Chaplain plays an important role in the Detachment by tending to the
needs of members and members families, particularly during periods of
distress, illness, and/or death. It
is every members responsibility to keep the Chaplain informed of
situations and issues of need within the Detachment.
In addition, the Chaplain is called on to offer invocations and
prayer for meetings, initiations, installations, and for ceremonies.
The Chaplain may be called on to participate in funeral services,
and to make visitation to members/families that are sick, or who have
lost a loved one. In
addition, the Chaplain may be required to assist in funeral arrangements
(to include contacts for USMC honor guards), and/or publicize needs of
the sick (to include blood donations, etc.)
Chaplains job, as a primary representative of the Detachment, is to
provide comfort and service to members and families in time of need.
This support should go
members and family - it should include the entire Marine Corps community
(current or former) within the Detachments geographic area. This may
necessitate reviewing obituaries, or having hospitals make contact when
a Marine is there. He/she
should be supported by other officers and members during these times of
distress. It is part of the
adage that Marines take care of their own.
Characteristics and Traits
Compassion for others
Ability to communicate in stressful situations
Ability to offer advice and assistance/support to persons
Initiative to contact members for support and assistance
Liaison with local USMC units for support
Written communications capability in offering wishes or
Initiative to make appropriate response to needs with
flowers or gifts
Sincerity of purpose
Positive representation of Detachment
Narrative of Job
Accountability and Responsibilities
THE DUTIES OF A SPIRITUAL NATURE - The term Chaplain implies the providing of support to
individuals and groups for spiritual or religious guidance. Every aspect of League objectives, purposes, initiation, and
ritual, references God. It
is not expected that a Detachment Chaplain be schooled in theology, but
it is expected that the Chaplain will provide support to those in need,
and provide prayer for meetings and ceremonies (either as provided in
the Ritual, or as developed to meet situational needs).
The bottom line to providing service as a Chaplain is the Golden
Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Simply stated, its how you would want to be treated if you were in a
distress situation. The
Chaplain needs to respond to needs and wishes, offer comfort, and
provide advice and counsel where needed.
He/she needs to make sure that other members of the Detachment
are aware of situations in which support is needed.
SICK MEMBERS OR FAMILIES/CORRESPOND APPROPRIATELY
- The Chaplain should make every effort to visit members, or
members families, who are incapacitated.
He/she should make Detachment officers and members aware of the
situation, and solicit participation.
A card of well wishes should be sent to the individual on behalf
of the Detachment. Where appropriate and feasible, a gift should also be
considered as a token of concern by the Detachment.
primary purpose of visitation and correspondence is to let the
individual know that they are being thought of, that they are missed,
that they are important, and that they are a part of the Marine Corps
family. Advice, counsel,
warm wishes, words of comfort, and appropriate kidding are all a part of
MEMBERS AND FAMILIES AT TIME OF DEATH - The Chaplain should
be immediately advised of any members death, or family members
death. He/she should call
on the family and determine how he/she and/or the Detachment can assist.
If the family should request participation in the funeral or
graveside service, the Chaplain should coordinate functions with the
Commandant and the Officer Board. If
coordination with a USMC unit is required, the Chaplain should contact
the appropriate unit and assist in coordination with the CO or SNCO.
The Chaplain should advise the Adjutant and other members of the
Detachment for additional help and support.
is appropriate for the Chaplain to send a sympathy card on behalf of the
Detachment, and where feasible to provide flowers for the funeral or a
plant to the surviving family members. Detachment members should attend funeral services and assist
the family to the degree possible.
Ritual of the Marine Corps League provides for services honoring
members, and should be offered. If accepted, the Chaplain should take
charge of coordinating such services with the family, funeral director,
and Detachment members. The
Chaplain may need to assist with finding a DD-214 for a casket flag, and
for a USMC rifle squad.
same assistance and support should be offered to Marines or Marine
families who are not members of the Marine Corps League. Our purpose is
to support Marines, and membership is not a requirement for assistance
in time of need.
Chaplain fulfills a role of assisting and supporting a family in any way
possible, and should be able to call on Detachment members for
assistance when necessary.
NOTIFICATION TO DEPARTMENT AND NATIONAL ON DECEASED MEMBERS
- The Death
Notice form should be completed by the Chaplain and forwarded to the
Department Chaplain, and National, for deceased members of the
Detachment. This form
should be completed and transmitted immediately upon notification.
In addition to other administrative reasons, deceased members are
honored with a memorial service at Department, Division, and National
INVOCATIONS AND SERVICES AS REQUIRED
- As a part of
the opening and closing ceremonies at business meetings, the Ritual
provides for the opening and closing of the Bible, and for an invocation
and benediction. The Chaplain may use the words of the Ritual, or offer
other appropriate prayers at the meeting.
Chaplain may also be called on to render a prayer at ceremonies, joint
veterans observances, and/or special events.
(Such as the Marine Corps Birthday)
As indicated above, the Chaplain may also need to prepare and
coordinate services for a deceased Marine.
DUTIES AS REQUESTED BY THE COMMANDANT
- While most of
the duties of the Chaplain have been described above, the Commandant may
request the Chaplain to attend, participate, and/or coordinate an event
not listed. This might
include community ceremonies, dedications, or other special events.
BY THE RITUAL OF OFFICE
- The Marine Corps
League Ritual is comprehensive in addressing the situations in
which the Chaplain may be asked to participate. Again, he/she may
innovative in developing prayers or statements that suit the purpose of
any given situation. For situations not covered, the Chaplain should
improvise and treat each situation with respect for the office.
- Other duties of the Chaplain may include:
Establish and maintain a checklist and plan for actions to
take upon death of a Marine, or member of a Marines family
Establish and maintain a checklist and plan for actions to
take upon illness or distress of a Marine, or member of a Marines
Obtain budget approval from Board of Trustees on
expenditure limits for gifts/flowers
Establish contact with Veterans Administration, Veterans
Services, and USMC units for information in the event of a Marines
illness or death
Develop scenarios and contingency plans for events
major focus of the Chaplain should be on contingency planning for events
that may arise. It is better to be prepared for an eventuality than have to
scramble at the last minute when the event has occurred.
The Chaplain plays a key role in meetings, ceremonies, and other
events, reminding each of us about our reliance on Divine Providence.
In addition, the Chaplain is the point man for providing
assistance and support, aid and comfort, to Marines and Marine families
in need. He/she requires
the support of every member in effectively carrying out his
responsibilities, especially in times of distress.