Aligning faith with thoughts, emotions, resiliency

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

The Malmstrom Air Force Base Chapel will support a U.S. Air Force Comprehensive Airman Fitness program sanctioned trip across the globe to Israel January 2020.

“As an Air Force chaplain, I spend most of my time with military members and their dependents,” said Capt. William Mesaeh, 341st Missile Wing chaplain. “I walk with them through their highest highs and their lowest lows.  We discuss things like faith, stress, joy, anxiety, depression, career goals and life transitions.

“This trip can add value to anyone interested in exploring the relationship between faith and feelings, thoughts and emotions,” he continued. “While the majority of the sites we’ll visit are part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the resiliency information is relevant for Airmen of all faiths.”

According to Air Force Instruction 90-506, spiritual fitness is the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles or values needed to persevere and prevail in accomplishing missions.

“CAF is a lifestyle and culture focusing on making sound choices while building a thriving Air Force comprised of comprehensively balanced individuals engaged in becoming mentally, physically, socially and spiritually fit,” said Deborah Lee James, previous secretary of the air force.

According to, CAF spiritual fitness focuses on “strengthening a set of beliefs, principles or values that sustain an individual's sense of well-being and purpose. It includes, but is not limited to, worldviews, religious faith, sense of purpose, sense of connectedness, values, ethics and morals.”

“In other words, spiritual fitness, or ‘faith,’ is the skillset needed to get through tough times,” said Mesaeh. “The spiritual domain provides answers to our deepest ‘why’ questions. Those answers are what give life meaning, and helps us in at least two ways; it makes good times better and bad times bearable.”

According to Mesaeh, the trip is open to civilians, military members and their dependents. Active duty travelers can request permissive TDY through their chain of command. 

Permissive TDY is leave authorized by the unit that is non-chargeable to the member. Therefore, the days required for the trip itself will not be subtracted from the member’s accumulated leave earnings. However, each member is responsible for the cost of their trip. 

“Every aspect of the trip has been planned intentionally around these goals: find your heart, strengthen your soul, challenge your mind and set you up to persevere and prevail, regardless of what lies ahead,” said Mesaeh.   

Those interested must first submit an application for consideration and if the member is approved they may request leave or permissive TDY. A reservation must be made and paid in full by October 2019. The trip is scheduled to depart from the United States Jan. 17, 2020, and return Jan. 25, 2020. 

Travelers must also have a civilian passport, not a military-issued or government employee passport. It must be valid for at least six months, post-trip (May 2020.)

“Every day we think ourselves into bad moods and feel ourselves into poor decisions,” said Mesaeh. “To get a better handle on our thoughts and our emotions, we need to understand how they’re connected to our faith. This trip is designed to help us sort all of that out.”

For more information about the trip or how to submit an application, contact Capt. William Mesaeh at 406-731-4848 or