and was approached by the Air Force to become a chaplain, and I said 'yes.'"

Throughout his career, Narrowe said he's learned about many of the different missions the Air Force performs.

"I'm excited to be here," Narrowe said. "I've experienced many missions of the Air Force, and this is a great opportunity for me to learn about another piece of the Air Force puzzle. I get to learn about the missile mission and culture."

With being at a missile base, there are different challenges, Narrowe said he hasn't had to face yet, but is excited to work out.

"This is my first time being at a base with the Personnel Reliability Program," he said. "While conversations with chaplains are completely confidential, it's up to the individual on PRP to tell their monitor that they're talking with a chaplain and should be taken off PRP status."

Narrowe's staff of eight is looking forward to working with the rabbi in making the wing and local community better.

"He is going to take care [of this base] and do an awesome job," said Master Sgt. Erica Neiser, 90th MW chaplain operations superintendent. "He has a great vision for the base and community."

When asked if Narrowe being a non-Christian chaplain matters or not, Neiser replied, "religion isn't a factor. What really matters is the individual and leadership style. Chaplain Narrowe is amazing and I know he's what this base needs."