Armed Forces Chaplains Board
The Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB) is an organizational entity within the United States Department of Defense established to advise the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on religious, ethical, and moral matters, in addition to a number of policy issues affecting religious ministry and the support of the free exercise of religion within the military services. It is made up of the three Chiefs of Chaplains and three active-duty Deputy Chiefs of Chaplains of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Composition and leadership
The Chair of the AFCB is a position rotated among the three services, with the Chief of Chaplains appointed as Chair for a period of eighteen months. In addition a senior military chaplain holding the rank of O-6 (Army or Air Force Colonel or Navy Captain) serves as the AFCB Executive Director for a three-year term. According to the Department of Defense Instruction governing the Board, it is recommended that the Executive Director not be serving in the same branch of the Armed Forces as the current Chair, but not required.
Military chaplains of specific religious faiths may be appointed to serve as special consultants to the AFCB on issues concerning those faiths, and the Board may establish committees to conduct studies, make recommendations, "or otherwise assist the Board in carrying out its responsibilities."
The AFCB is tasked to provide advice on issues including:
- Protection of free exercise of religion
- Procurement, professional standards, requirements, training, and assignment of military chaplains
- Religious support providers
- Procurement and utilization of supplies, equipment, and facilities for religious use
- Promotion of dialog with civilian organizations regarding religious issues
- Promotion of joint military endeavors for the delivery of ministry by the Military Services throughout the Department of Defense.
Current AFCB members
Chaplain (Brigadier General) Thomas L. Solhjem, Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the United States Army
Chaplain (Brigadier General) Ronald M. Harvell, Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the United States Air Force
The current executive director (staff) is: Chaplain (Colonel) Jay Johns (Army); previously, CAPT Jere Hinson (Navy), Ch (Col) Jerry Pitts (Air Force), CH (COL) Steve Moon (Army), previously CH (COL) Thomas E. Preston (Army).
- Chiefs of Chaplains of the United States
- Military chaplain
- Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center
- United States military chaplain symbols
- Joint Publication 1-05: Religious Affairs in Joint Operations. 13 November 2009. United States Joint Forces Command (lead agent and JS doctrine sponsor for this publication: Office of Religious Affairs)