In an inspiring display of faith amidst the rigorous demands of military basic training, U.S. Army Chaplain (CPT) Logan Lair recently baptized more than 150 soldiers during summer basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Chaplain Lair, who has been serving at basic training camps since 2019, expressed his deep gratitude for witnessing what he describes as the movement of God’s Spirit among these new trainees.
The transition from civilian life to the military can be an overwhelming experience for young recruits. As they step off the bus onto the military base, they are immediately thrust into an environment filled with drill sergeants, strict military structure, and discipline. This sudden change can be extremely stressful for these young individuals, who are often far from their homes and loved ones.
Chaplain Logan Lair recognizes the vital role that chaplains play in providing a safe space for trainees to process their feelings and seek guidance. He shared, “As a chaplain, I get a lot of tears. I carry tissues on my uniform and usually go through about a pack a day. Many times, those conversations are spiritual, and we’re able to talk about that spirituality piece.”
In this high-pressure environment, young recruits often seek counsel and guidance, presenting Chaplain Lair with the opportunity to share the Gospel. “Trainees, typically from my perspective, have been pretty hungry to learn about spirituality and their spiritual strength,” he explained.
This hunger for spiritual growth leads many trainees to attend chapel services and Bible studies held weekly, where they can further explore their faith. Moreover, they have access to counseling from several Christian chaplains working at Fort Leonard Wood, providing them with the spiritual support they need during this challenging phase of their military journey.
One of the most significant events on the base is the baptism service held on the third Sunday in both July and August. Nearly 2,000 trainees attend these services, where they publicly declare their faith through baptism. The Baptist Press reports that witnessing the growth of these soldiers’ spiritual strength through basic training is an incredible blessing for Chaplain Lair. He enthusiastically stated, “It’s such a joy to see.”
Chaplain Logan Lair, a graduate of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has personally led 84 new trainees to be baptized in July and another 73 in August, a testament to his dedication and the impact of his ministry. He emphasized the importance of recognizing the collective effort of Army chaplains, stating, “That baptism service is one of many testimonies of the good work Army chaplains are doing all around the world in our nation’s military. It’s an absolute blessing to each and every one of us. It’s a team effort.”
Chaplain Lair also encouraged believers to pray not only for U.S. soldiers but especially for chaplains who play a vital role in the spiritual well-being of the military community. He spoke passionately about his role as a chaplain, saying, “It’s an amazing joy for me to walk with soldiers and family through their challenging days and their joyful days. A chaplain definitely gets to experience the highs and lows of life with people. Words can’t explain how joyful it is to be a part of that. Chaplaincy is the best job in the Army. I’ll fight anybody over that.”
The story of Chaplain Logan Lair’s ministry at Fort Leonard Wood is a heartwarming testament to the transformative power of faith in the lives of U.S. soldiers undergoing the demanding journey of basic training. His dedication to providing spiritual support and guidance to trainees is not only changing lives but also serves as an inspiration to believers and military personnel alike.