The Southeast Arkansas Chapter of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) recently welcomed the latest Salvation Army officers assigned to Pine Bluff, hosting Captain Janai Olige, the wife of Captain Chwight Olige, who had also been scheduled to speak but was called to assist in parts of Florida after the destruction from Hurricane Michael.
“He is currently serving as security officer for 2 weeks there in Florida,” Janai Olige said.
She said the two have been married for 10 years, are ordained pastors, and were given three weeks to prepare for their departure and move from Little Rock to Pine Bluff.
“The transition from Little Rock to Pine Bluff wasn’t a problem, but moving from the Carolina’s to Arkansas was a bigger transition for me,” Janai Olige said. “I’ve been here in Pine Bluff for two weeks, and I’ve already felt the warm reception from the community. I’m truly grateful.”
Janai Olige was stationed in Charlotte, North Carolina, for four years before being sent to Little Rock and has been in the Salvation Army for eight years. Chwight Olige, a Fort Worth, Texas, native grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. He joined ROTC in high school and later joined the Salvation Army as a teen.
Capt. Chwight Olige attended Chowan University, where he studied criminal justice, and Norfolk State, where he studied sociology. Capt. Olige also had a small contract security firm. In high school, He found out about the organization through his older sister.
Janai Olige was also born in Fort Worth but grew up in Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Later, she moved to Courtland, Virginia. She said she found out about Salvation Army while attending Virginia Tech. During her speech, she spoke about how she discovered the organization.
“I was going to school at Virginia Tech the same year the mass shooting occurred,” she said. “Just seeing the efforts and tireless support that Salvation Army came and provided to the school helped solidify my decision to join the organization.”
Janai Olige attended Virginia Tech University, where she studied human development with a focus on family services. She graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Captain Chwight and Captain Janai Olige both attended Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, Georgia, where they graduated with a bachelor’s in practical ministries in 2011.
Janai Olige spoke briefly about her plan to establish a connection with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. She also plans to survey the city and get familiar with organizations and nonprofit organizations to get an idea of “who’s doing what to prevent duplicating.”
Asked how long she plans to be stationed in Pine Bluff, she said, “my plan is to be here at least five years; 10-12 years would be fantastic. Salvation Army takes a lot of factors into consideration when deciding to relocate officials.”