Chaplain, Colonel James A. Hamel is Command Chaplain, Headquarters, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA. As the Command Chaplain, he advises and represents the ACC commander on all aspects of the Chaplain Corps mission. He ensures ACC Chaplains and Religious Affairs Airmen are ready and prepared for global deployment. He is responsible for providing functional leadership to all ACC bases and other chaplain units, to include developing chaplain policies, plans, programs, readiness and contingency requirements, and religious support for more than 225 Chaplain Corps members serving 158,000 Total Force Airmen at 37 wings, 12 bases, and over 315 operating locations worldwide. He is responsible for all Chaplain Corps programs within the command providing Airmen and their families with spiritual care and opportunities for the free exercise of religion. The Command Chaplain's staff responsibilities include personnel, manpower, assignments, readiness, plans and programs, Air Force chapels, and financial resources.


 He has served as a Chaplain, Deputy Wing Chaplain, Wing Chaplain and as 25 Air Force Senior Chaplain. He has also served as an Intern at the Office of the Chief of Chaplains, an Instructor at the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, and a staff officer at the Chaplain Corps Resource Development Center. Chaplain Hamel ensures the protection of the constitutional right of the free exercise of religion and fosters the practice of faith through religious programs and guidance. He advises leadership on all matters of religious and spiritual concern.


Chaplain Hamel is a native of New Jersey and was ordained a Catholic priest in May 1992. He served as a civilian priest in the Archdiocese of Newark (NJ) for eight years and was commissioned a chaplain, first lieutenant, in the Air Force in 1999. He came on active duty in July of 2000.



1988  Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey
1992 Master of Divinity (MDiv) in Pastoral Ministry, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey
1999 Master of Public Administration (MPA), Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, New Jersey
1999 Master of Arts (MA) in Systematic Theology, Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey
2000  Commissioned Officer Training, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2000 Chaplain Orientation Course (Distinguished Graduate) Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2005  Squadron Officer’s School (In-Residence), Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2010 Academic Instructor Course, Maxwell AFB, Alabama 2013  Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence)
2017 Master of Strategic Studies, Air War College (In-Residence), Maxwell AFB, Alabama



  1. July 2000—July 2002, Catholic Chaplain, 319 ARW, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
  2. July 2002—July 2003, Catholic Chaplain, 51 FW, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
  3. July 2003—July 2005, Catholic Chaplain, 435 ABW, Ramstein AB, Germany
  4. July 2005—July 2006, Chaplain Service Intern, Office of the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Bolling AFB, District of Columbia
  5. July 2006—November 2007, Catholic Chaplain, 11 WG, Bolling AFB, District of Columbia
  6. November 2007—January 2010, Catholic Chaplain, 316 WG, Andrews AFB, Maryland
  7. January 2010----June 2012, Staff Chaplain, Air Force Chaplain Corps College, Ft Jackson, South Carolina
  8. June 2012----February 2013, Staff Chaplain, Resource Development Center, Ft Jackson, South Carolina
  9. February 2013---June 2015, Deputy Wing Chaplain, 96 TW, Eglin AFB, Florida
  10. June 2015---July 2016, Wing Chaplain, 96 TW, Eglin AFB, Florida
  11. July 2016---May 2017, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  12. May 2017---November 2019, 25 AF Senior Chaplain, JBSA-Lackland, Texas
  13. November 2019 – Present, Command Chaplain, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia



Legion of Merit
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal 3 Devices
Air Force Commendation Medal, 6 Devices
AF Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award National Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal






Captain                          21 December 1999

Major                             1 April 2010

Lieutenant Colonel      1 May 2015

Colonel                          1 December 2017


(Current as December 2019)