As the name implies, Army Chaplain Candidates (ACCs) have been selected by the Army for careers in the Chaplain Corps, where they will lead and facilitate religious services, provide counseling, and offer moral support to Soldiers from a wide variety of religious faiths. In doing so, they will also play an invaluable role in promoting unit morale and cohesion.

But just because ACCs are in training does not mean they do not have responsibilities and duties they can perform to further the Chaplain Corps mission and assist their fellow soldiers. As college graduates, they typically have already received a considerable amount of education and training before they begin the Chaplain Candidate Program, or CCP. To be appointed as an ACC, the officer must either be a full-time student in a graduate-level religious studies program for the next entering class of an education institution that is registered with the Department of Defense, or a graduate of a qualifying educational institution who has begun working toward meeting the professional religious experience requirements necessary to be fully certified by his or her religious organization or group.

Related Chaplain Corps Items
Chaplain Corps Collar Devices

Chaplains oversee the training of ACCs and assign them duties appropriate to their level `pastoral experience and military skills. While ACCs may not be assigned or serve as a primary religious support provider, they may perform religious duties for which they have either been credentialed or approved to do by the faith group or organization. They are encouraged to complete the Chaplain Basic Officer Learning Course, which not only provides them with essential military training, but also helps them develop in their roles as command advisors.

Until recently, ACCs were members of the Staff Specialist Branch and wore that collar device, but in 2012 were transitioned into the Chaplain Corps. The collar insignia approved to reflect this change features the open book and crossed laurel branches employed by the Staff Specialist Branch insignia, but the horizontal sword found on that insignia was replaced with a shepherd’s crook.

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