Military Bios

Chaplain (Major General) Henry J. Meade:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Aug. 1, 1978.  
Chaplain (Major General) Henry J. Meade is the chief of chaplains, U.S. Air Force. As a member of the Special Staff of the chief of staff, he advises on all matters that pertain to the religious and moral welfare of Air Force personnel. He is also responsible for establishing an effective total chaplain program that will meet the religious needs of all members of the Air Force.
Chaplain Meade was born in Brookline, Mass., in 1925, and graduated from St. Mary's High School. He then attended St. Anselm's College, Manchester, N.H., from 1942 to 1943, and graduated from St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Mass., in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree.
On April 11, 1951, Chaplain Meade was ordained by the eminent prelate Richard Cardinal Cushing and served as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese from April 1951 to February 1957.
Chaplain Meade entered active military service in February 1957. For the next 12 years, he served stateside military congregations at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas; U.S. Air Force Retraining Center, Amarillo, Texas; Westover Air Force Base, Mass.; Officer Training School and Officer Candidate School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; and Dover Air Force Base, Del. During this same period his overseas assignments included Samsun/Trabzon, Turkey; Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda; and U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand.
In 1969, Chaplain Meade was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Professional Division. In 1971, he was made the first director of ecclesiastical and public relations within the Office of the Chief of Chaplains.
One year later, in August 1972, he became deputy chief of chaplains, U.S. Air Force, with the grade of brigadier general. In August 1974, he assumed the position of chief of chaplains.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon.
Chaplain Meade has been the recipient of numerous awards for his service to church and community. Two notable honors bestowed on him were the Four Chaplains Award received in 1973 for distinguished service in the field of interfaith relations and the Civitan International Award in 1975 on behalf of the great contribution of the military chaplaincy to our society.
Chaplain Meade is presently serving as chairman of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, composed of the chief of chaplains of the departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force and their deputies. In this capacity, he acts as principal adviser to the assistant secretary of defense (manpower and reserve affairs) on all Armed Forces Chaplain Board matters.
Affectionately known by the nickname of "Hank," Chaplain Meade's hobbies include golf, tennis and boating. He is a formerly licensed pilot and still enjoys this as a hobby on occasions.
He was promoted to the grade of major general Sept. 1, 1974, with date of rank May 1, 1972.


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