WFYL Radio Script

“Veterans Voice”

Record date: Thursday, June 21, 2018, 10:00 AM

Air date: Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:00AM

US Navy Lt. Charles Banks, Navy Recruiter in Philadelphia

Good Morning, everyone! This is “Veterans Voice,” the region’s broadcast media source for Veterans, about Veterans, and those who support Veterans, here on WFYL radio, 1180AM at the top of the hour. I’m Jim Hulton, your host and a US Air Force Veteran. I’m honored to introduce today’s guest, Navy Lt. Charles Banks, Jr., Navy Recruiting District Philadelphia, Chaplain Program Officer, Philadelphia, PA.

The Navy Chaplain Corps boasts more than 800 Navy Chaplains from more than 100 different faith groups, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist.

Overall, military chaplains across all branches represent more than 200 different religious denominations.\

Welcome, Lt. Banks to “Veterans Voice.” It’s a sincere pleasure to have you here with us today!

Before we begin talking about the US Naval Chaplaincy program and how that relates to Veterans, tell us about your background as a US Naval Officer. When did you join the Navy and why? You are currently on a path to become a Chaplain. What is your desire to become a Navy Chaplain?

  • What is a Chaplain in the first place? (Gen. George Washington and 1st US President created the Chaplain Corps.)
  • Military chaplains have earned some of our country’s highest honors, including the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.
  • We cannot overlook the many contributions that military chaplains make to support the First Amendment freedoms of our service members and their overall well-being.
  • Why do you think chaplains are needed in the Navy?
Note: The Navy also directs its Chaplain Corps to provide chaplains for the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.

  • What are the guiding principles of the Chaplaincy mission program?

Guiding Principles of the Chaplain Mission:

  • Providing religious ministry and support to those of your own faith
  • Facilitating the religious requirements of those from all faiths
  • Caring for all servicemembers and their families, including those subscribing to no specific faith
  • Advising the command in ensuring the free exercise of religion
  • Chaplains do not have command status although they are officers.
  • What does it take to become a Chaplain? What are some of the qualifications or requirements? Don’t you have to be a Naval officer first? What are the age restrictions?

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General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

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  • What is the service obligation once you become a chaplain?
  • What rank do you hold upon graduation from Chaplain school?
  • What are some benefits to serving in the Navy in general and specifically as a Chaplain?
  • What does the work of a Navy Chaplain really entail?
  • What is the job of a Navy Chaplain like?
  • (Work environment – from a naval base to an aircraft carrier)
  • What has been your personal experience with Chaplains in the Navy? What makes a good Chaplain?

(Have you ever met Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Navy Chief of Chaplains?) (She was born in Warrington, PA in neighboring Bucks County, PA)

  • What are some differences between Navy Chaplains and Civilian Clergy within various Christian Religious Organizations?
  • Are chaplains pressured to operate in ways that conflict with their own religious convictions?
  • I have learned that Chaplains are prohibited from proselytizing, that is, converting others into a certain religion. What does this mean and how does it impact the work of Navy Chaplains as clergy?
  • What about pastors who feel the call to Navy Chaplaincy but have too many obligations to their local faith community? How often does this occur?
  • Are Chaplains restricted from fighting in combat?
  • Do Chaplains carry guns?
  • One of the responsibilities is to advise leaders at all levels of naval personnel of their moral, ethics, and spiritual well-being. How would you counsel a Naval Captain of a ship before he/she sends fighter jet pilots into combat missions?

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Commercial Break

  • How are Navy Chaplains expected to care for Sailors who are not members of the Chaplain’s faith tradition? Are they expected to serve atheists? What about gays?
  • What is the role of a Chaplain as they minister to Veterans or active duty Naval personnel on their way to becoming Veterans?
  • What do you want Naval personnel to know about their faith and how that will carry them into civilian life when they become Veterans?
  • What is the Navy 311 Help Desk?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share about the Navy Chaplaincy program?
  • If any of our listeners are interested in learning more about the US Navy and/or the Chaplaincy program, what is your contact information, website address, email address, phone number?

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Lt. Charles Banks, thanks for being our guest today and providing very pertinent information about your work with the US Naval Chaplaincy program here in the Philadelphia, PA region. It’s been an honor to chat with you here at WFYL. On behalf of “Veterans Voice,” I wish you God speed and the best of luck in your continued endeavors with the US Navy.

And to all our listeners, our station website is 

On behalf of all of us here at WFYL, I’m Air Force Veteran Jim Hulton, thanks for listening to “Veterans Voice.” Until next Saturday morning at the top of the hour, make it a great week!