Royal Australian Army Chaplains' Department

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department
Active ? – present
Country  Australia
Allegiance Australian Army
Branch Army
Type Corps
Role Religion
Nickname(s) Padre
Motto(s) In this Sign Conquer
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.[1] As of 2012, there are 67 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 83 chaplains in the Australian Army Reserve.[1]

Prior to December 1948 the corps was titled the Australian Army Chaplains' Department.[2]

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.[3]

In November 2015, media reported a change to the Australian Army’s Chaplaincy badge, which is officially known as the Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department badge. This reporting is misleading. A change to the Australian Army Chaplaincy badge is not a matter the Chief of Army is currently considering.[4]


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.[5]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
Australian Intelligence Corps
Australian Army Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Australian Corps of Transport

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department". Australian Army. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Title "Royal" for Army Units". The Age (29212). Victoria, Australia. 10 December 1948. p. 4. Retrieved 5 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. ^ "Army Standing Orders for Dress: Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department". Royal Australian Army official website. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Response to media reporting regarding Army Chaplaincy badge". On the Record. Department of Defence. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Board of Directors of the World Reformed Fellowship

External links[edit]