Freedom Wing's new chaplain hails from Poland

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Monica Ricci
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

The Freedom Wing’s award-winning chaplain corps has welcomed a new addition—Captain Michal Falgowski. 

The chaplain’s journey to the 514th Air Mobility Wing started back in 2009 when he made the decision to move to the United States from his native Poland. 

“There was a huge need for Catholic priests in the United States,” Chaplain Falgowski said. “So I decided to take the risk. I never learned the English language, so that was never my goal. My second language was always German!” 

Despite the challenges of navigating a new country and learning a new language, Falgowski earned his ordination into priesthood in 2013. Soon after, he met an Air Force chaplain who inspired him to join the service. That had some of its own challenges as well, since he did not have a green card at the time he tried to join.  

“Finally someone opened the door for me,” the chaplain said “My friends at home never expected it. I was trying to avoid the military drafting in Poland because it was never my thing. So the fear ended up becoming the biggest excitement of my life.” 

Joining the Air Force expedited his path to citizenship.  

“Becoming a citizen was the biggest accomplishment I could make,” Chaplain Falgowski said. “When I joined the Air Force and raised my right hand, I said I would support and defend the Constitution. Now I can say ‘It’s my Constitution. It’s my country as well.’” 

Chaplain Falgowski went on to serve as a reserve chaplain at Niagara Fall’s 914th Air Refueling Wing, all while fulfilling his duties as a priest at Saint Virgil Catholic Church in Morris Plains, New Jersey. He also recently completed a tour with the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, so he jumped at the opportunity to transfer to the Freedom Wing when he had the chance. 

As your new chaplain, Chaplain Falgowski is available to meet during Unit Training Assembly weekends. Chaplains are privileged communicators, meaning anything you talk to them about is confidential. Whether it be personal concerns, religious needs, or if you’re just needing some guidance, he and the other members of the Freedom Wing Chaplain Corps are there for you!  

For anyone going through a tough time, Chaplain Falgowski reminds you: 

“Look out the window. Even if you don’t see the sun out right now it doesn’t mean it’s not shining. Sometimes there are clouds up there. We just have to be patient and persistent. Just keep moving forward and don’t give up.” 

Anyone interested in meeting with Chaplain Falgowski can contact him at or stop by the chaplain’s office in Building 2217 (Wing HQ).