Throughout my military career, I have always noticed that the Army Chaplain has been a man of the utmost respect and admiration. Army Chaplains support Commanders by giving religious and spiritual leadership. They do so by facilitating the practice of faith and spirituality by providing services, sacraments, rites and, in my opinion the greatest service….their attention and advice.
The Chaplain’s Program basically centers around two objectives: Supporting the First Amendment and Serving Soldiers, Families, the Army and the Nation. In support of those two objectives, Chaplin’s execute certain supporting functions and other tasks. One example is providing religious support and consultation to Commanders. Doing so, Chaplains ensure that Soldiers and families receive the care and moral, ethical and spiritual support they need. Policy and structure within the Chaplin Corps ensures that Soldiers and their families receive the facilities, equipment, money, outreach, programs, etc. that support their religious and spiritual initiatives. Again, all policy, structure, advice and religious support are centric around providing the Army with First Amendment protection and Service to Soldiers.
Additionally, Chaplains are specialized corps which carries out very specialized duties. Among these duties are listening, encouraging, guiding, modeling, enriching, strengthening, teaching and sustaining Soldiers, leaders and families. Chaplains are more than just a symbol of spiritual comfort within our Units. Despite the numerous religious backgrounds that make up our Army, Chaplains share a common bond which is the vitality of religious faith and an abiding commitment of service to Soldiers. Next time you see you Chaplain, make sure you stop and thank them for all they do!
Former Army Major (resigned)
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11 thoughts on “Army Chaplain Program Overview”
It wasn’t until recently that I came to fully appreciate the significant role a chaplain can play in the life of another, within the military and civilian world alike. I have friends that have served in the military and during their duty they encountered situations that left them pretty shaken up spiritually. Every one of those friends have mentioned just how thankful they were for the care and support they received from their chaplain.
Even many non-religious folks use the services of the Chaplain. I’m not religious myself, but I can see the importance of having a Chaplain in every unit.
The Army Chaplain program sounds like a great program for anyone who is passionate about the Lord, but is looking for good pay, job security and more.
Great article Justin. Initially, I wanted to go into the chaplain corps when I commissioned. Being divorced previously didn’t lend well to being endorsed by one of the churches, but I had already started seminary and everything. I think I knew ahead of time that it might not work out, which is why I went to OCS and squared away my commission separate from going through their process.
Haha, it actually ended up working out in my favor – at OCS, one of the TACs learned that I wanted to be a chaplain and he used that to give other candidates crap who weren’t pulling their weight. “Look at that OC, she wants to be a chaplain but she still came to OCS and has been kicking ass, what’s your excuse???”
Good story, Candace. Do you still plan on being an Army Chaplain in the future?
Thanks, Candace. I always joked with my PSG, who is studying Theology for his Bachelor’s Degree, that he should apply for the E-8 Chaplin’s Assistant position but he never did budge! Personally, I do not know too much about the Chaplin’s Corps and/or how they get to that position as I am not a religious man myself, but every single Soldier speaks highly of the Chaplin we have now and he is always out showing his face and interacting with our Soldiers…
I probably would have finished the seminary program but it’s over twice as long as a normal Master’s degree program. I love school, but I also have to be a little practical. I think switching to military resiliency is practical and also good for my career, plus, it’s only 30 credit hours with no thesis.
I don’t plan on pursuing the chaplaincy at all, especially with my recent pursuit for flight school.
Cool. Thanks for the update, Candace.
Mike Yeksavich, former Major, United States Army. I personally knew Chaplain Hope and his wife at my last duty station of Ft. Bliss, Texas. When I met Chaplain Hope he was retired and pastored a small Methodist Church within walking distance of my home, and my family and I attended his Church. He was a good, decent and Godly man and his wife was a good, decent and Godly woman. He was a bluff, bald headed square shaped man as I picture Paul of the Bible also was. After I left the Army and opened a law practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, until his death when I had personal issues, I called Chaplain Hope. He and his wife were remarkable people in every way. The fact he was Airborne, Army pistol team and awarded the purple heart and Combat Infantry Badge tells you something about him. We will never know how many American lives he saved when he personally led a force to recover American dead and wounded. We also need to understand he led on the battle field while he was suffering from his spinal injury incurred in the parachute landing of his unit. He spent months in a hospital in Japan in recovery. He never spoke of his history, and I only learned of it from his wife when she mentioned I might read the Chaplain’s portion of the 200th anniversary history of the Army. He was a true Christian and American, respected by all who knew him and I defy any to claim otherwise. He was my spiritual mentor and adviser, and I miss him. America needs more like him.
The Chaplain Program is a great program, but it is fairly difficult to get into. My father was a Chaplain and did 27+ years in the Army and loved it. I think he loved being a Soldier just as much as he enjoyed serving the Lord.