Army Chaplains

Discussion in 'Officers' started by betpool, May 2, 2011.

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  1. I know this is a ridiculously random question but I was chatting with a priest recently and he said one of the neighbouring parishes has a priest who is joining the army and I was curious - armed forces priests are given some sort of rank but do they hold authority? In that can a priest command a soldier to do something?
    Sorry about the randomness just popped into my head!
  2. In the army, military chaplains wear military ranks but technically they are "Chaplain to the Forces grade 3" etc rather than a Capt or Maj, etc. A chaplain would be unlikely to give military orders, but might I suppose on parade potentially.

    In the RN chaplains just wear a cross rather than a rank. I believe that they assume the rank of the person they are talking to, be it an Admiral or a junior sailor.

    I have no idea what the RAF do.

    Stand by for this thread to be hijacked by the the usual Arrse atheists and their detractors, to discuss the merits or otherwise of military chaplaincy.
  3. Having spent some time at the bar in the Mess with padres over my career, I can report that the reason that many report for having rank is to provide them some form of status to get a room, travel etc. If they were just padre, the Army system would not know how to pigeon hole them. Indeed, many of the padres I have known have not worn their military rank, just the cross.
  4. Which is how we get that abortion called 'military equivalent rank' for teachers and so forth... then they actually start thinking they am one!!

    Re the Padre issue with the heathens... doesn't matter who you follow or if you follow at all. The Padre is there, usually armed with boiled sweets and bonkers stories about something related, and if allowed, lots of beer. And the British Army Padre is ten times the man that many of our allies have inthe same spot.
  5. The origins of rank for Padres in the Army emerge from the Peninsular war. If the padre had no rank he would have had to fend for himself in terms of rations, forage for his horse and tentage. With a rank (any rank) he could then be put on the ration roll etc. He was given an officer's rank for convenience and practical administration - who thought all those "0"s and "1"s would have any part in tradition.

    As for the RAF, they have rank because the Army padres had rank when they were formed.

    The RN Padres have already been covered.
  6. Can't resist this one.... It's a scandal. Where are the uniformed representatives of every religion... not seen a Witch Doctor with pips, a Scientologist Pardre or a Naked Pagan officer on church parade... it's not fair. :)
  7. on a falklands tour the RAF padre had been in years so had a ridiculously high rank.
    meant any suggestion he made was taken as an order:).
    the concept of its was just a padre was just to hard to cope with.
    mind you the rock apes did try to kill him with a rapier. leave a SAM outside in the south atlantic winter then light the blue touch paper its where it goes nobody knows:)
  8. If our Padre asked you to do something he only asked once no matter what rank you were verry polite though Padre Cooper good man took no sh.t.
  9. You'll go a long way to beat the average Army padre as a good sort. Don't think I ever met a bad one, although many were mad as a bag of flour-dipped spiders. For some reason, Papists - anyone else remember Tom Kelly? - were the maddest and the most fearsome animals on the piss. No wonder they were in the Army, could you imagine some of them looking after 13 old maids and a teenage religious maniac in the NATO-standard CofE parish?
  10. Yeah, I have to agree with the previous posters. The padre's "suggestions" were usually treated as orders, no matter who he was talking to.

    As far as religion goes, it didn't seem to make a difference. I never met a padre who was preachy in the traditional sense. Moral guidance, general advice and the occasional beer is usually what they provide - I don't think it's a role that just any man of the cloth could do. I've never been a religious person but I've come away from the army with huge respect for the padres I've met.
  11. British Army Padres cover all of the above. Although they themselves have a faith, when dealing with their 'flock' they are aware of the fact they could be different coloured sheep...
  12. Indeed, our god bod on tour recently was having a chat with his ANA counterparts at a PB and was suprised to learn they didnt actually know a great deal apart from being able to recite the Koran word for word. He claimed he actually knew more about islam than they did, which I reckoned he probably did.