Chaplains are the spiritual leaders of the Army National Guard, responsible for caring for the spiritual well-being of Soldiers and their families. They provide advice in matters pertaining to religion, morals and morale.
Chaplains lead a Unit Ministry Team (UMT), which would consist of you and a trained Chaplain Assistant (an enlisted Soldier who supports Chaplains during their missions and everyday activities). You minister to Soldiers day to day, performing religious ceremonies, counseling Soldiers during times of crisis, and providing a spiritual compass.
Chaplains are non-combatants and don't carry weapons. Security is provided by a Chaplain Assistant.
• Overseeing religious ministries, including workshops, counseling, religious education and special events
• Officiating at worship services, funerals, memorials and other military functions
• Providing religious ministry to foreign military personnel and civilians
• Chaplain and Chaplain candidate eligibility requirements
In addition to general officer eligibility, in order to qualify as a Army National Guard Chaplain, you’ll need to obtain a federally recognized ecclesiastical endorsement from your denomination or faith group certifying that you:
• Are less than 45 years of age if not prior service (less than 47 with prior service)
• Are qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally
• Possess a bachelor's degree (not less than 120 semester hours)
• Possess an accredited master's degree of not less than 72 semester hours (36 semester hours must be in Theology)
• Are sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel and their family members
In addition to general officer eligibility, to qualify as a Chaplain candidate, you'll need to obtain an ecclesiastical approval from your denomination or faith group certifying that you:
• Are enrolled in or accepted into an accredited graduate program
• Are less than 40 years of age at commissioning
• Are a full-time student working toward a graduate degree in Theology consisting of 72 or more hours
When you join the Army National Guard as a Chaplain, you’ll be a commissioned officer. If you join prior to your ordination, you will enter as a Chaplain candidate. In either case, you’ll attend the Chaplain Officer Basic Leadership Course (CH-BOLC), where you'll learn fundamental military tasks and how to perform religious duties in a military environment.
Chaplain and Chaplain candidate additional incentives:
• Up to $40,000 Chaplain Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) to help pay off education loans
• Federal Tuition Assistance—up to $4,500 per academic year (or $250 per semester hour)
• Montgomery GI Bill