"Pro Deo Et Patria"
The mission of the U.S. Army Chaplains Corps is to provide religious support to America’s Army. Chaplains advise commanders to ensure that the ‘free exercise’ rights for all Soldiers are upheld - including those who hold to no faith.
The Chaplain Corps' motto is “Pro Deo et Patria” – For God and Country – and points to their dual role in our Army. As personal staff officers, chaplains advise commanders on matters relating to free exercise of religion, unit morale, ethics, and the impact of religion on operations. As religious leaders, chaplains are qualified clergy who are endorsed by their denomination or faith group.
In the pluralistic setting of the military, the Chaplain Corps provides religious support to individuals from all faith traditions. To achieve this, Chaplains cooperate with one other without compromising the standards and tenets of their faith tradition.
Chaplains perform religious support activities according to their faith and conscience and provide religious support for those of other faith groups by coordinating with another chaplain or qualified individual to perform the support needed. At the unit level, a chaplain and religious affairs specialist form a Unit Ministry Team, or UMT, and are embedded throughout all three components of the Army – Active, Guard and Reserve.”
The Continental Congress established chaplains as an integral part of the Continental Army on July 29th, 1775. Over the years, more than 25,000 chaplains have served in the U.S. Army as religious leaders for Soldiers and Family members. From military installations to deployed combat units, chaplains and chaplain assistants perform their ministries in the most religiously diverse organization in the world.
Always present with Soldiers in war and in peace, Army chaplains have served in all of America's major wars and combat engagements from the colonial era through the present day. Nearly 300 Army chaplains have laid down their lives in battle. Seven members of the Chaplain Corps have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Currently, more than 3,000 chaplains serve the Total Army representing 140 different religious organizations.