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Religious Program Specialist (RP)







General Description

Religious Program Specialist:  Religious Program Specialists provide support to Navy Chaplains in developing programs to meet the needs of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel and their families.  RPs perform functions that do not require ordination nor pastoral counseling.

What They Do                                    

  • Supporting chaplains of all faiths and religious activities of the command

  • Maintaining records, ecclesiastical documents and references of various faith groups

  • Maintaining liaison with religious and community agencies   

  • Assisting in preparation of devotional and religious educational materials, and audiovisual displays

  • Determining, developing, managing, and maintaining the administrative and logistical support requirements of religious programs aboard ships, shore stations, hospitals, Marine Corps units, and other sea service commands

  • Providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments

  • Operating and maintaining libraries aboard ships and isolated duty stations

  • Performing bookkeeping and accounting functions related to Religious Offerings Fund transactions

  • As custodians, rigging and unrigging for religious activities

  • Publicizing the command's religious activities

  • Training command religious program volunteers on logistics and instruction methods

  • Supervising chaplain's office personnel

  • Performing administrative, clerical, and secretarial duties

  • Stocking and maintaining field mount-out boxes

Working Environment                       

RPs work in a variety of environments wherever chaplains are stationed with Navy and Marine Corps personnel.  While most of their work is performed indoors, it may also be performed on the deck of a ship, in the field with Marines, in a combat situation, or in a hospital.  Navy Chaplains are non-combatants, but RPs are considered combatant and will receive combat training.  RPs protect the chaplain and ensure his or her safety, particularly in combat areas.


    VE + MK = 105 or VE + MK + CS = 157

  • HSDG or GED equivalent

  • Security clearance required

  • CO recommendation with emphasis on moral character

  • No NJP or civil convictions within last 2 years; all moral turpitude offenses are disqualifying

  • Interviewed and recommended by a Navy Chaplain/RP Screening Committee of at least one Chaplain of the rank of LCDR or above and one RP the rank of E6 or above

  • No speech impediments and the ability to write effectively

  • Complete at least 30 days on-the-job training under the supervision of a Chaplain and a RP

  • RP Screening Form


Repeat military offenders and personnel convicted by military or civilian authorities of any criminal offense reflecting unfavorably upon their character or integrity are ineligible for the RP rating.  Moral turpitude offense(s) are disqualifying.  Ministers, Priests, or Rabbis are not eligible for this rating.

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