Just as much as the Navy needs sailors, commanders, and fighters, it also needs people to serve those fighting men and women. War is tough on everyone – not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. And some people might even argue that the three things are intimately connected. Health is not merely physical well-being, but overall, holistic health. Doctors can’t cure wounds of the spirit, but there are people who can. As long as war has been around, there have been a dedicated few men and women to fight the battle of the heart. Chaplains. The Navy needs them just as much as they need anyone.
A Chaplain often feels a calling to serve his fellow men and women, to minister to them, exercising the virtues of charity, kindness, and wisdom over and against the brutality of the battlefield, on land and on water. To be entered in to the Navy Chaplain Corps, you need ecclesiastical endorsement, which means that you need to be certified by your respective ecclesial institution that you are a qualified representative of the tenancies of said faith. You will need prior leadership experience, as a priest, pastor, leader, or religious leading in some capacity.
At the very least, you will also need a bachelor’s degree, be it in theology, world religions, psychology, or something of the sort. You want to be able to offer help to men and women with questions, and minister to sailors in their time of need. This also means you’ll have to be in peak physical condition, along with everyone else in the Navy. You will also have to abide by the Department of Defense’s directed ‘religious accommodation environments,’ which means that you should be no respecter of persons. Everyone has a different faith, a different background, and different ways of understanding the same basic principles. As a Naval chaplain, you are not to discriminate, but to serve.