‘Simple fixes’ earn AF chaplain assistant SNCO of year award

Senior Airman Kerry Solan-Johnson, Story and photo
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Senior Master Sgt. Roger Dubois calls it “simple fixes.”
But the Air Force thought it was enough to give him the title “Chaplain Assistant Senior NCO of the Year.”

Sergeant Dubois, KMC chapel operations superintendent, broke down chapel processes and procedures and streamlined operations, and started as soon as he arrived at Ramstein in February 2004.

“I looked at what the chaplains are doing and I saw support issues took up a lot of their time,” he said. “Their focus was in the wrong area – they needed to get out to the squadrons to pull people in.”

The Rhode Island native assigned readiness issues, facility manager duties and other responsibilities to the enlisted assistants. The responsibility shift is credited with increasing chaplain visits 242 percent, and impacted worship service attendance, which went up 41 percent.

“The results were more dramatic than I expected,” he said.
Sergeant Dubois also created a singles ministry after finding that many single permanent party personnel had nowhere to “hang out and talk.”

“We came up with the idea of a coffee house, which is now open two to three times a week,” he said.

Additionally, he created a new operating instruction, which protects children involved in the chapel’s services and events.

“We have the second largest religious community, which means we have about 750 volunteers working with children,” the father of two said. “We didn’t know if these people who were working with our children were safe.”

The new instruction requires volunteers to submit to a background check. Sergeant Dubois said it is similar to the background check performed on those coming into the military, such as looking into an individual’s criminal history.

“In this day and age, we have to make sure our children are protected,” he said.
With two years left here, Sergeant Dubois may have much more planned, but for now he’s keeping it simple.

“I want to solidify what we’re doing now – reaching out and touching people’s lives,” he said. “We’re physical and mental beings; it’s important to get out there, get involved and help people take care of their needs – spiritually or physically.”