I am The 908th: 1st Lt. Michael McDuffie

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Juliana Todd
  • 908th Airlift Wing

"It's nothing short of a miracle," said 1st Lt. Michael McDuffie

McDuffie has served as a chaplain with the 908th Airlift Wing for slightly over a year now, yet his journey to reach this point took him nearly six years.

"It's been an amazing journey to get to where I am today because the military was not something I foresaw in my future," he said. "It wasn't until God led me to get re-ordained at my wife’s church and I received a letter from the Chief of Chaplains with the Air Force that the thought crossed my mind."

He recounted laughing at the letter initially and setting it aside, only for it to resurface months later, which he interpreted as a sign from God.

With his background in mechanical engineering and business administration, his initial goal was to work for a Fortune 500 company and live happily ever after until he read those words: "Have you considered a ministry with the chaplain corps and furthering your career as a chaplain?"

He took the leap of faith and was commissioned as an officer in January 2023. Later that year, he attended Officer Training School and was part of a special Victory class, an inaugural program designed to test coursework for new chaplains.

"It was a challenging season, but well worth it," said McDuffie. "I was able to create some training exercises for future chaplains that will come through OTS, and that alone is a powerful experience."

Since graduation, McDuffie has actively engaged with the wing. He offers a listening ear to those in need of counseling and regularly visits different squadrons, often providing meals or lunches, delivering devotional or inspirational messages and conducting invocations for various ceremonies.

Apart from his military responsibilities, he serves as a chaplain for the Charlotte, North Carolina Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, acts as a bi-vocational minister at his local church and holds a full-time position as an engineer with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"I love learning, I love leading, I love mentoring and I love pouring into others," McDuffie expressed. "If the opportunity came up to do this job full-time, then I would because I enjoy being a chaplain and serving Airmen.

In his limited time in service, McDuffie has made significant strides, which could be attributed to his long journey, determination, and commitment to serving others. He urges everyone to remain teachable and open to change because it will set them up for success as it did for him.

McDuffie, a pioneer dedicated to paving the way for his Airmen, community and family, was named the 908th AW’s Company Grade Officer of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2023.