Spirituality in the Air Force


Many personnel think about spiritual issues during their Service life. Air Force service can take you to new places, and give you new experiences, such as to a war-like area or a humanitarian aid operation. Some of these experiences may cause you to question your perception of the world and your perception of yourself.

After such experiences, some people gain a stronger relationship with God. Other people may question their beliefs or feel empty.

What is Spirituality?

Different people understand spirituality in different ways. Some common understandings of spirituality are:

  • Life’s meaning and importance.
  • Values, beliefs and ethics.
  • Awareness of life beyond yourself.
  • Connection between you, others and God.
  • Reflecting on your life and your soul.

A recently published article contains more formal understanding of spirituality:

Spirituality is a dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity through which persons seek ultimate meaning, purpose, and transcendence, and experience relationship to self, family, others, community, society, nature, and the significant or sacred. Spirituality is expressed through beliefs, values, traditions, and practices.’

Often, those with a sense of spirituality also have a spiritual identity which anchors itself in the practise of religion. The ADF Chaplain Manual defines Spiritual identity as:

Spiritual identity is the belief in the reality of God (as Creator, Author of Life, ultimate meaning behind Life for all people), belief in the reality of Eternity, belief in the eternal soul of each person and belief in consequences of these.

Your Chaplains encourage you to explore spiritual issues and to develop a spiritual resilience. The ADF Guide to Religion provides further context for the expression of spirituality in the Air Force.

In the video below, Air Force pilot Brad Close discusses his own conclusions about spirituality.

Spiritual Connection

People who connect through spiritual activities often feel part of something ‘bigger’. You can connect in a variety of ways:

  • Spending time with other people at worship or participating in other spiritual events.
  • Participating in other communal spiritual activities.
  • Talking to your Chaplain about spiritual/faith matters.