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VA Southeast Network (VISN7)


Charleston chaplain promoted in USAF Reserve

Chaplain John Painter being promoted to Brig. Gen.

Chaplain John Painter being promoted to Brig. Gen.

By By Chad Isom, Public Affairs Specialist
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System is proud to announce one of their very own employees was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Chaplain John Painter.

The ceremony, which took place on Nov 13, 2021 at Joint Base Charleston, was attended by many Air Force General Officers, as well as staff and leadership from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System.  Over his time serving the spiritual needs of Airmen across the world, Brig. Gen. Painter has constantly believed that taking care of, and providing comfort to, airmen is a calling, and one he is extremely passionate about.

Painter graduated from The Citadel in June 1989, and his service began in September 1997.  He is currently the Mobilization Assistant to the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains and completes his Reserve duty monthly at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  As part of the Chaplain Service at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston, Painter is part of a seven-person team that provide for the spiritual well-being and comfort of Veterans and their families, along with VAHCS staff members.

“I am very thankful to both the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the VA Health Care System leadership team for supporting me and providing me the opportunity to minister to both these wonderful organizations” said Painter.  Brig. Gen. Painter practices the mantra of the Chaplain Corps daily, “To care for Airmen more than anyone thinks is possible.”  Painter is a man that wants to be with his men and women, wherever that may take him, whether it be out on the physical fitness fields, walking the flight lines, or checking in on barracks life for the younger troops.  At the VA Medical Center, you will often find Painter making his rounds and speaking with everyone he comes in contact with.

Whether he is with his Airmen in his Reserve duty, or with his Veterans at the VA, his ministry is the same, to provide worship, bible studies, and counseling for all in need.   As a chaplain at the VA Medical Center, he is endorsed by his denomination, however the chaplain services team provides spiritual care for people of all faiths, and in some cases, those with no faith at all. Painter believes his mission is to preserve the 1st Amendment rights of all service members and Veterans alike.  By ensuring these men and women are provided for regardless of belief, the chaplain corps remains an integral part of Veteran care at the VA.

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System wishes a big congratulations to Brig. Gen. Painter.

“Chaplain Painter is an important part of our VA,” said Ralph H. Johnson VAHCS Director and CEO Scott Isaacks. “His dedicated work helps us fulfill our mission to serve Veterans—providing for their whole health well-being. Our entire team is grateful to have him on our staff.”

Painter is a servant to Lowcountry Veterans and is available during their time of need or just to provide a kind word during their visit to the VA.  Veterans can find the Chaplain Service office at the VA main hospital in downtown Charleston on the first floor near the main auditorium and the chapel. Chaplain services are also available to Veterans at the off-site outpatient clinics through virtual care visits.


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