JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Instructors with exceptional students should consider nominating them for the White Rope program, a chapel-based opportunity that strengthens leadership and sharpens professionalism.
While all technical training students must volunteer in some capacity throughout their education, Airmen in the White Rope program go above and beyond to support their classmates, assist with chapel activities and grow their own leadership capabilities.
“White Ropes quickly learn how to lead because they help guide and organize BMT [Basic Military Training] trainees who attend service on Sunday morning, even though they’re only a few weeks ahead of them in training,” said Capt. Daniel Morgan, a Chaplain at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
White Ropes serve during weekend worship services and in The Refuge Student Ministry Center, a space for all first-term technical students to relax and socialize Thursday – Sunday nights. The Refuge offers pool tables, musical instruments, video games, televisions and more to the 200 trainees who regularly frequent.
“I wanted to be a White Rope because I saw White Ropes at the Gateway Chapel in BMT, and they were so welcoming and nice. They were the people I would look up to,” Airman Basic Riley Gibson said.
Chaplain (Maj.). Jeffery Scott, Air Force Technical Training Chaplain Branch chief calls White Ropes “true force multipliers.”
Scott added, “The Chapel Corps provides various spiritual services for over 2,500 trainees every week. Without the White Ropes providing their volunteer hours and leadership, week in and week out, the Chapel Corps mission could not happen. They are invaluable, and we are grateful for all they provide.”
Beyond assisting with religious services and community events, White Ropes also serve as the liaison between trainees and Chaplains. They don’t have the same 100% confidentiality that Chaplains and Religious Affairs staff have, but White Ropes listen to and support their fellow Airmen, and they provide the Chaplain Corps with an on-the-ground temperature read of the community’s morale and spiritual needs.
“Being in the White Rope Program, I learned how to become more approachable as a person, and I took on leadership positions to get me outside of my comfort zone,” said Airman First Class Ariana Sales, a recent graduate of the White Rope Program.
White Rope members are expected to be professional and personable, maintain a minimum 80% GPA in all classes and volunteer with the Chaplain Corps 24 hours a month. They must show initiative, respect commitments and, most importantly, be kind and approachable to everyone.
“What does it mean to be approachable?” asked Tech Sgt. Jasmine Jones, a Religious Affairs staff member with the Technical Training Branch of JBSA-Lackland. “Just be yourself! Show kindness and smile often.”
Military Training Leaders who want to nominate students to the White Rope Program should contact the JBSA-Lackland Chapel Corps at email@example.com.