Category: Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department

Categories: Australia, Military Chaplains | Australian Army

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It took twelve years before, in 1913, Colonel (later Major General Sir) Samuel Pethebridge 'took the bull by the horns' and called for nominations of Principal Chaplains from the major Christian denominations. In response, representatives of the Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Methodist denominations met with the Australian Army’s Adjutant General, [Chauvel-8|Lieutenant Colonel Harry Chauvel], to establish the structure of the Australian Army Chaplains Department. It was agreed that each denomination would appoint one chaplain general and one senior chaplain per state to administer that denomination’s chaplains. The chaplains general were Daniel Mannix (Roman Catholic), Charles Riley (Anglican), Laurence Rentoul (Presbyterian) and Albert Holden (Methodist). The Royal Australian Army Chaplains' Department dates it existence from the date of appearing in the Commonwealth Gazette, 1st December 1913. The 'royal' status was granted in 1948. The Chaplains department is an all-officer corps that provides ordained clergy to minister to the personnel. Chaplains belong to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith. Chaplains begin their commission as a Captain. The highest "division" is Division 5 who are "Principal Chaplains" and wear the rank of Brigadier, of which there are three, representing the three major Christian denominations—Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant—and the Jewish faith. The Uniting Church's Kaye Ronalds became Australia's first female chaplain in 1992. Kaye deployed on operations to the Solomon Islands in 2005, another first. Catie Inches-Ogden became the first female Chaplain Division 4 in 2004. The department motto is In This Sign, Conquer.

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