Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department
The Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department is comprised of Australian Army officers who provide SME advice to Command and administer spiritual or religious support and pastoral care to members of the Army and their families.
The foundational role for Defence Chaplaincy is to bring honour to the dead, comfort to the sick, hope to those in distress and support to all. Chaplaincy actively engages with religious leaders and local communities for the support of the Australian Defence Force's people and mission. Chaplaincy is provided to Defence members and their families. When directed Chaplaincy is provided to members of the Australian Public Service, through Defence Aid to the Civil Community or in support of wider Defence tasking and priorities.
Army Chaplains are recruited from the faiths that are represented by the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services. At present this includes a number of Christian Denominations, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Islam and Buddhist faith groups.
Army chaplains are commissioned officers of the Australian Army and wear uniform. Their carriage of weapons is limited to self-protection, (and as a sign of their ministry they are the only officers not to carry swords on parade).
The Army Chaplain is a member of the Commander’s personnel support team. Free from the responsibilities of command and privileged in insight into personnel attitudes, the chaplain stands in a unique position to exercise independent judgement and to give expression to that judgement as a staff adviser. Chaplains are expected to provide timely, accurate and relevant advice to Commanders and staff on matters relating to spiritual, religious and pastoral wellbeing, personal morality, ethics, character formation and morale.
A chaplain is an Australian Regular Army (ARA) or Army Reserve (ARes) commissioned Specialist Service Officer responsible for the provision of spiritual, religious and pastoral support to all ADF personnel and their families in a range of peacetime and operational environments.
To contact a Chaplain in your location, please call the Defence switchboard on 1300 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain at the Defence base closest to your location.