By Julie Frederick, AMCOMAugust 3, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command has a new chaplain, and his advice and counsel have already been vital to the extended AMCOM family.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Charles Lahmon officially signed in to AMCOM as the new chaplain, July 13. On July 19, the AMCOM family at Letterkenny Army Depot was shaken following an industrial accident that injured five employees, with one ultimately succumbing to his injuries. In his second week on the job, Lahmon was dispatched to provide support to the Letterkenny workforce.
"Chaplain Lahmon's compassionate presence at Letterkenny was the most sincere and caring gesture the workforce could ask for in a time most needed," said Letterkenny's commander, Col. Stephen Ledbetter. "He went above and beyond, offering counseling sessions and a lending ear at all hours of the week across three shifts to ensure the team was supported."
Lahmon has been an Army chaplain for more than 16 years. He pastored a church for seven years prior to joining the Army Chaplain Corps. However, the call to become a chaplain was not his first experience with the Army.
He initially joined the Army in 1988 as a member of the Army Reserves and the 338th Army Band as a clarinet player to help pay his way through college. After leaving the Reserves in 1994, he answered the call to go into ministry and pastored a church in Mount Gilead, Ohio.
Now, as a chaplain, "my job is to provide any support that they need," Lahmon said. "It can be counseling, in a one-on-one or group setting, but I think of it as coming alongside others. It is providing that listening ear more than anything, providing counsel and being visible so that they know that you are there.
"In the Army I had come across so many different people," Lahmon continued. "Chaplains and others along the way who God used, I believe, to speak to me about what they do and how they serve Soldiers and Families in our military. I felt God calling me to pursue that. I never envisioned that I would come back in [to the Army], but I'm happy that I did."
Lahmon said that the transition back into the military life was easy for him as he understood what the Army and the people who serve are like. It was also beneficial that his wife of almost 25 years, Lisa, supported the decision.
Throughout his career as a chaplain, the Army has taken Lahmon and his family to Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Korea; and Germany.
At his last duty station, at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Lahmon said he used his talent and skills as a trainer and teacher. There he served as an observer coach/trainer responsible for training Unit Ministry teams on rotation in Germany on religious support. He also trained Soldiers on topics including personality, learning and marriage.
As he begins to outline the support services and programs that he will provide to the AMCOM workforce, he hopes to draw on those experiences.
"I came from being a trainer at JMRC, so any way that I can use that experience here would be good," he said. "That could be a Bible study or something related to resiliency. I'm a Myers Briggs instructor, so anything related to that would also be good. I have lots of ideas, but I haven't had a chance to really discuss plans with the leadership yet."
Lahmon was not familiar with the AMCOM mission before he came down on orders, but he is looking forward to learning more about the organization, its mission and its people.
"I like to be out of my office," he said. "Even though I am an introvert, I know that I need to be out there where the people are and I make an effort to do that on a regular basis."
One of Lahmon's friends and mentors, Army Chaplain Col. Tom Day, shared a life lesson that Lahmon still uses: have a gentle spirit and take time for people, Lahmon said.
"Sometimes we get in such a rush moving from one thing to the next, we don't take time for people," Lahmon said. "I don't want to intrude on people, but I am more than happy to go to wherever the people are if they need me."
Lahmon's primary responsibility will be supporting the AMCOM workforce and its subordinate organizations. His office is located in the Sparkman Center, Building 5300, on the first floor in room 5130. His office is located in conjunction with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. He will also provide assistance and support to the Redstone Arsenal Garrison Chaplain, as needed.