Role of Military Chaplains

March 3, 2003

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On March 3, 2003 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "the chaplain in all U.S. military services is an officer and a full member of the armed forces. No matter what his or her rank, even if it is general or admiral, he or she is addressed simply as chaplain... All branches of the armed services require chaplains to have at least one graduate degree in theology or pastoral care from a seminary. All need the continued sponsorship of their faith group. If that sponsorship is dropped, unless they find another denomination to sponsor them, the military drops them... Jews and Christians must be ordained to apply for a chaplain post. Muslims, Mormons, Christian Scientists and members of other faiths with lay leaders must have certificates to become chaplains... most of the chaplain's week is spent offering pastoral counseling to personnel and their families about their relationships with God, colleagues, family and friends."