When you join the military, let your bishop or branch president and your stake military relations specialist know so that they can support you in your service.
The Military Service Church Orientation digital learning experience provides instructions for members entering military service. It helps them learn what to expect regarding Church services and activities in the military. You can also view the entire military service orientation video in Gospel Library.
In countries where military service is mandatory, Church members are generally required to complete their military service before serving a mission. In some cases, certain countries may allow the mandatory military service to be delayed until after the missionary service is completed.
The United States has an all-volunteer military and does not have a draft, therefore military service is not mandatory. However, men ages 18 through 25 are required by law to register with the Selective Service System at sss.gov or at any US post office within 30 days of their 18th birthday. In addition, men ages 18 through 25 who are not citizens but are living in the United States must register.
Listed below are the restrictions from the United States government on when a Church member who has joined the military may serve a mission.
The digital learning experience Military Service Church Orientation is instructional and inspirational for all military members and their families.
During your military service, you may be transferred to different locations. To ensure that your Church records are available at your new location, please let your bishop or branch president know and provide the ward clerk with your new address. To find Church meeting locations, meeting times, maps, or the names and contact information for Church leaders, go to “Find a Church.”
If you are deployed aboard naval ships at sea or in remote or isolated locations where there are no established wards or branches, service member group leaders are called to provide worship services and look after the welfare of Church members. If you are preparing to deploy or need assistance in contacting the service member group leader at the deployed location, contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 1-801-240-2286 or pst-military@ChurchofJesusChrist.org. If there is not a service member group or a chaplain endorsed by the Church at your deployed location, speak with your stake president regarding an appointment as a group leader.
Military relations missionaries serve near many military bases or training centers. They can assist you in many ways during your transition to a new base, during a deployment, or during periods of family separation. To locate the military relations missionaries in your area, contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 1-801-240-2286 or pst-military@ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Each service member group leader should receive a letter of appointment from the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division that confirms their authorization to serve as the Distinctive Religious Group Leader or Religious Lay Leader. Once a stake president calls a group leader, he should notify the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division so that a letter of appointment can be prepared and sent to the new group leader. The group leader should give a copy of the letter to the unit chaplain or to the commander if the unit does not have a chaplain. Without the letter of appointment, the military will not allow the group leader to conduct worship services.
The following resources are available for group leaders:
A group leader has the following responsibilities:
A group leader should never:
For answers to questions about service member group leaders or resources needed for groups, contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 1-801-240-2286 or email pst-military@ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Veterans are a symbol of strength, honor, sacrifice, and freedom. The Church values the unique skills that veterans possess. Here are few resources for veterans and their families:
The Veterans Transition Initiative (VTI) was set up to assist veterans in every possible way. Veterans Transition Specialists help with employment, counseling, mentoring, and even adjusting to a new ward or community.
The VTI provides an advocate between the Church and veterans; directs veterans seeking employment within the Church to the proper contacts; and gives information about Church programs and services to veterans who need individual or family support.
Who qualifies as a veteran?
As a retiree or spouse of a retired member of the military, your experience and knowledge are invaluable assets to the Church. By serving as a Military Relations Senior Missionary, you will have the opportunity to minister to local service members and their families in life-changing ways. Visit the Military Relations Senior Missionaries page to learn more.