A chaplain is a religious representative who is attached to a secular institution such as a prison, military unit or hospital. Originally, the world chaplain referred to a representative of the Christian faith, but is now applied to all faiths and philosophical traditions. The first recorded English military chaplains were priests on board vessels during the 8th century, however, the current form of military chaplain dates back to the First World War. A military chaplain provides pastoral, emotional and spiritual support to service personnel. They often conduct religious services whilst at sea or on a military base and are nominated or commissioned in different ways in different countries. A military chaplain could be an army-trained soldier with theological training or an ordained person who is nominated to the army by religious authorities. The Ministry of Defence employs chaplains in the UK, but their authority comes from their church. The Royal Navy chaplains are sent on a 16 week bespoke training course. This includes a short course at Britannia Royal Naval College and specialist fleet time at sea with a more experienced chaplain. Those who are in service with the Royal Marines have a five month training Commando Course and then wear the Commandos’ Green Beret, if successful. Those chaplains in the British Army undertake a seven week training course at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre Amport House and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurt. RAF chaplains complete a twelve week Specialist Entrant course at the RAF College Cranwell. They are then sent for an additional two week Chaplains’ Induction Course at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre Amport House. In the air force and armies, they carry ranks that are differentiated by crosses or other religious insignia. They are normally given officer status, however, in more recent times the British have required their chaplains to be unarmed. We stock Chaplain uniform accessories online. View our range here.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a civilian manned unit delivering operational and logistical support worldwide for tasks undertaken by the Royal Navy. Some of these include warfighting, counter-piracy, disaster relief and counter-narcotic operations. The RFA is a support force aiding the Royal Navy and allows them to conduct global maritime operations. As well as its primary role of supplying Royal Navy ships with fuel, ammunition and supplies, it also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel and supports training exercises. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has aviation training ships and hospital ships in its fleet along with landing ships. RFA officers wear Merchant Navy rank insignia with naval uniforms but are under naval discipline when the vessel is engaged on any war-like operations. The RFA was established in 1905 originally to provide coaling ships for the Navy. It wasn’t until the Second World War when the Royal Fleet Auxiliary really came into its own. The Royal Navy really depended on it as often their ships were staying at sea for longer periods of time and at greater distances. In 2008 the RFA was presented with a Queen’s Colour which is unheard of for a civilian organisation. Currently there are 9 ships in the RFA fleet and most of the vessels are replenishment ships. Wave Class tankers such as RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler are a part of this class. RFA Argus is a unique support ship in that she has been converted to a roll-on/roll-off container ship and is enrolled in helping on peacetime aviation training and support. Fort Victoria is also a replenishment ship, capable of refuelling whilst on the go. We stock various uniform accessories and military gifts for the RFA. Click here to view our range.