Cocoa’s Chaplain John H. Weller of U.S. Air Force Retires After 12 Years

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Col. Jeffrey Macrander, 920th Rescue Wing commander (left), presents a certificate of retirement to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) John Weller (right) during his retirement ceremony Aug. 1 at the Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., chapel. Weller served as an Air Force chaplain for 27 years, 12 of which were as a reservist at Patrick. (U.S. Air Force Image/2nd Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The wing chaplain for the 920th Rescue Wing here ended his 27 years of service with a retirement ceremony at the base chapel Aug. 1.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) John H. Weller spent 12 years with the 920th RQW prior to his retirement: 1997-2008, then returned in 2014. Col. Jeffrey Macrander, 920th RQW commander, presided over the ceremony.

Col. Jeffrey Macrander
Col. Jeffrey Macrander

“Chaplain Weller is what I affectionately call a boomerang: people that leave the 920th, then figure out that there is no better place to be than in Cocoa Beach saving lives with the 920th Rescue Wing,” Macrander said.

As the wing chaplain, Weller led the wing staff chaplains and chaplain assistants, provided ministry and religious programs for wing members and dependents, and conducted regular work center visits for all units within the wing.

He also provided pastoral counseling, religious instruction, religious services and ethical advisement to commanders and supervisors pertaining to unit morale and welfare.

Weller began his Air Force career in 1988 as a staff chaplain at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. He has deployed to Southwest Asia, Europe, as well as domestically for hurricane relief efforts.

“Retirements are always bittersweet,” Macrander said.

“We’re losing a valued member of our team, but we’re giving him back to his family.”

Outside the Reserve, Weller serves as lead pastor in the Church of the Nazarene in Hollywood, Florida. He said he plans to remain actively involved in his church, as well as keeping in touch with his Air Force family.

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Weller thanked his fellow Airmen, his wife and their three children, plus additional friends, family and coworkers present at his retirement.

“It has been a great career,” Weller said.

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve, and thank you for all your support over the years.”