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New chaplain
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Dean Glenn (center), cuts the ribbon along with Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Borger (right) and his father, Col. Frank Glenn, 66th Medical Squadron commander, at the newly renovated gazebo at the Hanscom Chapel. Dean is a local Boy Scout that refurbished the gazebo as a final Eagle Scout project June 22 and 23. (Courtesy photo)
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New chaplain arrives at Hanscom

Posted 7/18/2013   Updated 7/18/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Foster
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


7/18/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- PCS season is here, and while the base has bid adieu to many recently, it has also welcomed many new faces, including a new installation chaplain.

Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Borger arrived to Hanscom at the end of May and has hit the ground running; whether it's on his feet, or on the Harley Davidson motorcycle he bought as a present to himself after a two year tour in Korea, he is ready to help with whatever is asked from him on the base.

Borger enlisted in 1981 as a Navy diver and after six years, he changed career paths by joining the Air Force as a Civil Engineer. He commissioned in 1993 and continued in CE until 2000, when he decided his career path was about to take yet another turn.

"I was being called into the ministry in the early to mid-90s and at the time I was in the Air Force Reserves," Borger said. "I was called and I knew I was being called to do that specifically but I wasn't sure how. My wife and I looked into the different possibilities and then we both realized that I should go into the chaplaincy."

But it wasn't as easy as just signing on the dotted line. Borger had to get a master's degree in theology and then complete three years of ministry before beginning his new career. They decided to take on the journey and after six years of preparation, he became an Air Force chaplain in 2000.

"This is what gets me up in the morning," he said. "There was no doubt about what I was supposed to do for the rest of my life."

Borger explained at the heart of the issue for him is to ensure the spiritual needs are met for all the people of Hanscom. He lives by the Chaplain's mission statement to, "Provide spiritual care and ensure all Airmen and their families have opportunities to exercise their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion."

He and his team are putting together focus groups that will allow the issues for each of those particular groups to be addressed and allow them to put together a spiritual care plan for the base.

"I want to get ahead of what the needs are," Borger said. "We're going to listen to the community and discern what the needs are. If you have the opportunity to go to one of these targeted focus groups, definitely do. If you're part of team 5/6, the Top 3 or spouses, advertisement will be made through that group."

He explained that he wants to be a value added part of the community and make sure the best spiritual care is being given to the base. He believes the focus groups are the best way to accomplish that.

When it comes to assignments throughout his career, Borger has never received orders to somewhere on his dream sheet. The chaplain and his family, a wife and two kids, were surprised when they received the assignment to Hanscom.

"I have never received anything on my dream sheet...in 32 years, ever," he said. "It's become a running joke. What are we going to put on our dream sheet and not get. I put Hanscom as number one and we got it. I kept pinching myself when I got the assignment and we cried tears of joy we were so excited."

He understands and is up to the challenge that comes with being the installation chaplain and says he will do what he was called to do with very little resources, but a lot of heart and enthusiasm.

"Chaplains are one of the few people that their job, their calling and their identity are all the same," Borger said. "You don't call me by my rank, you call me by my duty. You don't call me major, you call me chaplain."



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