Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department

The Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department is an all-officer corps within the Australian Army that provides ordained clergy to minister to Army's soldiers.

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 and 83 Army Reserve chaplains (commonly known as "padres") in the Australian Army, each belongs to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith. The Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department has two cap badges: one for its Christian chaplains and another for its Jewish chaplains.

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, with each division corresponding to a worn rank. The highest is Division 5, which is reserved for Principal Chaplains. The Army has four Pincipal Chaplains, representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, and Jewish. The Principal Chaplains of the Army wears the rank of brigadier.
 
Australian Army chaplains, whatever their rank, are generally referred to as "Padre" by officers and soldiers alike.

The Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department corps motto is ‘In this Sign Conquer’.

To read the Australian Army Chaplaincy Journal click here.

Last updated
13 December 2016