Chaplain W. Scott Adams, a Bossier City native, was recently promoted to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force Sunday after more than a decade of military service.
Adams, an Individual Mobility Assistant to the command chaplain at the Air Force Special Operations Command in Florida, said his life in the military began as a young boy growing up in Bossier. His father, the late Lt. Col. Reginald W. Adams, had a profound history in Bossier City and Barksdale Air Force Base as an F-16 pilot and Vietnam War veteran.
Adams said his life was that of a typical military family.
“We moved all over the world,” he said. “When he left for Vietnam, we had the option to come home to Bossier so we did. Louisiana has always been home.”
Upon his father’s return to Barksdale, Adams said he decided retired after 24 years of service. His father later headed the Bossier YWCA, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce and served as the City Council member at large before his death in 2000.
Adams said he never intended on joining the Air Force, but he is very proud of the family legacy.
“When your dad is a pilot, it’s definitely an exciting life,” he said.
He went on to school to become a methodist pastor and receive his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. That’s when he was introduced to a different side of the Air Force.
“Recruiters would go into the seminaries and they would meet with people who were interested,” he said. “I signed up out of sheer curiosity, but the Air Force was in my blood.”
He was sworn in as a second lieutenant in the spring of 1985 and served three years as a reserve chaplain before 11 years of active duty, serving twice in Operation Enduring Freedom as well as deputy command chaplain for six months in Qatar and wing chaplain six months in Kuwait.
Though he’s been around the world, Adams still managed to find a way to come back home. Among his list of assignments are stops at Barksdale AFB, once in 1989 and again in 2006 to 2011.
His perspective, however, changed from the time he was a child to an adult in uniform.
“There’s a bigger sense of community and shared sacrifice and sense of pride when you serve your country,” Adams said. “I think you have that as a child, but you don’t really know what it is. You just know the friends you make in the military have a special bond, which is something very meaningful.”
He also said there are now fewer mysteries behind the military base.
“I’ll tell you, those B-52s looked like the biggest plane ever made when I was a kid,” he said jokingly. “Now they look rather small actually.”
Adams was pinned the Silver Eagle insignias of retired Air Force Col. Bruce Seeber, by his mother, Dorothy Adams, and son, Ross. Presenting him the oath of appointment was Seeber, a VietnamWar veteran, POW survivor and his personal friend.
“It was such a wonderful moment and very humbling knowing that the flowers were in memory of my father,” Adams said. “It all started right there in Bossier City when my dad would leave to fly planes at Barksdale every day.”
Adams is the Senior Pastor at McGuire United Methodist Church in West Monroe. He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons – Ross, a Benton resident, and Mitch, who is currently serving a tour in Afghanistan with the Air Force.
Adams said he plans on serving as chaplain at least four more years.
“When you get promoted, you get to stay longer,” he said. “For a chaplain, this is the extension of a called opportunity to serve young men and women in the Air Force.”