Becoming an Air Force Chaplain

The Air Force is always seeking ministers to join us as full or part-time Chaplains. If you are a Priest, Pastor or equivalent and are looking for an exciting alternative ministry, please raaf.chaplains [at] defence.gov.au (contact us).

What does a day in the life of an Air Force Chaplain look like?

Chaplaincy aspects

  • Pastoral type care for Air Force members and their families
  • Advice to commanders on pastoral, religious, ethical and cultural issues as they affect the performance, morale, morals, welfare, and spiritual needs of Air Force members and their families
  • Character, leadership and ethics training
  • Religious services

Military aspects

  • Physical fitness
  • Weapons readiness
  • Exercises and short training courses (away from home base)

What about postings and overseas deployments?

Permanent or full-time Air Force Chaplains are posted to positions at bases across Australia and overseas for durations of approximately 3 years. Postings are decided according to current and future Air Force capability requirements and take into consideration:

  • operational deployments
  • supervision
  • professional development
  • family circumstances

Air Force Chaplains also play a key support role ‘on the ground' on overseas deployments. While this means being away from home for approximately six months, ministry opportunities are usually significantly enhanced with Air Force members in higher stress environments separated from family and friends.

What part do denominations play?

Guidance and advice

Each Chaplain seeks guidance and advice from their denomination according to the framework set out by their denomination.

Ongoing ordination and licensing

Chaplains need to comply with ongoing ordination and/or licensing requirements set by their denomination.

Code of Conduct

Chaplains are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct as set by their denomination. These Codes of Conduct often include areas of behaviour considered 'acceptable' in general society but 'unacceptable' from a Christian/Church perspective.

Responding to allegations of misconduct

Denominations are requested to review and respond to allegations of misconduct or abuse by Air Force Chaplains.

What is the RACS?

The Religious Advisory Committee to the Services (RACS) is an advisory group representing the faiths and denominations of Australian Defence Force Chaplains.

The primary activities of the RACS and its members are:

  • Endorsement of new Chaplains
  • Pastoral care of existing Chaplains
  • Input to Defence policy

The RACS is made up as follows:

Jewish

Rabbi Ralph Genende

Catholic

The Most Reverend Max Davis, AM

Anglican

The Right Reverend Ian Lambert

Uniting

The Reverend Doctor Murray Earl

Presbyterian

The Very Reverend Professor Allan Harman

United Churches

The Reverend Garry Lock, CSC

Muslim

Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem

Learn more

To learn more or submit your interest, please raaf.chaplains [at] defence.gov.au (email us directly) or visit Defence Force jobs.