In contrast with officers in other branches of the Army, Buddhist Chaplains wear their nonsubdued branch insignia on the service uniform shirt directly over the left breast pocket. The pin-on version of he insignia, called a dharmachakra and also referred to as a “Dharma Wheel” or Wheel of the Dharma,” may also be worn on the Army Combat Uniform if the Chaplain’s name tape, U.S. Army tape, and grade insignia are not sewn on. (Pin-on insignia may not be worn in conjunction with sew-on badges.)
While Buddhists have served in the U.S. Army since at least World War II—many of the second-generation Japanese, or Nisei, who volunteered for service in the Second World War were Buddhists—it wasn’t until 1987 that the Department of Defense authorized Buddhist Chaplains to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, accepting students who had been certified by the Buddhist Churches of America. The first Buddhist Chaplain to serve in the U.S. military was Jeanette Gracie Shin, a LTJG in the Navy when she was commissioned as Chaplain in 2004. The first Buddhist Chaplain in the United States Army was Thomas Dyer, appointed as a Chaplain in 2008.

Related Chaplain Corps Items
Chaplain Corps Collar Devices


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