Always present with soldiers in war and in peace, the Chaplain Corps provides religious
to America's Army by nurturing the living, caring for the wounded, and honoring the fallen. And
for you that have served in remote or hostile environments in the military, I am sure you have
memories of these servants of peace. My two fondest encounters with chaplains were during basic
military training (my first time away from home)and my tour of duty on a remote mountaintop in Turkey. Just talking to them took my mind off
the unpleasantries going on at the time.
What better place to go to learn more about the history of chaplains in the US Military than the US Army Chaplain Corps Museum on Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Authorized in 1957, the museum has acquired a fine collection of artifacts and archival material from the 17th century to present day. The museum explores the dedicated service and sacrifices made by the men and women in the Army Chaplaincy from exhibits on the Four Chaplains of World War II, Medal of Honor recipients to pieces of the destroyed Pentagon wall from September 11, 2001.
Since July 29, 1775, approximately 25,000 Army chaplains have served as religious and spiritual leaders for 25 million soldiers and their families. Army chaplains and chaplain assistants have performed their ministries in the most religiously divers organization in the world.
Brief History Outline:
1775: The Chaplain branch is authorized with more than 120 volunteer chaplains serving during the Revolutionary War.
1791: First Commissioned Army Chaplain, John Hurt, an Episcopalian.
1860 - 1865: Four chaplains are awarded the Medal of Honor, John Whitehead, Francis Hall, James Hill and Milton Haney. Also, Henry Turner and Jacob Frankel became the first commissioned African-American and Jewish chaplains, respectively.
1880: Shepherd's crook on shoulder boar is first official Chaplain Insignia.
1909: Chaplain Assistants authorized by General Order 253.
1918: Chaplain School first established at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
1920: First Chief of Chaplains appointed, Chaplain (Colonel) John Axton.
1941 - 1945: More than 9,000 Army chaplains serve in World War II.
1966 - 1971: Thirteen chaplains and eight chaplain assistants gave their lives in Vietnam. Two chaplains receive the Medal of Honor, Charles J. Watters and Angelo J. Liteky.
1983 - 1984: The Unit Ministry Team and Field Manual 16-5, The Chaplain and Chaplain Assistant in Combat Operations developed.
1986: Reorganization of the Chaplain Corps as part of the US Army Regimental System.
1995: The US Army Chaplain Center and School relocates from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey to Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
2005: Base Realignment and Closure Commission decided to put all military ministry training at the same location.
The U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS) is part of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center (AFCC), which also includes the Air Force Chaplain Service Institute (AFCSI) and the U.S. Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC). The three schools are co-located at Fort Jackson, in Columbia, S.C. The purpose of the AFCC is to have closer cooperation among the three chaplain corps and to share instruction and training.
The U.S. Army Chaplain School was approved on 9 February 1918. Its first session began on 3 March 1918, at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Chaplain (MAJ) Aldred A. Pruden, who developed the plan for the school, was named the first commandant of the school. It subsequently moved to Camp Zachary Taylor (Kentucky), Camp Grant (Illinois), Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), Fort Benjamin Harrison (Indiana), Harvard University (Massachusetts), Fort Devens (Mass.), Fort Oglethorpe (Georgia), Carlisle Barracks (Pennsylvania), Fort Slocum (New York) (1951-62), Fort Hamilton (N.Y.) (1962-74), Fort Wadsworth (N.Y.) (1974-79), and Fort Monmouth (New Jersey) (1979-95).
Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm
Closed Sat, Sun & federal holidays
U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Museum
U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School
10100 Lee Road
Fort Jackson, South Carolina