Chaplain (MG) Thomas L. Solhjem, USA, Ret.

Chaplain (MG) Thomas L. Solhjem, USA, Ret.

Chaplain (Major General) Thomas L. Solhjem became the Army’s 25th Chief of Chaplains in May 2019. He led the Chaplain Corps in providing religious support to the Army’s Soldiers, their Families, and Civilians.

Chaplain Solhjem enlisted in the United States Army in 1974. After completing his initial active-duty assignment at Bamberg, Germany, he continued his military service in the Army Reserve at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. While serving in the Army Reserve, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Central University, and then a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, and he served as a pastor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for six years. In 1988, he was commissioned as a chaplain in the United States Army and reentered active duty.

Chaplain Solhjem’s previous chaplain assignments include: Battalion CH, 4/325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, (Operation Desert Shield/Storm); 1/508th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade, Panama; 1/75th Ranger Regiment, (Deployed ISO Operation Uphold Democracy); Installation and Brigade CH, 1st Engineer Training Brigade, FLMO; Resident, Command and General Staff College; Deputy Division CH, 2nd Infantry Division, Korea; Regimental CH, 75th Ranger Regiment, (Multiple deployments ISO OEF/OIF); Command CH, U. S. Army Special Forces Command; Command CH, Joint Special Operations Command, (Multiple deployments ISO OEF/OIF on JTF); Resident, Army War College; Command CH, U. S. Special Operations Command (Deployed ISO OEF); Command CH, U. S. Army Forces Command; and Deputy Chief of Chaplains, Headquarters Department of the Army.

Chaplain Solhjem has numerous awards and citations, to name a few Legion of Merit (2OLC), Bronze Star (4OLC), the Combat Action Badge; the Ranger Tab; Master Parachutist Wings; and multiple Foreign Jump Wings.

Chaplain Solhjem married the former Jill Walberg in December of 1977. Tom and Jill are the parents of four children: BJ and his wife, Laurie, who have three daughters; Thad, and his wife, Deanna; Sam, and his wife, Caitlin; and Beth and her husband, Andrew Gustafson, who have two sons and a daughter.

Chaplain Solhjem retired on 1 August 2023, 49 years after first entering the military.