The role of Army Chaplains is to advise commanders and their staff on religious, spiritual, moral, ethical, cultural and welfare matters, to provide pastoral care to soldiers and their families, to provide advice to the chaplaincy chain of command and to coordinate and lead chaplaincy activities within units.
As of 2012, there are 67 Regular Army and 83 Army Reserve Chaplains (commonly known as "padres") in the Australian Army; these belong to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith. The Australian Army Chaplains' Department has two cap badges, for its Christian and Jewish officers. There are also chaplains in the Australian Army Reserve.
Army chaplains, although they are all commissioned officers of the Australian Army and wear uniform, do not carry arms (and are the only officers not to carry swords on parade). At services on formal occasions, chaplains wear their medals and decorations on their clerical robes.
Chaplains in the Australian Army begin their commission as a Captain, and there are five levels or "divisions" for the seniority of chaplains in the Australian Army and Air Force with each division corresponding to a worn rank. The highest "division" is Division 5 who are "Principal Chaplains," of which there are three per service representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, and Jewish. The Principal Chaplains of the Army wear the rank of Brigadier.
Australian Army chaplains, whatever their rank, are mostly referred to as "Padre" by officers and soldiers alike.
The Corps motto is ‘In this Sign Conquer’.
To read the Australian Army Chaplaincy Journal click here.