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Serve God and country as the spiritual guide and moral anchor for servicemembers of all backgrounds – even as you provide religious services to those within your own faith.
The Navy Chaplain Corps comprises more than 800 Navy Chaplains from more than 100 different faith groups, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and many others. Each Chaplain is also a Navy Officer – meaning each holds an important leadership role.
Chaplains offer everything from faith leadership to personal advice to much-needed solace. All while living up to the guiding principles of the Chaplain Mission:
As a Navy Chaplain, your job spans a broad range of duties, seeing people through some of their most joyful moments to their most personally challenging. And it could include any of these responsibilities:
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Chaplains in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to minister in the Navy while maintaining responsibilities to your congregation at home.
For Annual Training, Chaplains may serve anywhere in the world, alongside the Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to whom they minister.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
As a Chaplain in the Navy Reserve, RDML Gregory Horn works with his civilian parish and military ministry. What makes Navy Chaplaincy unique is the Ministry of Presence: Being where the people are when emotions run the gamut from triumph to tragedy allows him to make a bigger difference.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Chaplains in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.
Navy Chaplains typically continue their education throughout their careers. Opportunities for continuing education are available through the funded Graduate Education Program while being paid full-time as a Navy Officer. Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Navy Chaplains can advance their education by:
Also keep in mind: If you’re in the process of starting or completing your graduate theological degree, you could potentially enter the Navy Chaplain Candidate Program (CCPO) as a student.
A graduate degree of not less than 72 semester hours in theological or related studies is required to work as a Navy Chaplain. Candidates seeking an Officer position in this community must also have a bachelor’s degree from a qualified educational institution and hold an ecclesiastical endorsement from a religious faith organization registered with the Department of Defense.