I am The 908th: Maj. Bitrus Cobongs

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Juliana Todd
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Maj. Bitrus (like citrus) Cobongs is the new wing chaplain for the 908th Airlift Wing; on the civilian side, he is a contractor working for the Eaker Center of Leadership Development here at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Cobongs grew up in Tumu, Gombe State, as a member of the Tangale tribe, situated in northeastern Nigeria. As a young boy, he would’ve never fathomed the possibility of going to America, but his journey to serving in the U.S. Air Force has rewarded him with a wealth of opportunity and hope.

With Cobongs being the eldest male of three brothers and four sisters, his mother wanted him to stay in Nigeria to support the family and eventually begin his own. However, Cobongs was determined to earn an education.  After some convincing, his parents agreed to support his pursuit.

“My mother said ‘You know what, we believe God called you. We've seen God working in your life and if you feel this is what God is calling you to do, go ahead.’”

Cobongs joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve in January 2009. At the time, he was pursing his doctoral degree at the Dallas Theological Seminar and felt it was a way to proclaim his love for America. Naturally, becoming a chaplain in the military was perfect fit for Cobongs.

“I really wanted to give back to this country because it gave me so many things, like my education and my wife,” said Cobongs. “I came in not even knowing exactly what chaplains in the military do, but I knew I met the qualifications.”

His proudest moments come from helping others through difficult times and witnessing the fruits of his labor.

“I’m here to support and encourage the spiritual and mental fitness of all Airmen,” he said. “No matter their rank or religious preference, I want them to be able to go back to their jobs feeling energized and at ease. That summarizes my entire purpose in life and the job I do.”

Having Airmen who are passionate and dedicated to their profession like Maj. Bitrus Cobongs makes the 908 AW more effective at providing support to all Airmen, ensuring the 908 AW can develop and deliver multi-capable Airmen and inspire transformational servant leaders.