Royal Australian Army Chaplains' Department

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Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department
Active ? – present
Country Australia
Allegiance Australian Army
Branch Australian Regular Army
Type Field Army
Role Religion
Colors RAAChD do not have Colours.
Engagements RAAChD are not awarded Battle Honours.

The Royal Australian Army Chaplains' Department is an all-officer Corps within the Australian Army that provides ordained clergy to minister to the personnel of the Australian Army.[citation needed] As of 2006, there are 151 serving regular chaplains (commonly known as "padres") in the Australian Army; these belong to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith. There are also chaplains in the Australian Army Reserve.

Noncombatant status[edit]

See: Military chaplain #Noncombatant status

Uniforms and insignia[edit]

The Australian Army Chaplains' Department has two cap badges, for its Christian and Jewish officers. Army chaplains, although they are all commissioned officers of the Australian Army and wear uniform, do not carry arms (and are the only officers not to carry swords on parade). At services on formal occasions, chaplains wear their medals and decorations on their clerical robes.[1]


Chaplains in the Australian Army begin their commission as a Captain. There are five levels or "divisions" for the seniority of chaplains in the Australian Army and Air Force with each division corresponding to a worn rank.

Principal chaplains[edit]

The highest "division" is Division 5 who are "Principal Chaplains," of which there are three per service representing the three major Christian denominations—Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant—and the Jewish faith. The Principal Chaplains of the Army wear the rank of Brigadier.

Heads of Denominations: In the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the heads of military chaplaincy for those Christian denominations and of the Jewish faith that have an official association with the ADF, are also members of the ADF's "Religious Advisory Committee to the Services" (RACS). With respect to the Catholic and Anglican churches, their Bishops are members of RACS and they and the other members of RACS have the status of a two-star General (US) or Major General (Australian Army). The current chairman of the RACS is Rev Prof Allan Harman.[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]