COMPANY: Army National Guard
National Guard Chaplains answer a higher calling while also answering the call to serve their country, community and Soldiers. Your unit will rely on you for moral leadership, ethical guidance and personal development. Unit commanders will also consult you in matters, upon which religion has an impact, including:
• Command programs
You will gain experience and skills in the Guard that will positively impact many Soldiers, and consequently enhance the service you provide to your congregation. Your duties will include coordinating or directing a complete program of religious ministries:
• Pastoral counseling
• Religious education
• Other activities for military personnel and their families
The Guard offers you the unique opportunity to be able to serve your congregation and your community simultaneously. Training part-time will allow you to counsel and mentor Soldiers in an atmosphere where their questions and needs can be facilitated without repercussion. This vital role may require you to serve full-time with your unit on missions, but you will never carry or fire a weapon.
To be a Chaplain in the Guard, you must meet the following criteria:
• Obtain an official ecclesiastical endorsement from your denomination or faith group. This endorsement will certify that you are:
o An ordained minister
o Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally
o Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel and their family members
• Possess a Baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours
• Possess an accredited MDIV or Master’s level that has 72+ semester hours in one degree
• Be a US citizen
• Be able to receive a favorable background check for a security clearance
• Pass a physical exam
• Be between 21 and 42 years of age (waivers may be granted for prior military service)
Individuals who are completing their religious studies at seminary also have the opportunity to serve in the Guard’s Chaplain Candidate Program. If you are a full-time student in an accredited seminary, are commissioned prior to your 40th birthday (for non-prior military service), or 42nd birthday for individuals with prior service and meet the above criteria, you can qualify.
You will attend Chaplain Officer Basic Training (CHOBC) to learn how to be a religious leader and Officer in the Guard. Other education opportunities exist to continue your professional development:
• Suicide Prevention
• Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Marriage and Relationship Enhancement
• Clinical Pastoral Education (for hospital Chaplains)
• $10,000 Signing Bonus
• An extra monthly paycheck
• Officer’s pay and allowances
• Discounted grocery and shopping privileges at Post Exchanges and Commissaries
• Up to $4,500 a year in federal tuition assistance.
• Up to 100% of your tuition costs. Talk to your recruiter to find out what your state will pay towards college or seminary.
• The Montgomery G.I. Bill. This stipend provides extra money to pay for books, fees, etc.
• Up to $20,000 in student loan repayment.
• Medical and dental care for you and your family (when/if mobilized)
• Up to $400,000 in low cost life insurance
• A 401-k type savings plan
The Army National Guard is a unique organization with an important dual mission: To serve the state and the country. In the local community, the Guard stands ready to serve during natural disasters like floods, hurricanes or wildfires. Our members are also prepared to respond to humanitarian crises, peacekeeping and combat missions when the call comes. If you are ready to answer the call to serve those who serve our nation, visit the clergy section at www.1-800-GO-GUARD.com/clergyand fill out the “Contact a Recruiter” form. A recruiter will call you to answer your questions.