Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M) provide support to the Chaplain as a member of the unit ministry team.
The role of individuals in this MOS is to support a Chaplain during missions and every day activities.
These soldiers provide protection, coordination and logistical support to the Chaplain.
Qualifications and Training
Individuals who wish to join into this MOS do not have to have a faith background.
They have to be eligible for Secret Clearance.
They also must have a Driver’s License and pass all physical and medical requirements.
To enter into this MOS, recruits must score at least 90 on the Clerical (CL) portion ASVAB.
This position requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training.
Advanced Individual Training will be 7 weeks at the United States Army Chaplain Center and School.
Skills that are helpful in this MOS:
- Ability to operate office machinery
- Ability to organize and plan
- Interest in working with clergy office work
- Accurate record keeping and organizational skills
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What Does a Chaplain Assistant do?
A Chaplain Assistant provides overall support to the Chaplain.
They are the behind the scenes person ensuring that all tasks are being completed.
Soldiers in this role must use typing and clerical skills, including proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
They will maintain reports, files and administrative data.
It is their job to apply technology to religious operations.
The Assistants will operate any communications equipment and digital reporting systems.
They will order and maintain supplies and equipment.
There are times when the Chaplain Assistant will complete humanitarian or voluntary work.
It is their job to be familiar with all of the tasks that a Chaplain completes, including the religious history and background.
The Assistants spend a good majority of their time with soldiers.
They must have communication skills and be comfortable with building rapport and relationships.
They are required to go into the field and work beside the soldiers in whatever tasks they are completing.
This allows them to build connections and provide emotional support to soldiers.
Sometimes providing emotional support means just being a listening ear for a soldier about stress, relationships, fears or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other times providing support means ensuring religious services are known about, advertised, scheduled and planned.
The Chaplain Assistant is trained continuously to understand psychology and how to empathize with soldiers.
They meet with soldiers and screen them for further needed assistance with the Chaplain.
They breakdown and set-up religious services.
This is done in stationary areas or in mobile deployment areas.
An important task of the Chaplain Assistance is to provide security for the Chaplain while deployed.
The Chaplain will not carry a weapon, so the Chaplain Assistant must ensure they are staying alert, focused and providing the best protection for the Chaplain as possible.
Soldiers who work in this MOS do not have a Monday through Friday position.
The hours can be long and always include weekend work.
They can work with joint-forces, inter-agency, inter-governmental and multi-national units.
Any task or assistance that the Chaplain may need, the Assistant provides it.
The Army video below provides more information on the job functions of the Chaplain Assistant.
What Does a Chaplain Assistant get Paid?
This position is entry-level and will follow the Army base pay table.
The Army’s base pay follows rank and time of service.
For individuals who are recruited, you can expect to make around $20,000 annually.
This amount does not include special pay, benefits or allowances.
The pay table below can be followed to get an idea on base pay amounts.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$1,943|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,043|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,114|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$5,473|
Army benefits are generous in comparison to most civilian careers.
The Army pays for housing and food while living on base.
They also provide recruiting bonuses for some positions and special pay scenarios.
Annual Military Clothing allowances are offered to soldiers, along with civilian clothing allowances, if the job requires.
Soldiers have the opportunity for advanced education tuition assistance and book cost assistance.
Other benefits include:
- Free/low-cost medical and dental
- Paid sick time
- 30 days paid vacation annually
- Low-cost life insurance
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Job reviews of this position are very positive.
Individuals in this MOS feel that they are able to help people.
They note gaining meaningful relationships and feeling that their work provided valuable support to soldiers.
Reviews of this position indicate that the job duties often change and that the position can be challenging at times.
Negative reviews discuss the time away from family that the position requires.
The review below discusses a former Chaplain Assistant’s experience while in the Army.
The reviews below note positive aspects of the position.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Skills learned in this MOS relate to work in religious practices as well as administrative civilian positions.
Soldiers in this MOS can work in civilian churches, synagogues or mosques providing religious support.
The experience in technology and clerical functions also relates to civilian Office Coordinator, Data Entry or Administrative Assistant positions.
This position qualifies for the PAYS program.
The PAYS program is a recruiting opportunity that ensures a job interview with Military friendly employers.
Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M) are the behind-the-scenes support for Military Chaplain.
They provide support to soldiers in times of need and provide the Chaplain with administrative, technical, logistical and religious support.
This is an entry level position that requires secret clearance, Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.
Individuals who have previously been in this MOS enjoyed the position and how rewarding it can be to assist other soldiers.
Skills learned in this MOS directly relates to assisting positions religious facilities as a civilian or administrative positions.
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