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Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department

A drumhead service
The Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department comprises of officers from the Australian Army that provide ordained clergy to minister to Army's soldiers.
Pictured above: Australian Army chaplains bless the 6th Battalion colours during the 'drumhead service' to remember the fallen as part of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan colour parade at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane on 18 August 2016.

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.
Army Chaplains belong 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 motto is ‘In this Sign Conquer’.

To contact a Chaplain in your location, please call the Defence switchboard on 1300 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain at the base closest to your home.


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Last updated
15 April 2019
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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