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The Unit Chaplain: Roles and Responsibilities

service member hands on a worship book

Military chaplains are responsible for tending to the spiritual and moral well-being of service members and their families. Their responsibilities include performing religious rites, conducting worship services and providing confidential counseling.

These chaplains are commissioned officers stationed wherever there are military members, including in combat environments. They have an important role in the commander’s program for operational stress control.

Chaplain team responsibilities

The chaplain team includes chaplain assistants and religious program specialists. Both are enlisted personnel. The team’s obligations to service members and their families include:

  • Conducting worship and administering sacraments
  • Performing other religious ceremonies and services
  • Developing religious education programs and religious youth activities
  • Conducting seminars and retreats
  • Accompanying service members into combat
  • Providing combat stress support
  • Advising commanders on religious and moral matters
  • Counseling service members and their families

Chaplains are not typically licensed clinical counselors. However, they adhere to absolute confidentiality and are prepared to help people with many life challenges, including:

  • Work-related issues
  • Combat stress
  • Deployment
  • Marriage and family
  • Substance abuse
  • Grief
  • Finances

Find contact information for your installation chaplain on your installation website or by visiting MilitaryINSTALLATIONS. Select “Chapels” in the program or service section.

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