Like all our specialist branch officers, you’ll begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
You’ll follow a challenging 13 week course designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF, exploring how to apply your ministry in a military context.
The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
After SERE, you will complete a Chaplain-specific induction course at an appropriate time within your first six months of service. The course explores the theology of military chaplaincy and considers its application to practical life in the Armed Forces.
For your first tour, you will probably be posted to a large base where you will work within an interdenominational team to minister to your community. There will be a senior chaplain on base who will be able to guide you and give you the benefit of his or her experience.
Your Career Prospects
You will join the RAF on an Initial Commission (IC) of 6 years as a Rev (Flight Lieutenant), with an option to leave after 4 years (with 12 months notice). Chaplains on a 6-year IC may apply for a 12 year commission after completing 4 years regular service. Promotion to Rev (Squadron Leader) is after 3 years’ satisfactory service from the date of commission. Further promotion to Rev (Wing Commander) and above is achieved on merit; generally, chaplains become eligible for consideration after 10 years’ service.
The Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre (AFCC) at Amport House, Hampshire is the chaplaincy training centre for all 3 Services and you will visit frequently for continuing ministerial education and other training courses. There are also opportunities to study at postgraduate level at a later stage of your chaplaincy career.
As a chaplain in the RAF, you will have all the development opportunities and career prospects available to your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to work around the world and gain unique personal experiences. Most RAF chaplains go back into civilian ministerial work when they leave the RAF