Servicemen meeting

Establishing a Ward or Branch for Military Members

If there is a military installation within a stake boundary, Church members in the military normally participate in wards or branches located near the military installation. However, in the following circumstances, a stake president may need to organize a ward or branch at the installation for military personnel and their families:

  1. There is not an organized Church unit within a reasonable distance of the military installation where Church members are assigned.
  2. Military personnel are in a country where they do not understand the language spoken in the local ward or branch.
  3. Military personnel are unable to leave a military installation because of training requirements or other restrictions.

Generally, a ward or branch is established at a military installation if there is a need to support both military members and their families. However, a stake president may establish a branch for military members without their families if there is a long-term need to provide Church services and programs for members who (1) are attending basic and advanced training or (2) are on an unaccompanied remote assignment to a location where there will likely be a long-term military presence. The military does not normally allow Church members who are not associated with the military to attend and participate in Church services held in military facilities.

When a Church unit is established at a military installation, the stake president coordinates with the senior installation chaplain to arrange for meeting times and use of base facilities. If there is not an installation chaplain assigned to the base, the stake president consults with the commanding officer.

Each bishop or branch president who leads a unit at a military installation should receive a letter of appointment from the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division. Once a stake president calls a bishop or branch president, he should notify the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division so that a letter of appointment can be prepared and sent to the new priesthood leader. The priesthood 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 priesthood leader to conduct worship services.

For further information and additional resources, priesthood leaders should contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 801-240-2286 or