An Overview of the U.S. Military Chaplaincy: A Ministry of Presence and Practice
Pauletta Otis Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Most people know of the existence of U.S. military chaplains and generally appreciate their service in times of war. Yet the chaplaincy as an organization is less known and certainly not appreciated to the extent it would be were the "facts to be known." Accordingly, this article provides basic introductory information about the U.S. military chaplaincy and its historical development, church-state issues surrounding the chaplaincy, chaplain roles and responsibilities, and organizational oversight of the chaplaincy. It concludes with some reflections on current challenges facing the chaplaincy, as well as three appendices: a list of relevant statutes and military documents; a bibliography of related readings; and an anonymous military chaplain's diary titled, "Sunday in Iraq: A Day in the Life of a Marine Corps Chaplain."
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