Colonel Promoted to the Rank of Brigadier General
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate confirmed by voice vote on Friday the promotion of Father Richard M. Erikson, a USAF colonel and Catholic military chaplain, to the rank of Brigadier General. The promotion will become effective in the spring once a date of rank is assigned by the Pentagon.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, expressed his congratulations to Father Erikson, a 29-year Air Force Reserve veteran whose military experience includes seven years as an active-duty Chaplain.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“Father Erikson’s service to the Air Force Chaplaincy has always been greatly appreciated and I know that he will continue to offer excellent leadership to those he is now called to serve in this Reserve capacity. On behalf of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, I offer him heartfelt congratulations and the assurance of our prayers.”
Father Erikson said:
“I am deeply honored by this promotion and deeply grateful for Archbishop Broglio’s support and leadership over the years. I am honored to continue the legacy of Fr. Jack Sewell, our current Moblization Assistant, who retires in May after more than three decades of faithful and inspiring service to our troops.”
Father Erikson currently serves as the mobilization assistant to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is principal advisor to the Deputy Chief of Chaplains for training, readiness and sourcing the Air Force Reserve Chaplain Corps. He assists in developing the Chaplain Corps Strategic Plan, Total Force Policy, and strategic planning objectives. He assists the mobilization assistant to the Chief of Chaplains in coordinating Air Force Reserve matters. Father Erikson serves as advisor to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board. He is a member of the Reserve Chaplain Corps Council and the Air Force Reserve Chaplain Development Team.
Father Erikson was commissioned a second lieutenant on June 10, 1982. His previous assignment was an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Command Chaplain, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
In his civilian position, Father Erikson served five years as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Boston (2006-2011). He recently completed a sabbatical program at the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the North American College in Vatican City, Italy.
Father Erikson was ordained a Catholic priest on June 8, 1985. He is author of Late Have I Loved Thee: Stories of Religious Conversion and Commitment in Later Life (Paulist Press, 1995; St. Paul’s Press, 1998). He is an avid lover of music and has compiled, produced and published liner notes in more than a dozen compact discs. He deployed to Balad, Iraq from July to September 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.