AMS Endorsement FAQs

1. Who can be a Catholic chaplain?

A validly ordained Catholic priest can be a chaplain in the U.S. military or for the Department of Veterans Affairs. A deacon cannot be endorsed as a chaplain because he cannot provide all of the priestly sacraments. A layperson is ineligible to become a chaplain.

2. Will the AMS endorse a married priest from an Eastern Catholic Church sui iuris?

It is possible for an Eastern Catholic priest to receive the AMS endorsement and faculties, however, the priest would need bi-ritual faculties because all AMS priests must be able to celebrate the ordinary form of the Roman Rite in English.

Applications from Eastern Catholic priests are reviewed individually. A priest may celebrate the Divine Liturgy at a time other than the regular times for Mass according to the canons of his Church sui iuris. Eastern Catholic priests considering military chaplaincy are encouraged to contact the AMS Chancellor.

3. How long does it take to get an endorsement from the Archdiocese for the Military Services?

The length varies with each candidate. If the candidate submits all of the required documents with the application, the process goes more quickly. If a background investigation includes multiple dioceses, the process takes longer because the diocesan bishop of each diocese where the priest lived/worked must be contacted. The minimum time for an endorsement is approximately one month. However, it can take as long as six months if a diocese overseas has to be contacted.

4. Can my own diocesan bishop or religious superior issue the DD Form 2088?

No. The only authorized endorser is the Archbishop for the Military Services, USA. The government will reject all other endorsements for Catholic clerics.

5. Do I need to make an application to the military or VA if I have applied to the AMS? Or, do I have to apply to the AMS if I made application to the military or VA?

You must apply to both. Applying to the AMS is not an application to the military or government. Applying to the government or the military is not applying to the AMS.

6. Does the Archdiocese for the Military Services incardinate priests or deacons?

Presbyters and deacons serving in the AMS are “on loan” from their dioceses or religious communities of incardination. Only the bishops and two permanent deacons are incardinated in the Archdiocese.

7. Can a priest with an R-1 visa work for the Department of Veterans Affairs?


8. Will the AMS help me get an R-1 visa?


9. Does a contract or GS priest need the AMS endorsement and faculties?

Yes. The AMS endorsement certifies to the Federal government that the applicant is a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church so that he can be hired or contracted for a priest position. Once the priest has been hired or contracted for service, he must notify the AMS Chancellor to request the faculties of the Archdiocese to exercise his ministry at his assignment.

10. How do I begin the process to request the AMS endorsement?

To submit an application for the AMS endorsement, create a profile on the myAMS portal  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.