Since the days of George Washington, chaplains have ministered to those who have worn the uniform of the United States. As commissioned officers, Catholic priests continue to minister to the men and women who serve in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Before a priest can be commissioned in one of the service branches, Federal law requires that he receive the endorsement of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, the only recognized endorsing agent for the Catholic Church in the United States. The AMS’s endorsement process is separate from but related to the application a priest must make to be commissioned in a specific service branch.The AMS will not grant an endorsement for any priest who has fewer than three years of pastoral experience. A priest who is incardinated in a diocese or a religious community where his training and experience are mostly from outside the U.S. must be able to document three years of pastoral experience within the United States.
Explore the following webpages to learn more about serving as a priest in the U.S. Armed Forces and the process to join this exciting ministry.