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Department of Defense


NUMBER 1304.19

June 11, 2004


SUBJECT:  Appointment of Chaplains for the Military Departments

References: (a)  DoD Directive 1304.19, "Appointment of Chaplains for the Military Services," September 18, 1993 (hereby canceled)

(b)    DoD Directive 1332.31, "Administrative Separation of Chaplains Upon Loss of Professional Qualifications," October 16, 1981 (hereby canceled)

(c)  DoD Instruction 1330.7, "Visits of Civilian Religious Leaders to Military Installations in Overseas Areas," April 26, 1974 (hereby canceled)

(d)  DoD Instruction 1304.28, "Guidance for the Appointment of Chaplains for the Military Departments," June 11, 2004

(e)  DoD Directive 5100.73, "Support of Headquarters of Combatant and Subordinate Joint Commands," November 15, 1999


This Directive:

1.1.  Reissues reference (a) to update policy and responsibilities.

1.2.  Cancels references (b) and (c).

1.3.  Continues the educational and ecclesiastical requirements for appointing military chaplains.


This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, (including the Coast Guard when it is operating as a Military Service in the Navy), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities (hereafter referred to collectively as "the DoD Components").  The term "Military Departments," as used herein, refers to the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force.  The term "Military Services" as used herein refers to the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps.


Terms used in this Directive are defined in DoD Instruction 1304.28 (reference (d)).


It is DoD policy that the Chaplaincies of the Military Departments:

4.1.  Are established to advise and assist commanders in the discharge of their responsibilities to provide for the free exercise of religion in the context of military service as guaranteed by the Constitution, to assist commanders in managing Religious Affairs (DoD Directive 5100.73 (reference (e)), and to serve as the principal advisors to commanders for all issues regarding the impact of religion on military operations.

4.2.  Shall serve a religiously diverse population.  Within the military, commanders are required to provide comprehensive religious support to all authorized individuals within their areas of responsibility.  Religious Organizations that choose to participate in the Chaplaincies recognize this command imperative and express willingness for their Religious Ministry Professionals (RMPs) to perform their professional duties as chaplains in cooperation with RMPs from other religious traditions.

4.3.  Requirements and details addressing the Chaplaincies of the Military Departments are found in reference (d).


5.1.  The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness shall issue additional implementing guidance, as appropriate.

5.2.  The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall adhere to this Directive, reference (d), and other pertinent guidance to ensure that persons appointed as chaplains meet the minimum professional and educational qualifications prescribed in reference (d) and other pertinent guidance.  The Secretaries of the Military Departments may impose additional professional requirements.


This Directive is effective immediately.

Signed by: Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense