How To Become a Chaplain Assistant in the Army

Chaplain Assistants, also known in the Army as Religious Affairs Specialists, act as counselors for their fellow soldiers and provide backup to Army chaplains. This job, which is a

You will need to attend the Army’s chaplain assistant job training program. First, there are 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training which teaches you basic soldering skills, then there is the Advanced Individual Training which takes seven weeks.

ARMY MOS 56M, Religious Affairs Specialist AKA Chaplain’s Assistant

What does a chaplain assistant do in the Army?

Chaplain assistants do not need to have any specific religious beliefs or religious training, although they do manage all the aspects of religious support work in a unit or garrison. Some of the roles and responsibilities of a chaplain assistant include:

What is an Army chaplain assistant?

A chaplain assistant, sometimes also known as a religious affairs specialist, is a person who supports the chaplain during everyday activities and tough missions. The primary role of a chaplain assistant is to help the chaplain with worship programs and unit ministry team programs. They also analyze all aspects of religion and what their effect is on military operations.

Since the creation of the U.S. Army, there has been a rich history surrounding Army chaplains who have historically participated in every Army campaign. Originally, soldiers assisted chaplains with their duties, but the military eventually made the chaplain assistant position official. While the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps has changed over the years, they continue to conduct worship services and serve every level of staff.

How to become a chaplain assistant in the Army

Here are the general steps for becoming an Army chaplain assistant:

1. Join the Army

Before you can become an Army chaplain assistant, you must enlist in the Army and be on active duty, in the reserves or in the National Guard. In order to become an enlisted soldier you must prove your U.S. citizenship, be between the ages of 17 and 35, graduate from high school or complete an equivalent diploma, take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and meet medical, moral and physical requirements.

2. Take the ASVAB

The basic requirements for becoming an Army chaplain assistant include taking a series of tests called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to better know your strengths and identify which position in the Army is a good fit for you. The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test that measures your ability and knowledge in ten different areas to see which Army jobs are best suited to you. The required score for a clerical position in the Army is a 90 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

3. Go to training

You will need to attend the Armys chaplain assistant job training program. First, there are 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training which teaches you basic soldering skills, then there is the Advanced Individual Training which takes seven weeks. During this chaplain assistant job training program some of the duties you will learn include:

Skills for Army chaplain assistants

There are many soft skills and hard skills for Army chaplain assistants including:


Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a chaplain assistant in the Army:

What is the compensation for Army chaplain assistants?

The compensation for Army chaplain assistants includes food, housing, medical, vacation time and special pay.

What are the education benefits for Army chaplain assistants?

Qualified students in the Army, like Army chaplain assistants, can get merit-based scholarships, full tuition scholarships, annual stipends for living expenses and allowances for fees and books.

Are there any other benefits for chaplain assistants?

Some other benefits chaplain assistants may receive include recruiting bonuses, special pay scenarios, military clothing allowance, civilian clothing allowance, paid sick time, low-cost life insurance, 30 days of paid vacation and free or low-cost medical and dental.

Are there related civilian careers for Army chaplain assistants?

Related civilian careers for Army chaplain assistants include a variety of positions as an assistant clergy member at churches, mosques or synagogues.

How do chaplain assistants spend most of their time?

While chaplain assistants have many tasks, they spend the majority of their time with soldiers providing emotional support and building relationships and rapport with them.

Are chaplain assistants happy with their job?

The majority of reviews for chaplain assistant positions show that individuals with this position are very positive about their careers. They feel like they are helping soldiers, building meaningful relationships and supporting soldiers in need.

How much does a chaplain assistant get paid?

What is the history of the chaplain assistant?

Its been common practice to assign a competent soldier to help the local chaplain, who also often serves as a schoolmaster. This solider helps teach common school subjects, acts as the chaplains clerk and helps with educational, entertainment and religious programs.


How long is AIT for chaplain assistant?

Job training for a chaplain assistant position requires ten weeks of Basic Combat Training, (also known as boot camp), and six weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

How long does it take to become an Army chaplain?

In order to qualify as an Army Chaplain, you must possess the following degrees from accredited institutions: A baccalaureate degree of no less than 120 semester hours. A graduate degree in theological or religious studies, and at least 72 semester hours in graduate work.

Do chaplains assistants carry guns?

Most already know that chaplains do not carry weapons, even so, you would be amazed at how many times in my career I have been told “make sure the chaplain is at the range, we don’t have a qualification on him”.

What is the duty of a chaplain assistant?

Coordinates religious observance requirements, assesses support needs, formulates plans, and prioritizes the use of available resources to support chaplain professional ministry including: worship services, liturgies, rites, and ceremonies. Prepares and maintains religious accouterments, facilities, and equipment.

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