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Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
The Naval Base at Norfolk, Virginia
dentists,  physician’s  assistants,  hospital  corpsmen, and dental technicians, as well as a large number of  civilians. THE  CHAPLAIN  CORPS The  Constitution  of  the  United  States  guar- antees  “free exercise of religion” to all its citizens. However,  military  personnel  often  find  themselves stationed   far   from   their   traditional   religious communities. Therefore, Congress authorized the establishment  of  the  Navy  Chaplain  Corps  to provide for the religious needs of personnel of the Navy,  Marine  Corps,  and  Coast  Guard.  Com- manding  officers  have  the  responsibility  to  ensure this constitutional right for each person in their command.   Navy   chaplains   are   accountable   to their  commanding  officers  for  the  pastoral  care of  personnel  of  all  faiths. Though   commissioned   as   an   officer,   the chaplain  is  first  ordained  as  a  member  of  the clergy in one of the religious bodies of the country. The wearing of the naval uniform is believed to enhance  the  chaplain’s  effectiveness  in  ministering within   and   to   the   military   organization.   The uniform, itself,   indicates   the   chaplain’s responsibility  to  the  naval  service  and  the  Nation. The insignia worn, the Cross or the Tablets of the Law,  identifies  a  person  as  a  chaplain.  It  also emphasizes  the  chaplain’s  responsibility  to  church and spiritual values. Standards for appointment as a chaplain are high.  Each  appointee  must  be  physically  qualified. Each must have completed at least 120 semester hours  of  undergraduate  study  in  an  accredited college  or  university  and  a  minimum  of  90 semester  hours  in  an  approved  theological  school. Before the appointment can be made, the chaplain must  be  duly  ordained  and  provided  with  an ecclesiastical  endorsement  by  his  or  her  own church. As   religious   leaders,   chaplains   advise   the commanding officer on all matters pertaining to the   moral,   spiritual,   and   religious   welfare   of Navy,  Marine  Corps,  and  Coast  Guard  personnel. Chaplains   always   conduct   divine   services according   to   the   customs,   traditions,   and regulations  of  their  own  church.  Frequently  called upon  to  provide  religious  services  for  those  of other faiths, however, they must minister to the needs  of  people  of  all  faiths.  Their  responsibilities include   inviting   appropriate   clergy   aboard, training  lay  readers, and  providing  proper material  and  ecclesiastical  support.  Each  chaplain should  use  ideas,  techniques,  and  methods  that will help all command personnel grow spiritually and  develop  good  character. Navy  chaplains  have  long  upheld  the  tradition of ensuring free exercise of religion by providing moral and spiritual support and guidance. Often chaplains   devote   the   bulk   of   their   efforts   to pastoral  care  and  pastoral  counseling.  In  giving pastoral care, chaplains try to reflect the heart of God in their actions. They serve as agents through which  God  imparts  healing,  spiritual  renewal, and  unconditional  love.  In  pastoral  counseling, chaplains   help   personnel   resolve   domestic problems as well as personal issues and crises. In addition,   chaplains   conduct   regular   worship services; provide religious educational opportuni- ties; and  perform  baptisms,  confirmations, marriages, and other sacraments and ordinances. Chaplains serve at sea on a normal rotational basis.   Some   are   assigned   directly   to   ships’ companies.  Others  become  “circuit  riders”  who meet the needs of those on small ships and stations or  at  widely  dispersed  units.  For  example,  a chaplain  assigned  to  minister  to  destroyer personnel  will  serve  many  ships  operating  over great  distances.  Over  50  percent  of  the  Navy chaplains are assigned to sea or overseas billets. In addition, Navy chaplains serve major tactical and  support  units  of  the  U.S.  Marine  Corps. Approximately 20 percent of the total number of active-duty   chaplains   are   attached   to   Marine Corps units at any given time. Ashore, three or more chaplains may be assigned to larger Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard stations. Many of these stations have well-equipped chapels and educational  facilities  (fig.  13-2). Chaplains serve in commissioned grades from lieutenant (junior grade) through captain. Their promotions are based on the same precepts and regulations  governing  all  other  naval  officer promotions.  The  Chaplain  Corps  is  directed  by the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  a  rear  admiral. JUDGE  ADVOCATE  GENERAL’S CORPS The American Fleet was authorized in 1775, and the Department of the Navy was established by an act of Congress in 1798. However, the Navy had  no  official  legal  counsel  until  well  into  the 19th century. In  1864,  because  of  contract  frauds  arising under  Civil  War  naval  programs,  Secretary  of  the Navy  Gideon  Welles  created  the  position  of Solicitor  for  the  Navy  Department.  The  quickly 13-6

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