Meet Our Chaplains

Chaplain Jeff Watters

Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Colonel

Chaplain (COL) Jeffrey D. Watters, a native of Cedar Falls, IA, graduated from Baptist University of America with a B. A. in Pre-Seminary in 1981. He completed his Master of Divinity from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in 1984 (summa cum laude). He also received the Master of Sacred Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary (cum laude) in 1987.

In October 1988, Plymouth Road Bible Chapel, a local church in Detroit, MI, commended him to the military chaplaincy. He was appointed as a chaplain and entered the Chaplain Officer Basic Course (CHOBC) in January 1989.

Chaplain Watters’ first active duty assignment in April 1989 was with the 361st Signal Battalion, Fort Gordon, GA. His service with the Signal Corps included ministering to over 1,000 Advanced Individual Training students. His next tour from June 1991 to May 1992 was as a Group Chaplain at Cakmakli, Turkey. From June to Dec 1992 he attended the Chaplain Officer Advanced Course (CHOAC) at Fort Monmouth, NJ. From 1993-1996 he served as Battalion Chaplain for the 3/27th Field Artillery Regiment (MLRS) and after attending Airborne School served with the 1st Battalion 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, NC. In June 1996 Chaplain Watters reported to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Richardson, AK. Following his Alaska tour he reported once again at Fort Bragg, NC, where he served as the Family Life Chaplain for one year (2000-2001) and then as the Brigade Chaplain for the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment . He deployed with the Regiment to Afghanistan in January 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed again in January 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In July 2004 he reported to Aberdeen Proving Ground where he served for 15 months as the Deputy Installation Chaplain and Resource Manager. He reported to Kuwait in November 2005 as the Plans and Operations Chaplain for Third Army, Forward. From January 2007 to June 2008 he served as the 194th Armored Brigade Chaplain at Fort Knox, KY. From June 2008 until June 2010 he was assigned to the Pentagon and served as the Strategic Planner for the Office of the Chief of Chaplains. Following his Pentagon assignment, he served as the Division Chaplain for the 82nd Airborne Division. In September 2011 he deployed for the third time with the 82nd Airborne Division to Afghanistan and served as the Regional Command South Chaplain. He redeployed in September 2012. He is currently serving as the deputy FORSCOM Chaplain.

Chaplain Watters’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (two oak leaf clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (six oak leaf clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (two oak leaf clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Southwest Asia Service Medal (with bronze service star), the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. He is authorized to wear the Valorous Unit Award, the Army Staff Identification Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Thailand Jump Wings, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

He is married to the former Shelley Harmon of Springfield, OH. They have three children, Jeffrey, Jonathan, and Ashley.