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171st Chaplains' office diversifies

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michaela Diallo
  • 171st Public Affairs
Meet, Chaplain (Capt.) Andrew Cohen, the first Jewish Chaplain in the history of the 171st Air Refueling Wing.

The military prides itself on having a robust diverse force, so having a diverse Chapel staff is an asset. It helps ensure that all people have access to the spiritual support they need.

Chaplain Cohen served as an active duty Air Force Chaplain for 12 years, before he joined the 171st Air Refueling Wing. His first UTA was July 21 and 22. Prior to becoming a Guardsman, he was stationed at Andrews, the Pentagon, Ramstein, Bolling, and his last assignment at Scott AFB. In addition, he has deployed seven times with Central Command.
Chaplain Cohen grew up in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1982. Following high school, he attended Northwestern University in Chicago, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities/Pre-Law. He then traveled to Israel, where he lived and started a family, and attended Rabbinical School. He earned a second Bachelor's degree (in Talmudic Law), a Masters in Judaic Studies, and the post-graduate equivalent of Rabbinic Ordination in 1999. After Rabbinical School, he joined the USAF, taking his officers oath at the U.S. Defense Attachés office at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

When asked about his favorite Air Force memory, he proudly recalls the occasion in which he was invited to the White House Chanukah party hosted by President George W. Bush. Chaplain Cohen's ministry philosophy is "to help people grow spiritually based on each individual's uniqueness."

We look forward to welcoming him to our unit.