U.S. Senate confirms Southern Baptist as Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains

Chaplain Col. Randall (Randy) E. Kitchens of the U.S. Air Force received confirmation from the U.S. Senate to become the Air Force’s 27th Deputy Chief of Chaplains on July 30. The confirmation entails the promotion to the rank of brigadier general.

Since July 2017, Kitchens has served as the Command Chaplain for the Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, one of 16 assignments in a chaplaincy career that dates to April 1987.

As Deputy Chief of Chaplains, Kitchens will assist the Air Force’s Chief of Chaplains to generate guidance on issues related to the religious and moral wellbeing of Air Force personnel and their dependents as well as provide direction for roughly 2,000 Air Force chaplains and religious affairs airmen.

In his role, Kitchens will also be a part of the Armed Forces Chaplain board that advises the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters related to religious, ethical and quality-of-life issues.

Kitchens succeeds Brig. Gen. Ronald M. Harvell for the post, after Harvell, also a Southern Baptist, was named to the faculty and staff of Charleston Southern University, where he will serve as the university’s first director of the Dewey Center for Chaplaincy.

“Chaplain Kitchens’ Senate confirmation for promotion to brigadier general and selection as the U.S. Air Force’s 27th Deputy Chief of Chaplains is truly historic,” said Maj. Gen. Doug Carver, executive director of chaplaincy for the North American Mission Board. “This is the first time in the Air Force chaplaincy’s 52-year history that Southern Baptist chaplains have been chosen in succession to fill this strategic ministry position. It is also indicative of the exceptionally gifted chaplains who represent Southern Baptists in taking the hope of the gospel to the members of the Armed Services.”