From Reserve to AD: A chaplain's journey

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jeff Parkinson
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Chaplain (Capt.) Doug Lumpkin, 1st Special Operations Wing, is the newest chaplain on the Hurlburt Field chapel team, but quite a few may already know him.

Lumpkin recently transferred from Air Force Reserves to active duty.

Lumpkin received his commission in 2008 where he served nearly six years in the reserves before transferring to active duty in May.

"Many chaplains use the Reserve and Guard components to prepare for active duty," said Lumpkin. "The job is very demanding and serving in the Reserves helps us to get our feet wet as we figure out the unique challenges of serving Airmen and their families."

Lumpkin had always intended to serve as active duty, but there are many requirements for the career field.

"When I showed up at the recruiter in 2008, I needed to complete a few more items before I could be competitive for an active duty slot," he said. "I finally checked all of the boxes last year and was able to apply for active duty."

But transferring from the reserves to active duty is not a short and easy process.

Lumpkin spent more than six months filling out paperwork and going to interviews before he received word he'd be making the switch.

And it was to his surprise that he was being sent here to Hurlburt Field, where he had spent the last three years of his reserve duty.

"We have worked with Chaplain Lumpkin over the last three years and were very impressed with his work and involvement in the chapel," said Chaplain (Capt.) David Suh, 1st SOW. "We were thrilled to receive him here full time as active duty."

Lumpkin said that he was excited to be coming to a base he was already used to.

"It was nice already knowing my co-workers and the local area," he said. "It made the move and transition much easier."

Lumpkin recently received the AFRC Chaplain Individual Award for Excellence.

According to AFRC Instruction 36-2810, the Chaplain Individual Award for Excellence is given to recognize the AFRC Chaplain Corps chaplains and chaplain assistants demonstrating sustained outstanding ministry and ministry support.

"It was real humbling to be selected," said Lumpkin. "There are so many Reserve chaplains doing great work out there, so I never expected to be nominated much less win."