Lorraine K. Potter

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Lorraine K. Potter
LorrainePotter.jpg
Born 1946 (age 69–70)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1973–2004
Rank Major General
Commands held Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force
Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force

Lorraine Kay Potter (née Fallon;[1] 1946) is a former Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force and was the first female chaplain in the United States Air Force.

Biography[edit]

A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Potter is an ordained Baptist minister.[2] She is a graduate of Keuka College, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and Central Michigan University. Her husband, Robert, is also a former United States Army chaplain, who reached the rank of Colonel.[3]

Career[edit]

Potter initially inquired about serving as a military chaplain in 1972. She sent a letter to the Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force at the time, Roy M. Terry. The response stated that one of the qualifications for a chaplain in the Air Force was that they had to be male. Several weeks later, she received a letter stating that the Chief of Chaplains had dropped the gender requirement, and that if her church gave her an endorsement, it would be possible for her to become an Air Force chaplain. She received the endorsement and eventually was commissioned an officer in 1973.

In 1992, while stationed at Bolling Air Force Base, she was promoted to Colonel. As was she the first female chaplain to reach that rank, then-Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak organized a special ceremony at The Pentagon to commemorate the occasion.

From 1994 to 1995, she served as Executive Director of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board before serving as Command Chaplain of the United States Air Forces in Europe. She also served as Command Chaplain at Headquarters Air Education and Training Command and briefly returned to Bolling Air Force Base before she was named Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force with the rank of Brigadier General in 1999. In 2001, she was promoted to Chief of Chaplains with the rank of Major General and held that position until her retirement in 2004.

Awards and military decorations[edit]

USAF Christian Chaplain Insignia.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png
Badge Air Force Christian Chaplain Badge
1st Row Air Force Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit with one bronze oak leaf cluster Defense Meritorious Service Medal
2nd Row Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
3rd Row Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Short
4th Row Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Long with oak leaf cluster Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with silver and bronze oak leaf clusters Air Force Training Ribbon
Badge Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://archive.org/stream/chaplain304gene/chaplain304gene_djvu.txt
  2. ^ "Chaplain (Major General) Lorraine K. Potter". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  3. ^ "'I never liked being first'". National Council of Churches. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
Military offices
Preceded by
William J. Dendinger
Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force
2001 – 2004
Succeeded by
Charles C. Baldwin