Providing Spiritual Care
Nothing tests religious beliefs more than many situations our Airmen face throughout the course of their service. Providing pastoral care ministry and counseling to those of faith and those of no faith, Air Force chaplains are religious ministry professionals who support the spiritual resilience of our Airmen all over the world. As spiritual leaders, chaplains are relied upon for faith and personal guidance. They are also advocates for our Airmen and consult with leadership on moral, ethical and quality-of-life issues.
Manage and support spiritual centers on military installations around the world
Conduct worship services, liturgies and rites
Advise leadership on spiritual, religious, ethical, moral, morale and quality-of-life issues
Supervise and manage chapel personnel, operations and religious ministry programsCareer Tasks
QUALIFICATIONS, EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 120 semester hours
Master of Divinity or equivalent theological degree with no less than 72 hours from an accredited institution.
Pastoral Ministry Requirement
Two years of religious ministry leadership experience
Other faith groups
Must be a U.S. citizen, no dual citizenship
Receive an Ecclesiastical Endorsement from a DoD-recognized endorser
No violations of privileged communication and/or confidentiality
No violations or compromises of noncombatant status
No convictions by courts-martial or by civilian courts (except for minor traffic violations or similar infractions)
No record of disciplinary action for failure to exercise sound judgement with respect to morale or welfare of subordinates
No disciplinary action for engaging in an unprofessional or inappropriate relationship
No record of disciplinary action for financial irresponsibility, domestic violence or child abuse
Must be between the ages of 18 and 40
*When you join the chaplain corps, you will be commissioned as an officer. Your rank will be based on education level and experience.
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- Chaplain Special Operations00:00
- Rabbi Sarah Schechter, Jewish Chaplain00:00
- Father Matthew Streett, Greek Orthodox Chaplain00:00
- Father Van Dinh, Catholic Chaplain00:00
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helping guide those who serve
Chaplains serve as visible reminders of the Holy—directly and indirectly supporting the free exercise of religion for all Airmen, their family members and other authorized personnel. In taking the oath, chaplains pledge a personal commitment to the Constitution’s protection of the “free exercise of religion and its prohibition of the government’s establishment of religion.
Serve your country and your faith
When you join the Air Force as a chaplain, you will be called upon to enhance the spiritual resiliency of today’s Airmen. A diverse chaplain corps is crucial to support the needs of the many because chaplains are responsible for religious observances in a culturally, racially and religiously diverse environment.
- Phase 01
- An Ecclesiastical Endorsement (DoD Form 2088)
- An initial screening from an Air Force Recruiting Service Chaplain Recruiter
- A pastoral ministerial leadership experience skills set résumé
- An official military/civilian 5"x7" color photo
- A homily or sermon video of your preaching in your civilian ministry context (e.g., church, synagogue, mosque, etc.)
- Phase 02
- Official academic transcripts from your educational institution
- Letters of recommendation from your supervisor and others
- Senior-level Air Force chaplain face-to-face interview
- Phase 03
- Meet with your local Air Force recruiter to complete all required documentation.
- A Department of Defense physical at the nearest Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)
- Submission of a security clearance and credit check screening
Training & Education
How do we transform you from the civilian sector to a leader and an Officer in the Air Force? From education to continued training, your Air Force path is here.
Commissioned Officer Training
Military Training Location
Maxwell AFB AL
For chaplains, overseas deployment is where chaplains apply everything they’ve learned as ministers and as Airmen for high-stress situations. It’s where troops readily request the support of a chaplain; it’s where we’re needed most.
Chaplain Jim Hamel, Air Force Chaplain
As defenders of the First Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion in the Air Force community, the chaplain corps traces its roots to the very beginning of our nation.
On July 29, 1775, the Continental Congress established the military chaplaincy. General George Washington issued this order at Valley Forge on May 2, 1778: “The Commander in Chief directs that divine services be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock on each bridge which has chaplains, while we are duly performing the duty of good soldiers, we are not to be inattentive to the highest duties of religion.” Worship for the military members was voluntary, and chaplains of all faiths cooperated with each other, always being sympathetic to the beliefs of others.
On September 18, 1947, the National Security Act made the USAF a separate branch of the military. Subsequently, the USAF Chaplain Corps transitioned from the Army Air Corps under the leadership of Chaplain Charles Carpenter, the first Air Force Chief of Chaplains, in 1949.