Thursday, January 28, 2016
Chaplains with Beret
Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister, such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or lay representative of a religious tradition, attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, police department, fire department, university, or private chapel.
French, World War I
Though originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith, it is now also applied to people of other religions or philosophical traditions–such as the case of chaplains serving with military forces.
French, Foreign Legion
Military chaplains provide pastoral, spiritual and emotional support for service personnel, including the conduct of religious services at sea, on bases or in the field. Military chaplains have a long history; the first English military-oriented chaplains, for instance, were priests on board proto-naval vessels during the 8th century.
French, Chasseurs Alpin (left)
Land-based chaplains appeared during the reign of King Edward I. The current form of military chaplain dates from the era of the First World War.
Belgium, Chasseurs Ardennais
Chaplains are nominated, appointed, or commissioned in different ways in different countries. A military chaplain can be an army-trained soldier with additional theological training or an ordained person nominated to the army by religious authorities.
Though the Geneva Conventions does not state whether chaplains may bear arms, they specify (Protocol I, June 8, 1977, Art 43.2) that chaplains are noncombatants.
Jewish, South Africa