RING State Chaplain

The mission of the U.S. Army Chaplains Corps is to provide religious support to America's Army. Chaplains advise commanders to ensure the 'free exercise' rights for all Soldiers are upheld - including those who hold no faith.  Chaplains perform religious support activities according to their faith and conscience and provide religious support of other faith groups by coordinating with another chaplain or qualified individual to perform the support needed. At the unit level, a chaplain and Religious Affairs Specialist Non Commissioned Officer form a Unit Ministry Team, or UMT, and are embedded throughout all three components of the Army -- Active, Guard and Reserve.

CH (Lt. Col.) Tim Bourquin

Fulltime Support Chaplain

Rhode Island National Guard

Office: 401-275-4070

Cell: 401-486-3736



Strong Bonds

is a unit-based, chaplain-led program which assists commanders in building individual resiliency by strengthening the Army Family. The core mission of the Strong Bonds program is to increase individual Soldier and Family member readiness through relationship education and skills training.

Strong Bonds is conducted in an offsite retreat format in order to maximize the training effect. The retreat or “get away” provides a fun, safe, and secure environment in which to address the impact of relocations, deployments, and military lifestyle stressors.


History of Strong Bonds

Recognizing the importance of family support, the Army introduced the program Building Strong and Ready Families in 1997. Initially, 90 active-duty couples participated in four events.  Over the past year, more than 130,000 Soldiers and Family members have participated in over 3,700 Strong Bonds events. The program’s success has led to increased funding, expansion Army-wide, and more training options.

New programs now meet Soldiers at different phases of the relationship cycle. Specific training is offered for the Single Soldier, Couples, Families with children, and all Soldiers and Families facing deployment.

Strong Bonds is fully-funded and Chaplain-led with the support of the Commanding Officer. Soldiers and their Families attend with others in the unit who share the same deployment cycle. During the retreat, Soldiers and Families participate in small group activities that reveal common bonds and nurture friendships. This shores up spousal support at home, which can be vitally important while the Soldier is away. In addition, Soldiers and Families gain awareness of community resources that can assist with concerns about health and wellness, even crisis intervention.

An increasing percentage of recruits come from Army Families. Strong Bonds Family program is an investment in Army Families and in the Future Force.