Official Government Chaplaincy Sites
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces: “As the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, we go by our acronym, NCMAF. We began in 1982 as a private organization, but our roots go back to 1901 when the decision was made by the War Department (predecessor to the Department of Defense) to require ecclesiastical endorsement for clergypersons who serve as chaplains in the armed forces. We are a one-of-a-kind organization in the world, bringing together official representatives of all the major faith communities in the United States in a mutually supportive, working relationship.”
United States Army Chaplain Corps (ChapNet): “The U. S. Army is blessed with thousands of talented, dedicated and faithful Soldiers, Civilians and Family members who daily answer our Nation’s call to service. Where our Army goes, our Chaplain Corps is present, striving to provide the very best of Religious Support evidenced by our commitment to Nurture the Living, Care for the Wounded and Honor the Fallen. ‘PRO DEO ET PATRIA!'” U.S. Army Chaplain Corps (Army Site)
United States Army Chaplain Center and School: The U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS), Fort Jackson, SC is the Chief of Chaplain’s institutional means to educate and train chaplains and chaplain assistants. The school is designed to safeguard the “free exercise” of religion and assist in the implementation of Title 10 (U.S. Code) as it relates to fulfilling the religious and spiritual needs of Soldiers and Family members in all conditions and locations.
United States Air Force Chaplain Corps: The Air Force Chaplain Corps provides spiritual care and the opportunity for Airmen, their families, and other authorized personnel to exercise their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion. This is accomplished through religious observances, providing pastoral care, and advising leadership on spiritual, ethical, moral, morale, core values, and religious accommodation issues.
United States Navy Chaplain Corps: Chaplains and Religious Program Specialists (RP) play a critical role in helping the Department of the Navy achieve and maintain a ready force through the delivery of professional religious ministry and compassionate pastoral care. Chaplains and RPs are embedded within commands operating at sea and ashore to ensure 24/7 availability. They provide a source of comfort and refuge that enables service members and their families to practice and grow in their faith and to face personal and professional challenges. Chaplains provide a visible reminder of the presence of God and offer hope during the most difficult times that our people face. This strategic plan will ensure that the efforts of the Chaplain Corps are focused on the most important needs our people face, now and in the future.
Naval Chaplaincy School and Center: The Vision of the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center is “To be the preeminent chaplaincy training center within the Department of Defense.” It’s Mission is “To thoroughly equip Chaplains and Religious Program Specialists for professional religious ministry in the Sea Services.”
United States European Command Chaplain’s Office: “The command chaplain helps advance EUCOM’s objectives of regional security and stability by providing advice and situational awareness on all matters related to religion, ethics and morale. Religious freedom contributes to regional stability. Where there is religious or ethnic tension, religious leaders can help mitigate these tensions, and the command chaplain engages other nations’ religious leaders to help them in those efforts. But, the command chaplain’s work starts within the command to extend to partner nations and beyond. In everything its staff does, the command chaplain advocates for justice, human dignity and religious freedom.”
Non-U.S. Official Government Chaplaincy Sites
Royal Army Chaplains’ Department: “For centuries the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) has ministered to soldiers and their families in times of war and peace. Chaplains are honoured to provide spiritual support, pastoral care, and moral guidance to all, irrespective of religion or belief.”
Canadian Armed Forces Chaplain Branch: “The Chaplain Branch contributes to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) by supporting the moral and spiritual well-being of military personnel and their families in all aspects of their lives, during conflict and peacetime. Chaplains minister to the needs of all members of the CAF and their families, whether they attend church or are of the same religion – whether they have any spiritual beliefs at all.”
Defence Forces Ireland-Chaplaincy Service: Chaplains are appointed to a Military Installation by their Bishop or Religious Superior after consultation with the Head Chaplain and following approval by the Minister for Defence. All bring with them qualifications and skills in from a wide range of pastoral care situations as university chaplains and lecturers, former missionaries, teachers, musicians, broadcasting, sportsmen. These skills blend in with the opportunities to engage with the personnel of the Defence Forces in their work, prayer and in dealing with their families.
South African National Defense Force Chaplains Service: The Chaplains Service representing a cross-section of the religious communities in SA, provides spiritual leadership to DOD members at home and on deployment in order to build human capacity that enhances spiritual, ethical and human wholeness. It does so within the context of religious diversity, taking cognizance of the transformation imperatives of the DOD and in support of democratic peace-building in Africa.
Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department: 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.
Nigerian Army Directorate of Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic): To ensure a pro-active Nigerian Army Chaplaincy towards the realization of the vision of the Chief of Army Staff in the provision of Religious and Moral Support as she encounters the challenges of our time.
German Military Chaplaincy: The military chaplaincy is based on legal bases, which governs the cooperation between government and Protestant and the Catholic Church for the pastoral care among the soldiers.It has existed for decades, complemented by a proven partnership practice. The Chaplain is responsible partnership between the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Catholic Church. This site has links to both the German Protestant Military Chaplaincy as well as the German Catholic Military Chaplaincy.
Chaplain Service of the Army of the Czech Republic: Since the restoration of spiritual service in our army in 1998, it began a military chaplain service for 40 military chaplains from eight Christian churches. Currently serving in the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic are 28 military chaplains from eight Christian churches.
Museums & Archives
U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center – Digital Collection. A great site to find historical publications, pictures and documents.
National Civil War Chaplains Museum: “The mission of the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum Foundation is to educate the public about the role of chaplains, priests, rabbis, and religious organizations in the Civil War; to promote the continuing study of the many methods of dissemination of religious doctrine and moral teachings during the war; to preserve religious artifacts;and to present interpretive programs that show the influence of religion on the lives of political and military personnel.”
Hampton Roads Naval Museum, “Divine Military Gear“
(British) Museum of Army Chaplaincy. Information on their digital collection.
World War II Database. The World War II Database is founded and managed by C. Peter Chen of Lava Development, LLC. The goal of this site is two fold. First, it is aiming to offer interesting and useful information about WW2. Second, it is to showcase Lava’s technical capabilities.
The Digital Archaeological Record, a service of Digital Antiquity, as the names suggests is a digital repository of archaeological records. A quick search revealed a few hits about old military chapels. Using more descriptive search terms may render better results.
Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
Centuries of Service: Military Chaplains in the USA. This site both celebrates and illuminates the history of the US Military Chaplains. These men and women have dedicated their lives to our country and have served the soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as families by guiding and comforting all in religious and spiritual matters. This site contains: transcriptions of interviews with Chaplains; numerous histories in searchable full-text digital format; bibliography to print and electronic sources; and links to associated websites. (University of North Carolina, Wilmington).
William Madison Randall Library. An extensive collection of chaplain books, interviews and photographs.
United States Navy Chaplains, 1778-1945. Located at Blue Jacket (.) com, United States Naval History and Graphics.
Why Does the U.S. Military Have Chaplains? by Hans Zeiger. (Pepperdine Policy Review – Vol. II – 2009). “No office in America is so delicately balanced between church and state as that of the military chaplain. On one hand, the chaplain wears the uniform of his service. He is answerable to his commander in war and peace. As a defender of the U.S. Constitution, he is a partisan for a particular City of Man. On the other hand, he is the designated spokesman for the City of God in the nation’s Armed Forces. He is the ordained representative of a religious tradition, accountable above all to the Almighty. How could such a phenomenon have gotten past the Founding Fathers, and more recently, the American Civil Liberties Union? This essay provides four reasons that it is not only possible, but necessary, for the United States to employ military chaplains.”
History by Zim: A blog by Jess Zimmerman. According to Zimmerman, “To some, history is just the memorization of names and dates. However, history is much more than that. Through history, we can begin to make connections between the past, present and future. These connections, whether it is through the study of personal, local or national history, allow us to view our life and society in a new light. In addition, when you begin to pull back the layers of time, interesting events and people began to emerge. The purpose of this blog is to explore some of these people and events that standard textbooks either gloss over or miss entirely.” He has several posts about chaplains and the chaplaincy in history.
Catholic Military Chaplains: America’s Forgotten Heroes: A short article with a few pictures about Catholic chaplains in the military through U.S. history, with links to four other article on their site about Catholic chaplains.
Men of Valor – Men of Faith, a book about Medal of Honor winning chaplains, a “Hall of Heroes” e-book by C. Douglas Sterner. This book is available in .doc format for free (by following link) and has information on all of the chaplains who have received the Medal of Honor in the history of the U.S. up until 2006.
Battleship Texas has a page with information about the ship’s chaplain with some good pictures.
Chaplains On a Divine Mission, part of the “Experiencing War, Stories from the Veterans History Project” by the Library of Congress. This section has several video interviews with chaplains who have served in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Chaplain History-Civil War
Chaplains in the Civil War. Here is a brief history of chaplains in the Civil War by Charles White of Cybernetic Light which is an online magazine designed with youth and young adults in mind striving to present positive Christian role models.
Chaplains in the Civil War. A brief essay of the work and impact of chaplains during the Civil War by Richard G. Williams, Jr., with a good bibliography.
Religious Revival in Civil War Armies. A website with a history of Christian revival in the Union and Confederate Armies, and the role of chaplains.
Freelance Historian, Large collection of scanned Civil War chaplain photos.
The Book of Common Prayer in the Confederate States of America.
Shepherd of Souls is the personal blog of Peter Preble, a Romanian Orthodox Priest. According to Preble, his site is focused on “Orthodox Christian Spirituality and occasionally on other topics as [he] sees them through the lens of the Orthodox Christian Church.” Of interest to The Chaplain Kit, he considers himself “an amateur Civil War buff and [has] started a small research project on the role of religion during this time period in history and more specifically the role of the chaplain during the war itself.” He has several posts about the chaplaincy and individual chaplains which I think you’ll find interesting.
Chaplain History-World War I
The Paulist and the First World War. A good article on the contribution of Paulist Priests in World War I.
The Great War and Catholic Memory. The Archdiocese of New York exhibit about Catholic chaplains in World War I. There is an actual display, but this is their online exhibit.
Chaplain History -World War II
Father Capodanno Guild. The Father Vincent Capodanno Guild is a private Catholic Church association and not-for-profit corporation established to promote the Cause for Canonization of Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM. Father Capodanno, a U.S. Navy Chaplain, was killed in action during the Vietnam War while anointing and aiding U.S. Marines in combat with the North Vietnamese army.
Navy Chaplain Thomas M. Conway. Good blog post about a Navy Chaplain who served in WW2 and was aboard the USS Indianapolis when it sunk, caring for sailors awaiting rescue from the sea.
Remembering Father William Doyle, SJ. An interesting website honoring an Irish chaplain who served -and died- in World War I.
Navy Chaplain John W. Moore. Good blog post about a Navy Chaplain who served in WW1 & WW2.
Task & Purpose. A post on this site which tells the story of Chaplain Robert P. Taylor who survived the Bataan Death March and 42 months in prison camps as he ministered to other prisoners in order to keep up morale.
“No Greater Glory: The Four Chaplains and the Sinking of the USAT Dorchester” by CSM James H. Clifford, USA-Ret., at the National Museum of the U.S. Army website.
8 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains, found at the site, Mental_Floss. According to their website, “mental_floss magazine is an intelligent read, but not too intelligent. We’re the sort of intelligent that you hang out with for a while, enjoy our company, laugh a little, smile a lot and then we part ways. Great times. And you only realize how much you learned from us after a little while. Like a couple days later when you’re impressing your friends with all these intriguing facts and things you picked up from us, and they ask you how you know so much, and you think back on that great afternoon you spent with us and you smile.”
12 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains, also found at the site, Mental_Floss.
The Arrowhead Club, a site maintained by Cindy Farrar Bryan, a daughter of a WW2 veteran and POW, includes biographies and stories of some of the chaplains of the 384th Bomb Group in WW2.
Australian Chaplains in WW1, a site with information about the involvement of Australian chaplains in the first World War.
History of Canadian Military Chaplaincy, Anglican Church of Canada.
Cuban Revolution Rebel Priests, site with pictures and information about Catholic chaplains ministering to Cuban rebel units in the 1950s and 1960s.
HistoireMilitaria 14-18. A French World War 1 militaria forum. These 2 pages relate to French chaplains during World War 1.
Voices from Russia: Blog which has several posts about chaplains in the Russian military, which were just permitted in 2010 after many years absence.
Chaplains at War (UK). According to its website, “‘Chaplains at war’ has two purposes: 1. To honor military chaplains and, by doing so, mark the contribution they have made, 2. To act as a forum for those interested in researching, recognizing and/or promoting the work and role of military chaplains.
The National War Memorial Registry is a non-profit component of The Memorial Day Foundation. The site lists war memorials around the country. Listings include descriptions, locations and pictures and can be searched by memorial name, war, location, etc.
American War Memorials Overseas, Inc. “works to document, promote, and preserve non-government supported War Memorials honoring Americans outside of the USA to ensure these monuments remain part of local communities forever. (Our mission is to help care for those private memorials and gravesites where the US government has no responsibility)” (from website). The site lists memorials around the world providing locations, descriptions and pictures. It also provides the ability to search their database using keywords or any number of variables.
The first temporary cemetery in Vierville, between beach and cliff and 3 successive cemeteries on Omaha Beach. Pictures and captions about this cemetery and related memorial ceremony.
Australian War Memorial. This site has a wealth of information about the Australian military at war. Doing a search of “chaplain” produces over 2000 items related to the Australian chaplaincy.
Chaplain Uniforms, Equipment & Chapels
The Philippi Collection. According to the website, “Dieter Philippi is an internationally recognized and renowned expert on religious, clerical and ecclesiastical headgear.” Much of Mr. Philippi’s collection is posted online which includes many military hats and helmets.
The Mariner’s Museum Blog. This particular post, a “Research Request” is about religious triptychs that were made for the Army and Navy.
Suitcase Chapels. This seems to be a “tourist” website but has one entry at the bottom of page 39 about “suitcase chapels” or what I would call a chaplain kit. It has a picture of one from WW2 as well as newer ones that a ministry continued to produce for ministers and missionaries. I haven’t yet been able to find anything about these kits at the ministry’s website.
St. Joseph’s Apprentice hand makes nice wooden portable altars similar in style to the kits chaplains used in the World Wars, Korean War and early in Vietnam.
POW Chapel at Camp Atterbury. An article, with pictures, about a WW2-era chapel built by Italian POWs at Camp Atterbury, IN.
CRW Flags has some pages with information about chaplains’ flags. A good site for basic information.
The Institute of Heraldry/Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army/Insignia and Plaques/Chaplain Corps. This page has the Army Chaplain Corps’ branch plaque, regimental insignia, and branch insignia (the current five recognized major faith groups) all, assumeably, correctly portrayed.
Dunavin Woodsmith builds replica WW2 field furniture which includes items a chaplain may have used including the HQ Field Desk, Field Table and Hymnal Chest.
World War Two Impressions makes all types of replica WW2 items including uniforms and tents. This site is also good as a reference of period uniforms. WW2 Impressions’ link page alone is worth a visit!
Chaplain Resource Sites
ChapTalk. According to the website maintained by Chaplain Brandon Moore, “ChapTalk.com is committed to encouraging and helping Chaplains communicate more effectively … My goal is to provide support, encouragement, and tools to foster more effective sermons. Through blogs, links, podcasts, audio and video sermons and other resources. ChapTalk.com’s goal is to provide help for the preaching journey.
ChapCalvert.com. An Army chaplain who offers many resources to help chaplains with the details of ministry.
Centurions Guild “provides religious education as a framework for congregational enrichment to churches engaged in ministry with current and former military personnel.”
Denominational/Faith Group Chaplaincy Sites
Nazarene Military Chaplains This site is still in development.
Chaplain Art: According to the website, “The mission of ChaplainArt.com is to use sculpture to tell the sacred story of the chaplains and chaplain assistants in the military. Each sculpture has been created by award-winning sculptor Steve Carter.” The artist writes, “It is my desire to make fine art that is affordable to those in the chaplaincy and depicts the call to bring soldiers and families to God – and God to soldiers and their families.”