For over 200 years, military chaplains have accompanied U.S. forces wherever they have served. Wherever our military is, chaplains and enlisted religious support personnel are there to help and serve military members and other authorized personnel.
Chaplains are ordained by individual religious denominations before they join the military. Once commissioned as officers in the Army, Navy or Air Force (Navy Chaplains serve with the Marine Corps and Coast Guard), they provide religious worship services, rites, sacraments, ordinances, and ministrations to military members and their families worldwide. They state their mission is to "nurture the living, care for the sick or wounded, minister to prisoners or prisoners of war, and honor the dead."
Chaplains also assist military personnel and family members in dealing with personal concerns such as faith issues, stress, anxiety, redeployment or reunion issues, moral and ethical values, and social concerns.
For many servicemembers, chaplains are the first person they can turn to for help outside their chain of command. In this role, Chaplains help to resolve problems by making appropriate referrals to command channels or social service agencies. They also assist military personnel in requesting emergency leave, compassionate reassignments, and hardship discharges.