Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M)
Army

Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M): Career Details

An Army Chaplain’s Assistant (MOS 56M) provides support to the Chaplain as a member of the unit ministry team.

The role of individuals in this Army MOS is to support a Chaplain during missions and everyday activities.

These soldiers provide protection, coordination, and logistical support to the Chaplain.

Qualifications,Training and Duty Stations

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 seven 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

Related ArticleArmy Information Technology Specialist (MOS 25B): Career Details

Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 56M can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
  • Ft. Aberdeen, MD
  • Ft. Arlington,TX
  • Ft. Buckley, VA
  • Ft. Carlisle, PA
  • Ft. Charlottesville, VA
  • Ft. Detrick, MD
  • Ft. Detroit
  • Ft. Dugway, DUG
  • Eglin AFB, FL
  • Ft. Goodfellow, TX
  • Ft. Hamilton, HAML
  • Ft. Huachuca, AZ
  • Ft. Hunter Liggett, CA
  • Ft. Huntsville, HUNT
  • Ft. Las Vegas, LV
  • Ft. Monterey, CA
  • Ft. Peterson, CO
  • Ft. Picatinny, NJ
  • Ft. Redstone
  • Ft. Rock Island, IL
  • Ft. Scott, NV
  • Ft. Story, VA
  • Ft. Sunny Point, NC
  • Ft. White Sands, NM
  • Ft. Yuma, CA
  • Ft. Belvoir, VA
  • Ft. Benning, GA
  • Ft. Bliss, TX
  • Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Ft. Campbell, KY
  • Ft. Carson, CO
  • Ft. Drum, NY
  • Ft. Eustis, VA
  • Ft. Gordon, GO
  • Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ft. Huachuca, AZ
  • Ft. Irwin, CA
  • Ft. Jackson, MS
  • Ft. Knox, KY
  • Ft. Lackland, TX
  • Ft. Leavenworth, KS
  • Ft. Lee, VA
  • Ft. Leonard Wood, MO
  • Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.
  • Ft. Meade, MD
  • Ft. Myer, VA
  • Ft. Polk, LA
  • Ft. Riley, KS
  • Ft. Rucker, NY
  • Ft. Sam Houston, TX
  • Ft. Sill, OK
  • Ft. Stewart, GA
  • West Point, NY
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
  • Ft. Richardson, AK
  • Ft. Wainwright, AK
  • Ft. Greely, AK
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Daumerie, Belgium
  • Garmisch, Germany
  • Grafenwoehr, Germany
  • Hohenfels, Germany
  • Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Katterbach, Germany
  • Kleber, Germany
  • Landstuhl, Germany
  • Panzer, Germany
  • Patch, Germany
  • Vilseck, Germany
  • Pulaski, Germany
  • Sembach, Germany
  • Smith, Germany
  • Barton, Germany
  • Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Schofield, Hi
  • Tripler, Hi
  • Wheeler, Hi
  • Shafter, Hi
  • Zama, Japan
  • Vicenza, Japan
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sagami, Japan
  • Casey, South Korea
  • Henry, South Korea
  • Honduras
  • Humphreys, South Korea
  • Red Cloud, South Korea
  • Carroll, South Korea
  • Coiner, South Korea
  • Osan, South Korea
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Stanley, South Korea
  • Walker, South Korea
  • Yongsan, South Korea
  • Arifjan, kuwait
  • Schinnen, Netherland
  • Sayliyah, Qatar
  • El Gorah, EGYPT

What Does a Chaplain Assistant do?

Army Chaplain Assistant
Army Chaplain Assistant setting up religious items at a Chapel. Image: army.mil

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 break-down and set-up space for 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.

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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 newly 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 of base pay amounts.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-1PrivatePVT$1,733
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$1,943
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,043
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,263
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,263
E-5SergeantSGT$2,468
e-6E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,694
E-7Sergeant First Class SFC$3,114
army master sergeant iconE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,480
E-8First Sergeant 1SG$4,480
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$5,473
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$5,473
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$5,473

Benefits

Army benefits are generous in comparison to most civilian careers.

The Army pays for housing and food while living on base, and pays allowances for those living off 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

 Related ArticleAir Force Personnel (3F0X1): Career Details

Job Reviews

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.

MOS 56M
Image: Indeed

The reviews below note the positive aspects of the position.

Army MOS 56M
Image: Indeed

Related ArticleAir Force Dental Assistant (4Y0X1): Career Details

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.

Summary

Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M)
Army Chaplain Assistant volunteering to play guitar during Sunday religious service. Image: wikimedia

Army Chaplain Assistants (MOS 56M) are the behind-the-scenes support for Military Chaplains.

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 a 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.

Related ArticleAir Force Chaplain: Career Details

References

Army MOS 56M Career Details

Army Chaplain Assistant Article

Zach B.

General FAQ

What Army MOS is a chaplain assistant?

An Army Chaplain Assistant is assigned MOS 56M, part of the 56 series MOS classification, which indicates Army Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants. Assistants are the only enlisted personnel in this series.


What does an Army Chaplain Assistant do?

An Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M) provides administrative, logistical, and even moral support to Army Chaplains. These specialists also provide protection, so Chaplains are free to focus on the troops’ spiritual needs.


Do Army Chaplain Assistants see combat?

An Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M) may be deployed to a combat zone and is required to provide security for the Chaplain. They are trained in battle and hand-to-hand combat skills during Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.


Do Army Chaplain Assistants need a religious background?

No religious background or adherence to any faith is required to become an Army Chaplain Assistant (MOS 56M). Qualifications include a 90 score on the Clerical portion of the ASVAB, a driver’s license, and Secret security clearance.


How much does an Army Chaplain Assistant make?

Like all Army personnel, Army Chaplain Assistants are paid according to rank and time in service. A new soldier with less than two years in service can currently expect to make a base pay of $1,733 per month plus benefits.

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