KCC’s Oxygen is an Australian national interdenominational ministry conference for anyone in Christian service. Their objective is to refresh those in ministry as they refresh each other and continue in the work of the gospel.
Among the sponsors represented at Oxygen14 is the Australian Defence Force Chaplains. I spoke briefly with Kevin Russell who has 26 years experience as an Airforce Chaplain and Troy White who has been in his role for 18 months. Both were ordained / accredited ministers with pastoral experience before joining the Airforce as Chaplains. That experience helped prepare them for their current service, although that was just the beginning.
Part of being a defence force chaplain is complete immersion in the context of military life. That includes 18 weeks of basic training as well as being on the move to where ever posted. That might include a training base or it might be in a theatre of war or alongside peace keeping forces.
One of the main distinctions from regular “civilian” ministry is that a defence force chaplain is serving among a predominantly secular context with people without a faith background.
The pressures on family life are akin to those of regular defence force members, so chaplaincy makes for an immense challenge. But, as Jesus said, “great Is the reward.” Besides that, if you’re an Airforce Chaplain, Troy exclaimed, “We’ve got the jets!”
Enquiries about serving as a defence force chaplain: Australian Defence Force Jobs (this is the Airforce link)
Those with Anglican ordination can also go to: Defence Anglicans website