Description: Battledress Flash – ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY CHAPLAIN’S DEPARTMENT.
Condition: Very Good
Comments: Worn by the Royal Australian Army Chaplain’s Department from 1948 to 1960 on battledress uniform.
The Royal Australian Army Chaplains’ Department is an all-officer Corps within the Australian Army that provides ordained clergy to minister to the men of the Australian Army. As of 2006, there are 151 serving regular chaplains (commonly known as “padres”) in the Australian Army; these belong to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith. The Australian Army Chaplains’ Department has two cap badges, for its Christian and Jewish officers. There are also chaplains in the Australian Army Reserve.
Army chaplains, although they are all commissioned officers of the Australian Army and wear uniform, do not carry arms (and are the only officers not to carry swords on parade). At services on formal occasions, chaplains wear their medals and decorations on their clerical robes.
Chaplains in the Australian Army begin their commission as a Captain, and there are five levels or “divisions” for the seniority of chaplains in the Australian Army and Air Force with each division corresponding to a worn rank. The highest “division” is Division 5 who are “Principal Chaplains,” of which there are three per service representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, and Jewish. The Principal Chaplains of the Army wear the rank of Brigadier.
Australian Army chaplains, whatever their rank, are mostly referred to as “Padre” by officers and soldiers alike.
Heads of Denominations: In the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the heads of military chaplaincy for those Christian denominations and of the Jewish faith that have an official association with the ADF, are also members of the ADF’s “Religious Advisory Committee to the Services” (RACS). With respect to the Catholic and Anglican churches, their Bishops are members of RACS and they and the other members of RACS have the status of a two star General (US) or Major General (Australian Army).