From National Defence
The Royal Canadian Chaplain Service (RCChS) contributes to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) by supporting the moral and spiritual wellbeing of military personnel and their families – domestically and internationally.
CAF chaplains attend to the needs of all members of the CAF and their families, whether they identify with a particular Faith Tradition, have no specific spiritual/faith practice, belief or custom, or are spiritually curious.
CAF chaplains have dual accountability to Faith Tradition and military authorities. As Faith Tradition leaders, chaplains come under the jurisdiction of their faith/denominational groups. As commissioned officers, they are subject to the Code of Service Discipline and are responsible to their military superiors.
The Royal Canadian Chaplain Service is led by a Chaplain General who advises the Chief of Defence Staff and reports administratively to the Chief of Military Personnel.
What they do
CAF chaplains are responsible for fostering the spiritual, religious, and pastoral care of CAF members and their families, regardless of religious affiliation, practice, and/or belief.
CAF chaplains have privileged access to CAF members of all ranks, have no command authority, and are prohibited from bearing arms. Their responsibilities include:
- Providing an active, personal, and supportive presence
- Officiating at special functions, service, events, and ceremonies
- Advising the Chain of Command regarding spiritual/religious accommodation issues, ethical dilemmas, as well as spiritual and moral issues pertaining to the Formation/Unit/Squadron
- Applying knowledge in general military administration and RCChS policies
- Liaising with local area civilian Faith Tradition leaders
- Referring CAF members and their families to other helping professionals, such as social workers, psychologists, or medical personnel, as required
- Providing compassionate and caring support during, and following, significant life events and incidents
CAF chaplains work in all military environments with members of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. CAF chaplains provide an active, personal and supportive presence, and offer spiritual and personal growth programmes and events throughout the year. Public services and military ceremonies typically require the chaplain to participate and offer spiritual reflections. CAF chaplain can work in Canada, or may be required to go abroad during operations.
For recruiting information related to chaplains, email DND.ChaplainRecruiting-RecrutementAumonier.MDN@forces.gc.ca