Lee alumn earns Air Force Distinguished Service Award
Apr 06, 2014 | 1030 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Major Johnathan Hurt
Major Jonathan Hurt receives Air Force Military Chaplain Association Distinguished Service Award.
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Lee alum Major Jonathan Hurt of the First Special Operations Wing was recently awarded the Air Force’s Military Chaplain Association (MCA) Distinguished Service Award for 2013.

The award recognizes ministry excellence of chaplain of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Veterans Affairs, and Civil Air Patrol. Nominations are chosen by the five constituent Chief Chaplains of the MCA and presented annually during the MCA National Institute meeting.

“God has put me in situations that have allowed me to be an example and to encourage and give hope to our men and women in the military,” said Hurt.

“The sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families stirs my heart. I am just thankful for the opportunity to walk alongside them on a daily basis, listen to their stories, and share the love of Christ with

Hurt serves as deputy wing chaplain in the First Special Operations Wing in Hurlburt Field, Fla.

While serving in this role, he has led 238 volunteers and managed 25 religious programs to provide ministry opportunities for over 9,000 airmen.

His team has raised $126,000 to support chapel ministry programs and $7,000 in charitable donations to local organizations.

Hurt coordinated the first-ever Resiliency Workshop for airmen and their dependents in the highest deployed squadron in the Air Force. He provided spiritual care for 3,600 soldiers at events on and off the base, facilitated counseling sessions, visited airmen in their work centers and on the flight line, responded to traumatic incidents, and provided aide to more than 2,000 airmen.

Hurt has led the Hurlburt Chapel Team to two “Outstanding” ratings in the 2013 Combined Unit Inspection and was recognized as a “Superior Performer” by the wing commander. Hurt has equipped four Religious Support Teams for Afghanistan and ensured non-stop support for 1,800 Special Operations Forces.

Hurt graduated magna cum laude from Lee University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministries. He was the recipient of the theology department award.

While at Lee, Hurt was involved with Pioneers for Christ and the work study program. After graduation, he attended the Pentecostal Theological Seminary and worked on the Campus Safety staff at Lee.

“One thing that impacted my life at Lee was the fact that several upper classmen and faculty took the time to mentor me and help me along the way” said Hurt.

“I can honestly say that a lot of my drive to care for military men and women and their families came from witnessing the love of Christ in people at Lee.”

Hurt will fly to Korea later this month to serve for one year on a remote assignment apart from his family.

“It is a great opportunity to minister to others who are in similarly difficult situations, away from loved ones and working long hours to defend our nation’s interests in that part of the world,” said Hurt.

“My heart is broken about leaving my family behind, but I know God is in control.”

Hurt is a single father with two daughters, Kristin and Kelcie.