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Religious Program Specialists (RPs) serve God and country. They prepare devotional materials, organize faith-based events, maintain religious records, and serve as a source of personal security for Navy Chaplains.
As a Religious Program Specialist in the Navy, your responsibilities could include:
Wherever Chaplains are stationed, Religious Program Specialists are there to assist. Working indoors, in the field, on bases, in hospitals or in combat situations, they may serve literally anywhere in the world.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Religious Program Specialists in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For Annual Training, Religious Program Specialists may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea, bases and installations on shore, or in the field.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Upon completion of initial 7–9 week Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing a Religious Program Specialist role report to the Naval Chaplaincy School & Center at Fort Jackson, S.C., where they receive formal Navy training at “A” School for 8 weeks. From there, Religious Program Specialists attend “C” School for 5 weeks of marine combat training.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
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.
Religious Program Specialists in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the field of religion can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the religion field in the Navy. Those seeking a Religious Program Specialist position must be U.S. citizens, possess a valid driver’s license, be able to type 30 words a minute, and understand that their work schedule may require duties to be performed in the evenings and on weekends and holidays. Religious Program Specialists must be supportive of clergy and people of all faiths, set high standards and be of good moral character.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.