FAQ

What is the mission and vision of the USCOC?

MISSION:The ministry mission of the United States Corps of Chaplains (USCOC) is to aid those in distress, honor those who serve, and comfort those in need.

"Aid... Honor... Comfort"

VISION:Our primary goal is to extend our presence and availability in local communities through uniformed Christian ministry teams.

How do I join the United States Corps of Chaplains?

Click HERE to submit a membership application. You will also see three highlighted links to online documents that must be digitally signed before your application will be processed.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, $40.00, non-refundable and due at time of application. This also covers the cost of a criminal background check. Your application will not be processed until the application fee is received at National Headquarters. You may use the PayPal button on the front page of the web site or you may send a check or money order, payable to USCOC, to USCOC HQ, P. O. Box 390, Clanton, Al. 35046.

What happens once I submit my application package and fee?

A criminal background check will be performed and your references and other personal information will be verified. At that point you will receive an initial assignment to the Brigade (state) in which you physically reside.

How long will it take to receive my initial assignment?

Barring extraordinary circumstances, you will receive your initial assignment within seven days of submitting all required components of your application package.

What rank will I start at?

All new members, regardless of background and qualifications, are initially assigned at the rank of Private. The sole exception is for ordained applicants who are eligible for assignment as Warrant Officer 1 (WO1) for the probationary period.

Is there a probationary period? If so, how long?

Yes. Six months.

Are annual membership dues charged?

Yes. Annual membership dues are $40.00 per year, payable on January 1. This also covers the cost of an ID card issued at completion of the six month probationary period.

Is specialized training available?

Yes. Links are on the Training page of the web site. You will be granted access to all areas once you are admitted to membership. All USCOC training is free of charge to members.

Is training mandatory?

There are courses that are mandatory for all members and which you must complete during your six month probationary period. They will take approximately eight to twelve hours to complete. Other courses are required before a member is eligible for appointment to particular offices or responsibilities.

I have __ years experience in the military and/or emergency services field. Will requirements be waived for me?

No exceptions are granted to membership requirements and standards.

What type of access is granted to members?

If accepted to membership you will be given a proprietary USCOC email address (i.e. – yourname@theuscoc.com) and a randomly created password (which you will be prompted to change upon logging in). You use this to sign into the web site, check official USCOC email, submit monthly reports of activity and conduct other official USCOC business.

What type uniforms are worn? Are they issued to members?

USCOC members wear a distinctive uniform, easily distinguishable from military or government agency uniforms. Army style rank insignia is used to indicate level of assignment/responsibility. Members are responsible for purchasing their own uniforms. Links are provided to USCOC approved and preferred providers to ensure uniformity among all members.

Is wear of the uniform mandatory?

No, but it is strongly encouraged. USCOC senior leaders and members have worked hard to create and foster an image of professionalism and to earn respect for the organization. Wearing the uniform is a show of your dedication to the goals and work of the USCOC while also affording you acceptance and respect for your efforts. NOTE: See item 16 below under Chaplain requirements/qualifications.

How do I get ordained with the USCOC?

The USCOC does not offer ordination. Many different avenues are open to those seeking ordination. You should speak with your pastor or a trusted counselor if you seek ordination. The USCOC does not ordain nor do we endorse any ordaining agency of any type whatsoever.

I am already a Chaplain with __, having __ years experience. Will you appoint me directly to Chaplain status?

No exceptions are granted to membership requirements and standards.

What are the requirements/qualifications to be a USCOC Chaplain?

NOTE: Waivers of these requirements will be granted to those applicants who can prove service as a Chaplain in the United States armed forces unless there is a compelling reason not to grant such waiver.

To be eligible for the office of Chaplain in the USCOC, you must:

 

1.      Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.

2.      Be at least 21 years of age.

3.      Obtain an official ecclesiastical endorsement from your 100% Christian denomination or faith group.  This may include a letter from an endorsing agent, regional or area authority, or the applicant’s pastor.  In each case, the author of the letter will be called and confirmation will be made.  This endorsement / letter will certify that you are:

A.      Ordained as a minister of the Gospel.

B.       Qualify spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a Chaplain in the United States Corps of Chaplains.

C.       Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all persons in need of AID…HONOR…COMFORT.

4.      Educationally, you must:

A.      Be a high school graduate or have passed a verifiable and acceptable GED exam.

B.       Possess a secular baccalaureate degree (or better), or have religious or ministerial education equivalent, or have completed at least 60 hours of theological coursework. This requirement may be partially offset by previous military, public safety, professional or pastoral experience – including having served as a congregational minister. 

5.      Be capable of receiving a favorable background check.

6.      Submit a brief biography (at least one page) including details like call to ministry and any previous chaplain related work or ministry experience.

7.      Submit a USCOC application via USPS or our official website.

8.      Submit signed Oath, Confidentiality Agreement and Volunteer Service Release forms via USPS or our official website.

9.      Submit a recent picture (head shot of good quality).

10.  Submit copy of state issued driver’s license or US passport.

11.  Submit proper application fee via USPS or our official website.

12.  Be approved by the Chief of Volunteer Resources.

13.  Complete a six month probationary period.

14.  Complete USCOC required coursework for Baseline Training during the probationary period.

15.  Receive the recommendation of the Chief of Chaplains after a successful interview process.

16.  Obtain (at a minimum) the Class B USCOC uniform components and accouterments (given positive recommendation in number 15 above and within 90 days of initial orders granting chaplain status).

17.  Commit to ongoing training opportunities.

18.  File monthly activity reports.

19.  Comply with all policies, directives and procedures of the USCOC, present and future.



Are there regular USCOC meetings? When? Where?

Yes. Organization wide telephone conferences are held and units are encouraged to meet in person whenever possible. Advance notice and participation instructions are always given in advance of such meetings. In addition the USCOC holds an annual national conference in July.  We also hold occasional community calls. Members are notified in advance of such meetings and how to participate.


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