It is important to understand the relationship between the AMS and the U.S. Federal Government. To become a military chaplain, priests must apply to the service branch of their choice. The priest-recruiters of each branch can start and guide this process.
An essential step in the military accession process is securing the ecclesiastical endorsement of the Archbishop for the Military Services. In fact, no military service branch will complete the application until it has received the ecclesiastical endorsement (DD Form 2088) from the Archdiocese for the Military Services. The AMS’s application for requesting the ecclesiastical endorsement is online.
In addition to the online application, a priest must submit the following:
- Photograph of himself in clerical attire.
- Letter of permission from his diocesan bishop or religious superior.
- Addressed to Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, this letter must expressly state the service branch and component for which he is being released.
- Signed and stamped original of the statement from the priest’s diocesan bishop or religious superior attesting to the provisions article 13 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
- Proof of the priest’s Youth Protection training (Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, article 12).
- The AMS requires that all clerics have received Safe Environment training within the last three years. For more information on the AMS requirement, see http://files.milarch.org/offices/child-youth-protection/policy-for-safe-environment-training-and-decree.pdf.
- Submission of a DVD of the priest celebrating a Sunday Mass (including a homily of at least five minutes).
- A one-page statement sharing the priest’s reason for his interest in military chaplaincy.
International priests—i.e., those incardinated in a foreign diocese or religious community, those who did seminary formation outside the United States or Rome—will have to submit additional materials to complete the endorsement process.
- Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The AMS requires a minimum total score of 80, with a score of no less than 20 in each section: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
To begin the process to request the ecclesiastical endorsement of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, create a profile on the myAMS portal. Go to https://milarch.force.com/portal/login and click on the Sign Up link in the lower right corner. Once logged in, click on the link for the type of application to be submitted.
Questions concerning the endorsement process or ministry in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA can be addressed to the Chancellor, the Reverend Robert Cannon, JCD (Cand.) at firstname.lastname@example.org.