Commentary by: Michelle McBride
Texas Military Forces Public Affairs
|U.S. Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Kenneth Walker/Released
CAMP MABRY, Texas (June 21, 2014) – Col. J. Craig Combs, Army Operations Chaplain for Joint Force Headquarters and State Chaplain for the Texas National Guard, celebrated his retirement in a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, in Austin, June 21, 2014.
With a direct commission as a first lieutenant, Combs took his oath of office as a chaplain in the Texas Army National Guard on June 24, 1988. During his 26 years, he has deployed to Iraq twice and traveled on military operations and training missions to Honduras, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Egypt.
“I realized one day that I didn’t have to give up my calling to God and I didn’t have to give up my desire to serve my country,” said Combs, “I could do both as a Citizen -Soldier.”
Throughout his career, Combs has served as the division chaplain for the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, as well as the mobilization chaplain for U.S. Army South, among other roles. He has attended the Chaplain Officer Basic Course, Chaplain Officer Career Course, Command and General Staff Course, Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Course and the U.S. Army War College Fellowship at George Mason University.
Combs holds a Bachelor of Arts in religion from Dallas Baptist University, a master of theology in pastoral ministries from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph.D in family education from Texas Tech University.
“Being able to serve God and Soldiers faithfully in a time of war- the fact that I had the opportunity to get the call and answer it- is the best thing I have been able to do as a Citizen-Soldier,” said Combs.
Combs currently resides in Argyle with his wife of 40 years. Together they have four sons and one daughter.
“I will miss the Soldiers,” said Combs. “That’s what my job was about- laughing with, crying with and serving with these men and women in uniform.”