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Today's Focus:

The 100th Year of the Army Chaplain Assistants


"They really set the conditions for the chaplain. They provide protection to the chaplain, as well as do everything else that is asked of them as a Soldier in the United States Army…Chaplains assistants have that willingness to do and try anything to accomplish the mission. You should be very proud."

- Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Douglas L. Carver, speaking highly about the chaplain assistants, during the 100th anniversary of the chaplain assistant celebratory dinner at Camp Victory's Joint Visitors Bureau in Baghdad, Iraq.

Army celebrates 100 years of chaplain assistants


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"We have come a very long way."

- Chief of Chaplains and Regimental Sgt. Maj. Tommy Marrero, a Cayey, Puerto Rico, native, joined the Army in 1984, referring to the growth of the chaplain assistants

Army celebrates 100 years of chaplain assistants



2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

December 2009

Dec. 16 to Jan. 25 : 65th Anniversary of Battle of the Bulge

Dec. 24: STAND-TO! edition will not be published
Dec. 25: Christmas Holiday
Dec. 31: STAND-TO! edition will not be published


Army Professional Writing


The 100th Year of the Army Chaplain Assistants

What is it?

On December 28, 2009, the Army will celebrate the centennial of Army chaplain assistants.

What has the Army done?

Before December 1909, volunteers served as chaplain assistants. The Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) was established on December 28, 2009 by general orders no. 253, paragraph 1, which read "One enlisted man will be detailed on special duty, by the commanding officer of any organization to which a chaplain is assigned for duty, for the purpose of assisting the chaplain in the performance of his official duties."

In August 1965, chaplain assistants were designated 71M and in 1974 they doctrinally joined the Chaplain at Battalions and Brigades as the Unit Ministry Team (UMT).

In 2001, the MOS changed to 56M and became a "stand alone" career management field.

Why is it important to the Army?

During their century of service, chaplain assistants have assisted their chaplains in ensuring the free exercise of religion for millions of Soldiers. Religious support rests on their dedication as 56Ms help strengthen spiritual fitness in our formations. Chaplain assistants perform their mission with intrepidity and professionalism.

During the Boxer Rebellion, PFC Calvin P. Titus, the volunteer chaplain assistant of the 14th Infantry, earned the Medal of Honor. Currently, chaplain assistants like SGT Jason Boatwright, a finalist at this year's Best Warrior competition, maintain the legacy of the thousands of chaplain assistants over the past 100 years.

Today's chaplain assistants steadfastly provide proficiency in religious support, assisting commanders in addressing the needs of their Soldiers and families both at home station and in deployed environments. Chaplain assistants are also combatants, who perform and coordinate security requirements of religious support while minimizing the security risks of chaplains who are non combatants and do not bear arms.

What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future?

From Master Resilience, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Strong Bonds trainers to religious leader liaisons, the Army continues to professionally develop chaplain assistants to meet the high demands of today's Army.


United States Army Chaplaincy Home Page

Related Articles:

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Chaplain assistants fill-time honored role in Afghanistan

Army celebrates 100 years of chaplain assistants

Encouraging volunteer excellence

Related Video:

100 years of Chaplain Assistants


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