Dear Ecclesiastical Endorser,
As the Program Manager for Navy Chaplain Recruiting, I have recently established an email group of all DoD recognized Ecclesiastical Endorsing Agents responsible for providing chaplains to the Navy. The purpose of this email group is to facilitate communication with each of you, in order to coordinate our efforts to identify the most qualified applicants for ministry in the Navy Chaplain Corps, and to guide these individuals to successful completion of the application process. I would like to use this email format to directly communicate regular updates and information to you regarding Navy Chaplain Recruiting. By working together, we can accomplish our mutual goals.
We recently completed another successful year of Navy Chaplain Recruiting, having achieved our FY03 goal almost three months early! We are already underway with our FY04 recruiting cycle (includes another goal of 45 for active duty, and 40 students in our Chaplain Candidate Program). Thank you for your outstanding support in helping us recruit the finest religious ministry leaders our nation has to offer. Your chaplains are now serving with distinction in critical ministry assignments throughout the globe.
Now that I have completed over 18 months in this job, I have learned a few things about the application process which might be of assistance to each of you. For some of you the following points will be a review/reminder of important application details. Thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with these important points:
1.) For administration and time management purposes, we do accept applications from applicants who have only “requested ecclesiastical endorsement/approval” from their respective Ecclesiastical Endorser. However, we DO NOT/ CANNOT present such an application for consideration before the Chaplain Appointment and Recall Eligibility (CARE) board until we have received your FINAL OFFICIAL ECCLESIASTICAL ENDORSEMENT/APPROVAL.
2.) Please remind your applicants that it is ultimately their responsibility to make sure their applications are complete, and on time, for established board deadlines. It is imperative that they stay in contact with their recruiter during the entire application process in order to accomplish this task.
3.) The Navy Chaplain Basic Course convenes three times per year: 5 October 03; 1 February 04; and 6 June 04. Once an applicant is board selected it still takes several weeks to execute the commission, initiate orders, and establish personal service/pay records. These critical administrative matters must be accomplished before the individual can report to the assigned Basic Course. Careful planning and coordination by all is critical in order to accomplish these tasks in time for the applicant to make personal travel arrangements, and conduct countless other items of personal/professional business, including but not limited to appropriate notifications to civilian employers, etc. This transition period, while exciting, can also be challenging. Nonetheless, by working together we can minimize unnecessary turbulence.
4.) The following age limits apply to Navy Chaplain applicants: a.) active duty/reserve applicants applicants must be able to accept a commission before age 40, and b.) Chaplain Candidate (student) applicants must be able to graduate prior to the age of 39. Prior service experience may help some applicants overcome established age constraints, but unfortunately not in every case. Age waiver availability varies from year to year. Please call for clarification, if in doubt, as to an applicant’s eligibility.
5.) We require a personal interview before the selection (CARE) board in DC, for all active duty applicants. All applicants also complete a Professional Community interview with various individuals (usually including, but not limited to, a Navy Chaplain) in the geographical area convenient to their location. Applicants need to dress professionally for such interviews, and be prepared to speak candidly about their ministry, motivations for serving, academic experience, and other personal matters/perspectives/goals. All such interviews are to be taken seriously by all involved, as they weigh heavy in the selection process. Applicants who are not used to being interviewed for such matters are advised to take appropriate steps to carefully prepare themselves for these events.
6.) Applicants with histories of legal, criminal, financial, family, personal problems, etc. (whether as civilians or during prior military service) need to carefully document/explain the circumstances and resolution of same, in writing. Applicants should also discuss these matters with their endorser at the earliest possible time. It is best to not leave the CARE board guessing about a particular incidence. They should also expect such matters to be addressed during their interview(s). Applicants should also be appropriately counseled as to the potential negative impact of such incidences, on the application process, especially in the absence of satisfactory applicant explanation regarding such matters.
7.) “Fully qualified” does not guarantee selection, only eligibility for consideration. Religious ministry/leadership experience must be carefully documented on their application/resumes (especially for active duty, reserve, and age waiver applicants). Endorsers can use block 5 on the DD2088 to place further emphasis on such experience, i.e. specificity is preferred and greatly helps. The selection board pays particular attention to the 2 year minimum religious leadership/ministry experience required of all applicants for active duty. Endorsers are also encouraged to carefully review/evaluate all such experience and provide guidance for accurate documentation of all such experience in the applicant’s resume.
8.) Applicants must be willing to accept orders wherever the Navy determines they are needed for their first assignment. While orders are not negotiable for newly reporting chaplains, the applicant can express a particular interest or need to their recruiter. Furthermore, orders are not usually determined before the commission is accepted. Sometimes the applicant will not know where their first assignment will be until they report to the Basic Course. Unfortunately, in the detailing process, orders have been known to change. Region Chaplain recruiters, and our chaplain detailers, are professionals and do their best to make impartial decisions in all matters pertaining to their roles, at all times. The commission clearly states “…I will obey the orders…”. Thus, applicant concerns and questions in this area should be resolved before applying or, at the latest, before accepting their commission.
9.) Active Duty Navy Chaplain Recruiting is organized per the attached roster. Please feel free to contact any of us for assistance. You may particularly want to get to know the Region Chaplain recruiter responsible for your geographical area. In order to identify the recruiting region your applicant should contact, please follow the links found on the websitehttp://www.chaplain.navy.mil/.
10.) We are happy to provide you with marketing materials to aid your recruiting efforts, and when scheduling and funding permit, to provide recruiter presence at various conferences, etc. Given the sheer number of recognized endorsers, and the fact that many ecclesiastical events are held simultaneously across the nation, we are not able to provide recruiter presence at many events. I recommend you strongly encourage Navy chaplains from your faith group/tradition to attend your key events IN UNIFORM. That way they can represent you and the Navy Chaplain Corps. Such trips are officially encouraged. That said, I would still be happy to provide you with a variety of Navy Chaplain Corps marketing/promotional items for direct distribution by endorsers at such events.
11.) Important information regarding the Navy Chaplain Ministry (chaplain candidate, active duty, and reserve programs), and various points-of-contact are listed in the four hyperlinks beneath my signature block (see below). Please distribute this information as you see fit.
Thank you again for your strong support of Navy Chaplain Corps recruiting. If I can be of any assistance to you in these matters, please call me at your earliest convenience.
Chaplain Vince Arnold
R.W.Vince Arnold, DMin.
Captain, CHC, USN
Chaplain Program Manager Code N342
Navy Recruiting Command
5722 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38054
DSN 882-9216; Comm 901-874-9216; Fax x9230; Toll Free 1-866-484-5232
http://www.navy.com/careers/officer/clergy/( for recruiter contact information click on the Find a Recruiter link and enter your zip code.)
( for general information on qualifications/requirements and ministry as a Navy Chaplain, click on the “I am a professional” button, and, then click on the “clergy” button.)
( for general information on the Basic Chaplain Course/School and ministry as a Navy Chaplain.)
(for general information on the Chaplain Reserve program.)
Navy Chaplain Corps Vision Statement: “Devoted to God and Country, we unite to deliver innovative, life-transforming service throughout and beyond the Sea Services.”