January 12, 2018

The Chaplain

The chaplain need not necessarily be a clergyman, but must be a person capable of moral and intellectual leadership and one who gives dignity and respect to the office. The chaplain should be in close touch with the commander and other post officers of the post, and should attend all meetings of the post executive committee. The leadership in many post activities belongs by right to the chaplain, and when this office is filled by the right person, the post’s usefulness to the community only increases. The Manual of Ceremonies gives an important place to the chaplain in the conduct of meetings, the observance of patriotic occasions, funeral services and dedication ceremonies. At all these events, the chaplain is the moral leader. The chaplain should cooperate with the post historian on graves registration work and inspire the post to see that graves are decorated on Memorial Day. Besides officiating at post members’ funerals when requested, the chaplain can also be of service to their bereaved families. The chaplain may also chair the post’s Veterans Administration Voluntary Services (VAVS) Committee, which coordinates volunteer work at nearby VA facilities. The American Legion’s “Service to God and Country” handbook, available through department headquarters, offers guidance for the post chaplain and religious emphasis committee.