This weekend thousands of men and women will not attend religious services at home. Instead, they choose to defend the freedoms of Americans, including the First Amendment which preserves our religious freedoms.
They need your help.
The Air Force Reserve is looking for qualified clergy to serve as chaplains. We are also looking for qualified seminary students to train as chaplain candidates.
The Air Force Reserve Chaplain Corps exists to ensure the free exercise of religion. We are a diverse community of faiths serving a pluralistic population while remaining true to our own faith traditions. We train chaplains and chaplain assistants to provide ministry to airmen and their families.
In order to respond effectively to national and international emergencies, the Air Force Reserve must maintain a high level of readiness at all times. Ministry that makes a difference requires us to be current on all training and to maintain a sense of urgency.Your Air Force Reserve ministry will enhance your civilian ministry by:
The Air Force Reserve offers excellent part-time pay. Both chaplains and chaplain candidates are paid when they serve. For chaplains this means year-round part-time income, and for chaplain candidates, part-time income during the summer months.Insurance
For chaplains, excellent medical, dental and life insurance are provided while on duty and available year-round for a nominal fee. For chaplain candidates, these benefits are only available while on duty during the summer.Retirement
The military offers a non-contributory retirement plan. As a Reservist, your total amount of retirement will be based on how much time you serve. The more you serve, the greater your retirement benefit.Education
Candidates may apply for tuition assistance after completing the first summer of candidate training. Tuition assistance is currently $4500 per year. For more information about tuition assistance, please call 800-525-0102, press option #3 and ask for the Education Office.
The below requirements reflect the minimum days of participation required to be a Reservist.Category A: Traditional Reservist
You become the chaplain to a group of Reservists, who, like you, serve one weekend per month and two weeks per year. Chaplains are also eligible for short tours to augment the active duty.Category B: Individual Mobilization Augmentee
Instead of being the chaplain to a group of Reservists, you will become an asset to an active duty chapel staff, serving a minimum of 24 days per year, divided as follows: 12 consecutive days and 12 individual days scattered throughout the year. These days are served according to the needs of your chapel while considering your civilian ministry calendar.
The Air Force Reserve Chaplain Service has three avenues of ministry:Category A - Also known as Traditional Reservist
Category A chaplains are assigned to a Reserve unit that trains one weekend per month and two weeks of active duty per year. Extra days may be available based on the needs of the unit and available funds.Category B - Also known as Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) or Non-Traditional Reservist
Characteristics: set training days based on Reserve unit, long term relationships.
See the FAQ on this site for more information.
Category B chaplains serve an active duty chapel on a part time basis. The minimum number of days required to stay in the program is 24; 12 of these are back-to-back days (the two week active duty tour) and 12 inactive duty training days are scattered throughout the year. More than one inactive duty day may be worked back-to-back. These days are planned in advance with your Air Force supervisor according to the needs of the Air Force and the demands of your civilian ministry calendar. Extra days may be available based on the needs of the Air Force and available funds.Chaplain Candidate
Characteristics: flexible scheduling, shorter term relationships due to the ever-changing nature of active duty, augmenting active duty chapel needs.
See the FAQ on this site for more information.
Seminary students may apply for the Chaplain Candidate Program which involves two summers of training. The first summer is approximately 11 weeks and consists of Commissioned Officers' Training, the Chaplain Candidate Course, and the Chaplain Candidate Intensive Internship Program. The second summer is approximately five weeks and consists of an internship at an Air Force Base inside the continental U.S. During the internship, you will shadow an active duty chapel staff. We will provide you with a list of bases and you can choose three. We will do our best to assign you to one of these three bases.
See the FAQ on this site for more information.
FOR CHAPLAIN CANDIDATES ON SUMMER TOURS:
Make sure these are accomplished during your summer tours so your reappointment package will go smoothly:
If you have started your last semester of seminary AND you have completed your second summer tour AND you will have your endorsement soon after graduation, contact us so we can:
If you have started your last semester of seminary and will complete your second tour after graduation, contact us when you have graduated, so we can:
WE WILL BEGIN YOUR REAPPOINTMENT PACKAGE WHEN YOU HAVE:
The process will take a few months, depending on your thoroughness to the aforementioned items. You will be called for an interview. Setting up the interview requires coordination of schedules for several people, so accommodate accordingly. Assignments are based on the needs of the Air Force. You will enter chaplaincy at entry level, so be ready to serve!
Seven to nine months, depending on your sense of urgency, the work load of your recruiter, your health assessment, your ecclesiastical endorser's turnaround time, and so on.HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
You will first be specialty qualified by a chaplain recruiter. Then you will be assigned an Officer Accessions Recruiter for processing. Your chaplain recruiter will help on chaplain-specific requirements. Your OA Recruiter will assist on officer-specific requirements.
Chaplains are addressed as "Chaplain", regardless of rank. Your OA recruiter should be addressed as "Master Sergeant" (MSgt). Examples: "Chaplain Smith", "Master Sergeant Jones"WHAT IS AN ECCLESIASTICAL ENDORSER?
It is not your pastor or local congregation. An endorser is usually connected with a denomination's headquarters. There are some non-denominational endorsers. Too often pastors tell applicants "I'll endorse you." While a pastor may have good intentions, this is not the way it works. Finding an endorser is something you must do, we cannot help you do that. Here is a list of endorsers.
For candidates, your endorser must send us an approval letter.
For chaplains, your endorser must provide an endorsement.
Contact your endorser for more information.SOMEONE TOLD ME I SHOULD ENLIST AND WORK MY WAY TO BECOMING A CHAPLAIN CANDIDATE OR CHAPLAIN. SHOULD I ENLIST?
If you enlist you are obligated for a specific period of time in a particular career field. (This is the same situation as with the commissioned officers.) In order to become a chaplain candidate or a chaplain you have to get released from your commitment, which in most cases is not easy and will only delay and complicate your goal.SOMEONE TOLD ME IF I ENLIST AS A CHAPLAIN ASSISTANT THIS WILL HELP ME TRANSITION INTO THE CHAPLAINCY?
No, it will not. The Chaplain Assistant role is a different career field.HOW DOES A CURRENT ENLISTED PERSON OR OFFICER BECOME A CHAPLAIN CANDIDATE OR CHAPLAIN?
In all cases, a chaplain candidate is a Second Lieutenant. For new chaplains who are prior officers, there is a grade calculation to determine your rank as a chaplain. Please ask about the potential impact of changing competitive categories.DOES THE AIR FORCE RESERVE OFFER STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT FOR OFFICERS?
No, not at this time.WHAT ABOUT DEPLOYMENT?
All uniformed members are deployable assets of the US Government, however, chaplain candidates do not have the qualifications to deploy. Since 9/11, Reserve chaplains have deployed by volunteering to go.I CURRENTLY HOLD MILITARY STATUS, WILL THAT HELP ME GET INTO THE AIR FORCE RESERVE?
No, because you will have to be released from your commitment. If you are in the Air Force or Air Force Reserve you still have to be released from your current commitment and this may take a while. Your recruiter will know how to help you. If you are an Air National Guard chaplain wanting to become an Air Force Reserve chaplain, this is a fairly simple transaction.WHAT IS THE OBLIGATION?
For candidates, we want you to complete the program. If you receive Tuition Assistance: to determine your obligation, call 1-800-525-0102, ext 3, tell them you are chaplain candidate applicant with a question for the education office.
For chaplains who did not receive Tuition Assistance we ask you to stay for a minimum of three years.WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
For candidates: first summer - 11 weeks of training; second summer - 5 weeks of training.
For chaplains: Your first training is the Commissioned Officers' Training of 4 weeks. Within the first two years of your role as chaplain you have to complete the 6 week Basic Chaplains' Course. Chaplains are also required to complete the minimum number of training days required to serve.PAY?
Candidates are paid for each day of serving in the summer. Chaplains are paid for each day worked. Yes, you are paid while in a training school. Google military pay charts to learn about pay. For candidates - look for the monthly pay for the rank of O-1, prorate that amount per day. For chaplains - look for O-2.OTHER BENEFITS?
Tri-Care Reserve Select is available for chaplains. Chaplain Candidates have health insurance only during summer training.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is added to a candidate's pay when in a training status. For chaplains, it is added when you are in training status and when you do your two weeks of active duty. BAH is not available when you work individual days. Google to find rate, based on your zip code and prorate it accordingly.
Retirement pay is available for those who serve 20 years. Your recruiter probably will not know the details of the retirement benefit. Google to learn about the retirement benefit or to find a phone number of a technician to help you. FOR PRIOR SERVICE - yes your prior service does go into the calculation with your new reserve chaplain duty, however, recruiters are not experts on this. You will need to contact a retirement specialist.
No. One must oath before the 35th birthday. This is a hard cut off and there are no exceptions for any reason, including prior service.CAN I START MY APPLICATION BEFORE I START SEMINARY?
No, to be qualified you must be a full time seminary student. You need to call your denomination's military chaplain endorsing office and find out their requirements. If you are non-denominational, you will have to find an endorser.WILL THE AIR FORCE RESERVE PAY FOR MY SEMINARY?
After you finish your first summer of training as a chaplain candidate you can apply for tuition assistance, which is good for up to $4500 per year for the remaining years of seminary. In other words, your first year of seminary is on your own. During your first year you will be applying to be a chaplain candidate. For more information on tuition assistance, call the following number only if you've read all of the information on this site and are certain you qualify: 800-525-0102, then press 3, then ask for the education office. Be patient because the Call Center may at times be overwhelmed with calls.
For Fiscal Year 2012 (Oct 2011-Sept 2012) career fields with incentive bonuses have not been announced.CAN I APPLY WITH OTHER BRANCHES OF THE MILITARY AT THE SAME TIME?
No, because significant time commitment is required from numerous individuals and agencies to process your application.HOW DO CHAPLAINS WORK WITH MULTIPLE FAITH GROUPS?
Answer by Chaplain Paul Gunn: After reading, if you have more questions, please contact your endorser.
You are expected to remain true to your faith tradition and the expectations of your ecclesiastical endorser. The chapel space is a place for the free exercise of religion and free speech. Chaplains are expected to lead services and deliver messages in the same way they would with the civilian congregations of their faith tradition. In the day-to-day chaplain ministry, if someone needs something a chaplain cannot provide, an appropriate chaplain is sought. This is what we call religious accommodation. For example, in my faith tradition we do not baptize infants. If a family wanted their child baptized I would find a chaplain who would assist. Having said that, there are many things chaplains can do for people of any faith group without the chaplain compromising his or her convictions. Here are some personal examples: