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United States Army
Chaplain Corps
United States Army Chaplain Corps
Branch Plaque
Active 29 July 1775 – present
Country  United States of America
Branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Type Corps
Role Military Chaplaincy
Size 2,700
Motto(s) "Pro Deo et Patria"
(Latin: For God and Country)
Colors Black
Engagements American Revolutionary War
American Civil War
Spanish–American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Kosovo War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Website Official Website
CCH CH (MG) Paul K. Hurley
DCCH CH (BG) Thomas L. Solhjem
CH (COL) John T. Axton
CH (MG) William R. Arnold
CH (MG) Francis L. Sampson
CH (MG) Kermit D. Johnson
CH (MG) Patrick J. Hessian
CH (MG) Gaylord T. Gunhus
Branch Insignia ChristChaplainBC.gif USarmychinsigjew.gif USarmychinsigmus.gif USarmychinsigbud.gif Hindu Faith Branch Insignia.jpg USA - Chaplain Assistant 2.png
Distinctive Unit Insignia

The Chaplain Corps of the United States Army consists of ordained clergy of multiple faiths who are commissioned Army officers serving as military chaplains as well as enlisted soldiers who serve as assistants. Their purpose is to offer religious church services, counseling, and moral support to the armed forces, whether in peacetime or at war.

Army Chaplain Center and School[edit]

See footnotes[1][2]

The U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS)[3] is part of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center (AFCC), which also includes the Air Force Chaplain Service Institute (AFCSI) and the U.S. Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC). The three schools are co-located at Fort Jackson, in Columbia, S.C.[4]

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decided to put all military ministry training at the same location. While it was authorized, funding was not part of the BRAC, and the Air Force departed Ft Jackson in 2012, currently leaving only the Army and Navy at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center. [4]

The purpose of the AFCC was to have closer cooperation among the three chaplain corps and to share instruction and training. While that was the goal, the core curriculums were maintained by the three service schools and a joint program of instruction (POI) was never created. [4]

The U.S. Army Chaplain School was approved on 9 February 1918. Its first session began on 3 March 1918, at Fort Monroe, Virginia.[5] Chaplain (MAJ) Aldred A. Pruden, who developed the plan for the school, was named the first commandant of the school.[5] It subsequently moved to Camp Zachary Taylor (Kentucky), Camp Grant (Illinois), Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), Fort Benjamin Harrison (Indiana), Harvard University (Massachusetts), Fort Devens (Mass.), Fort Oglethorpe (Georgia), Carlisle Barracks (Pennsylvania), Fort Slocum (New York) (1951–62), Fort Hamilton (N.Y.) (1962–74), Fort Wadsworth (N.Y.) (1974–79), and Fort Monmouth (New Jersey) (1979–95).[5]

Noncombatant status[edit]

See: Military chaplain#Non-combatant status

Chaplain Candidate[edit]

Chaplain Candidate Insignia

Due to a revision of DA PAM 611-21 (Military Occupational Classification and Structure) Effective October 1, 2013, Chaplain Candidates, previously belonging to the Staff Specialist Branch until ordination have worn the Staff Specialist insignia in lieu of religious denomination insignia. The transition from the Staff Specialist Branch to the Chaplain Branch left the candidates without an authorized branch insignia. Responding to the need, Chief of Chaplains Chaplain (Major General) Donald L. Rutherford submitted a request for collar insignia which was approved by HQDA, G-1 on 23 February 2012. The design for the collar insignia was authorized on 18 June 2012.[6]

Religious Affairs Specialist or NCO[edit]

Specialty insignia[edit]

See: United States military chaplain symbols
For FAQs regarding uniforms and insignia, see footnote.[7]

Chiefs of Army Chaplains[edit]

The Chief of Chaplains of the United States Army is the head of the Army Chaplaincy. The position was created to better organize the corps. The current Chief of Chaplains is Chaplain (Major General) Paul K. Hurley who was sworn in on May 22, 2015.

Army bases chaplaincy[edit]

See footnotes[8][9]
For a link to the chaplaincy at each of the bases listed below, see general footnote[10] and the footnote following each base

Joint-base chaplaincy[edit]

Field Service (unfinished oil) by James Pollock, U. S. Army Vietnam Combat Artists Team IV (CAT IV 1967)
Chaplain Martain's Bible by Stephen H. Sheldon, U. S. Army Vietnam Combat Artists Team III (CAT III 1967)
A Roman Catholic army chaplain celebrating a Mass for Union soldiers and officers during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

U.S. Military Academy chaplaincy[edit]


For all six USMA chapels, see footnote[25]


See footnote[26]

Cadet Prayer[edit]

See footnote[27][clarification needed]


See also: National Museum of the United States Army and Museum of Army Chaplaincy (U.K.)
For USA Civil War chaplains, see footnote.[28]
For historic photographs of Army chaplains in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, see footnote.[29]

The U.S. Army Chaplain Museum is located at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.[30] It was established on 14 August 1957, at the then–United States Army Chaplain School at Fort Slocum, New York. It was dedicated on 10 February 1958, by Chaplain (MG) Patrick J. Ryan, Chief of Chaplains.[31]

"The Four Chaplains"[edit]

When the troop-transport ship Dorchester was torpedoed during World War II, four Army chaplains ministered to the soldiers and sailors on the sinking ship, gave up their life jackets, and sacrificed their lives when the ship sank.[32] Those chaplains – known as "The Four Chaplains" – were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.

Other notable chaplains[edit]


See: Eternal Father, Strong to Save (including special verses for West Point cadets, U.S. armed forces, wounded in combat, and for those deployed)

See also[edit]

Army chaplains at the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. ^ Army Chaplain Corps: Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  2. ^ Training Directorate. (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  3. ^ US Army Chaplain Center & School (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "First Group of Navy Chaplains Graduate from NSCS Fort Jackson". (USN official website), 11/10/2009. By Steve Vanderwerff, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Chaplaincy History & Museum: History of Chaplain Corps Archived 31 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. US Army Chaplain Corps (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Chaplaincy History & Museum: FAQ's (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  8. ^ Wise, Jeremy (Army Flier Staff) (18 February 2010). "Fort Rucker officials break ground on new post chapel". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Schuette, Rob (Fort McCoy Public Affairs) (12 January 2010). "Fort McCoy chapels get major makeovers". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Go to Office of the USMA Chaplain and click on "Links" in left-hand column. USMA website. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  11. ^ At Fort Carson official website, go to "Services" and click on "Chaplain". For photos of the five chapels, then click on "Chapels at Fort Carson". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  12. ^ Fort Gordon Chaplain & Ministry Team. Fort Gordon Garrison official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  13. ^ Office of the Senior Chaplain. Fort Knox official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  14. ^ Command Chaplain. U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  15. ^ Religious Services. Fort Monroe official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  16. ^ Home page. Fort Polk Command Chaplain Office official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  17. ^ Fort Polk Chapels. Fort Polk Command Chaplain Office official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  18. ^ Religious Support. Fort Sill official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  19. ^ Fort Sill Chapels. Fort Sill official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  20. ^ Joint Base Lewis-McChord Chaplaincy official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  21. ^ Fort Dix Command Chaplain Section Archived 5 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (including Soldiers Chapel and Dix Chapel). Army Support Activity–Dix (ASA-Dix) official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  22. ^ JB Chapel Schedule Archived 21 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (and contact information) (McGuire Chapel, North Chapel, Dix Chapel, Chapel of the Air). JB MDL Chapel official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  23. ^ Home page Archived 8 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. JB MDL Chapel official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  24. ^ JB MDL Chapels Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. JB MDL official website. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  25. ^ Go to Office of the USMA Chaplain and click on "Chapels" in left-hand column. USMA official website. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  26. ^ Go to Office of the USMA Chaplain and click on "Chaplains" in left-hand column. USMA official website. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  27. ^ Go to Office of the USMA Chaplain and click on "Cadet Prayer" in left-hand column. USMA official website. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  28. ^ "USA Chaplains". The National Civil War Chaplains Museum. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  29. ^ Chaplaincy History & Museum: Historic Photos (World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War). US Army Chaplain Corps (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  30. ^ "Fort Jackson's U.S. Army Chaplain Museum". Chaplain Regimental Museum Association. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  31. ^ Chaplaincy History & Museum: History Archived 31 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (United States Army Chaplaincy official homepage). Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  32. ^ The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  33. ^ Shepherd, Raymond F. On Wings of the Wind. pp. 62–64. 
  34. ^ At the following webpage, scroll down to "Captain Herman G. Felhoelter • Korean War • 1914-1950". Centner, Pat. "No Greater Love: A Memorial Day Salute to Military Chaplains". American Family Association. Retrieved 2011-11-06. A Catholic priest from Washington state, Chaplain Herman Felhoelter had been assigned to the U.S. Army's 19th Infantry Regiment. ... Four days before his death, he had written his mother: 'Don't worry, Mother. God's will be done. I feel so good to know the power of your prayers accompanying me. ... I am happy in the thought that I can help some souls who need help. ...' 
  35. ^ Capt. Goetz joined the Chaplain Corps in 2000. Before that, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in White, South Dakota. "Army: Chaplain is 1st killed in action since '70: Captain based at Fort Carson, Colo., had hitched ride on supply convoy". NBC News. 2 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ O'Conner, Thomas H. "Breaking the religious barrier", The Boston Globe, Boston, 10 May 2004.
  38. ^ "INTRODUCTION OF CAPTAIN JEFF STRUECKER AS GUEST CHAPLAIN -- (House of Representatives - July 23, 2002)". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-12-22. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bergen, Doris L. The Sword of the Lord: military chaplains from the first to the twenty-first century (Univ of Notre Dame Press 2004)
  • Honeywell, Roy John. Chaplains of the United States Army (Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Department of the Army, 1958)
  • Pickard, Scott D. "Co-workers in the field of souls: the Civil War partnership between Union chaplains and the US Christian Commission, 1861–1865." (2013). online
  • Shea, Michael E. Sky Pilots: The Yankee Division Chaplains in World War I (2014)
  • Stover, Earl F. The United States Army Chaplaincy (Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Department of the Army, 1977)
  • O'Malley, Mark. An History of the Development of Catholic Military Chaplaincy in the United States of America (Gregorian University, Rome, 2009)

External links[edit]


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