156th Wing chaplain earns national award

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rafael D. Rosa
  • 156th Wing

During a ceremony at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, U.S. Air Force Maj. Iraida M. Alvarez Carrasquillo, the 156th Wing chaplain, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, received the Samuel Stone Award, recognizing her as the outstanding Air National Guard Chaplain of the Year, June 1, 2024.

The Samuel Stone Award is named after Chaplain Samuel Stone, who was the first recorded Chaplain to serve in the militia of colonial America, and is the top honor in the field of military chaplaincy.

"We are extremely proud of Maj. Alvarez's exceptional achievement in receiving this prestigious national award," said U.S. Air Force Col. Evaristo Orengo, commander of the 156th Wing. "As the first chaplain in the history of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard to earn this recognition, Maj. Alvarez serves as an inspiration to all our Airmen, encouraging them to continue executing our mission with the utmost excellence."

By exemplifying the traits of what it means to be a chaplain, Alvarez distinguished herself with commitment to serving leadership, Airmen and their families.

“It’s my belief that throughout the history of all who have received this award, it was only made possible by embodying the Chaplains Corps vision, ‘To care for Airmen more than anyone thinks possible,’” said Alvarez.

Air Force chaplains support the free exercise of religion for all Airmen, their families and authorized individuals. 

Chaplains advise leadership on religious, spiritual, ethical, moral and morale issues; they also provide faith opportunities, confidentiality and personal guidance.

“I’m truly honored to be receiving this award, it reflects the selfless service of the Chaplain Corps,” said Alvarez.

During the ceremony, Alvarez also embraced a new set of expectations and responsibilities as she was promoted to the rank of major. As the honoree continues to execute her duties in chaplaincy she is welcomed as one of the PRANG's newest field grade officers.