Chaplain, Colonel Thomas Schenk, former pastor of First Baptist Church, Boise City, retired effective July 1, 2008 from the United States Air Force after serving his country for 30 years. He was honored in a ceremony held at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas on June 20 with family and friends attending. In that ceremony, Chaplain Schenk was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit Award. This recognizes exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

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Chaplain, Colonel, Thomas A. Schenk was the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Command Chaplain, Air Education and Training Command (AETC), Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. Under the Command Chaplain’s direction, he was responsible for the leadership and oversight of the reserve chaplain service program for the Command. He insured that reserve chaplains and chaplain assistants who are attached to various AETC Wings are fully prepared to immediately serve in an active duty role commensurate with their rank. He also conducted visits to the Wing Chapel teams to review their reserve programs and enhance reserve morale.

Chaplain Schenk began his Air Force career as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in 1968. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1972. He then attended Undergraduate Pilot Training in Laredo, Texas. During his eight years as an Air Force pilot, he flew T-38s, OV-10s, and O-2s, accumulating more than 2300 flying hours. Chaplain Schenk separated from the Air Force in 1980 to attend Southwestern Theological Baptist Seminary. After a six-year break in service, he was commissioned as an IMA chaplain in October 1986. In his chaplain career Chaplain Schenk served at both the Wing and Command level. He was among the first reserve chaplains activated following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. During the Global War on Terror, Chaplain Schenk completed 18 months of Active Duty apart from his family, serving as Senior Protestant Chaplain at Seymour Johnson AFB, Wing Chaplain at McConnell Air Force Base, and Deputy Command Chaplain of AETC.”

Chaplain Schenk has been happily married to Diane Van Scyoc for 35 years. He is the proud father of four—Shawn, Travis, Bethany, and Jordan, glad father-in-law of three—Reba, Jill, and Erin, and grandfather and chief spoiler of two—Zion and Calvin.

In addition to his Air Force duties, Chaplain Schenk pastored First Baptist Church, Boise City, from 1987-1992 and currently pastors First Baptist Church in Moriarty, New Mexico.



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