State Chaplain Promoted


Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, Adjutant General and Carrie Padgett, fix new shoulder rank to Senior State Chaplain, Jay Padgett’s uniform, during a ceremony at the Wellman Armory on Boone National Guard Center. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane)

By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FRANKFORT, Ky. –The state’s senior chaplain was promoted to Colonel during a ceremony at the Wellman Armory on Boone National Guard Center Oct. 10, 2019.

For around two decades, Chaplain Jay Padgett has served as one of the Kentucky National Guard’s spiritual leaders tasked with nurturing the living, caring for the wounded and honoring those who gave their lives for their country.

“Legacy and lineage are important to me,” said Padgett. “They are a result of leadership and mentorship.”

He has exemplified all the qualities one would come to expect from a man in his position and he has earned the respect of all those whom he works with.

Senior State Chaplain, Jay Padgett, poses with CH (COL) Ret. Yong Cho, CH (BG) Ret. Patrick Dolan, CH (COL) Ret. Roger Dill and CH (BG) Ret. David Graetz, four of the last state chaplains after his promotion ceremony at the Wellman Armory on Boone National Guard Center Oct. 10, 2019. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane)

“Chaplain Padgett is the epitome of a servant-leader,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bill Draper. “He has the heart and soul of a pastor and the intellectual fortitude of a seasoned staff officer. His twenty years as a chaplain at both the battalion and brigade level make him uniquely qualified to serve as our senior army chaplain.”

Several past state chaplains came to support Padgett on this special occasion as well.

“The four (retired) state chaplains that we have here represent a legacy of 33 years of dedication,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, Kentucky’s Adjutant General. “All here showing their support for this man.”

The state chaplain appreciated their presence.

“The Kentucky Army National Guard has a long tradition of strong, faithful leaders as State Chaplain and I’m grateful that four of my predecessors were able to attend my promotion ceremony today,” added Padgett. “I am humbled by being a part of their legacy and honored that they are a part of my lineage.”

A common thread shared amongst all the people that work with Padgett is that he is a true man of God who has been a leader through his character and his actions. 

Senior State Chaplain, (Col) Jay Padgett’ addresses the crowd during his promotion ceremony at the Wellman Armory on Boone National Guard Center. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane)

“Jay’s love for the men and women of our chaplain corps will propel his leadership reach to impact the mentoring and training of our chaplains, religious affairs specialist, and chaplain candidates, to better meet the demands of providing religious support across the organization,” said Draper.

The support and kindness that has been shown to Padgett is a reflection the support he gives others.

“I am simply overwhelmed by the support of my family, my church family, and my Guard family; I’m very humbled to have the privilege and the distinct honor to serve as State Chaplain of the Kentucky Army National Guard,” said Padgett.

During the ceremony, Chaplain (Maj.) Joshua Stine and Chaplain (1st Lt.) Eliot Handziak were awarded a Kentucky Commendation Ribbon for their dedication to the Soldiers in the state.  Padgett also coined them both as a thank you from him personally.

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