Father Thomas Maikowski became a Catholic priest in 1976 in a Catholic diocese in southwestern United States . He studied theology and philosophy at Saint Francis de Sales College. Father Maikowski has spent more than 25 years as a reserve chaplain in the United States Air Force, which has awarded him several medals for his service.
The Air Force has recently come under scrutiny by right-wing conservatives for advertising for new chaplains in an Islamic magazine. The Air Force responded publicly that it does not “endorse any one religion” and that the Department of Defense “provides free access of religion for all members of the military services.”
Chaplains do not serve in any military capacity with the Air Force, instead functioning as visible reminders of faith and providing ethical, moral, and religious counsel to airmen, officers, and their dependents. Chaplains come from various religions and represent the diversity of religious belief among American fighting forces. They stand as examples and defenders of the freedom to worship without persecution in the United States.