Army Reserve
An Army Chaplain ministers to Soldiers.

Chaplain (56A)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • National Guard
  • Entry Level


As an Army chaplain you will have the responsibility of caring for the spiritual well-being of Soldiers and their Families. An Army chaplain’s flock can consist of over 1,500 people.

The Army chaplaincy is a religiously diverse population reflecting the diversity of the Army, yet each chaplain ministers according to the tenets of his or her distinctive faith community. Unlike most officers in the Army, a chaplain begins serving as a staff officer immediately.

Job Duties

  • Providing advice in matters pertaining to religion, morals and morale
  • Overseeing a full program of religious ministries, including workshops, counseling sessions, religious education and special events
  • Officiate at official ceremonies such as military functions, funerals and memorials
  • Provide religious ministry to a variety of armed service personnel and civilians from the U.S., foreign nations and agencies


To be an officer in the Army Chaplain Corps, you must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from your religious organization.

This endorsement should certify that you are:

  • A clergy person in your religious organization
  • Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a chaplain in the Army
  • Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion for all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Army
  • Possessing a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours
  • Pursuing or possessing a graduate degree in theological or religious studies, plus have earned at least a total of 72 semester hours in graduate work in these fields of study


Chaplains do not go through Basic Combat Training.

Instead, you will attend the Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course, which is a 12-week course taught at Fort Jackson, S.C. This course will provide you with an introduction to the noncombatant common core skills, Army writing and chaplaincy-specific training.

Helpful Skills

  • Self-discipline
  • Physically fit
  • Perform under physical and mental pressures
  • Make decisions quickly and on your own


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

Being an officer in the Army Chaplain Corps, you’ll have the same qualifications to practice your specialty in the civilian world.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experienced and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at

  • AT&T, Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Time Customer Service, Inc.
  • Walgreen Co.