Should I Enlist?


  • Prayerfully seek the Lord’s guiding in this decision.  Be sure enlisting is the right action to pursue.
  • Ask Adventist chaplains, pastors who have served in the military, and veterans what to expect and how to prepare.
  • Study the applicable public laws about religious freedom in your country.  Learn what military regulations say about the practice of religion in the military.
  • Read carefully the oath you will be required to take.  Study the enlistment contract carefully and know what you are signing.  You are voluntarily placing yourself under public law with its consequences for violation or failure to fulfill your commitment.
  • The official Church position discourages voluntary enlistment, because of the potential for faith conflicts.  Those who do enlist are encouraged to serve as non-combatants if that option exists.  The Church passes no judgment on individuals who choose to serve as combatants, non-combatants or in some alternate service as pacifists.  The Church respects individual conscience in this and other matters; it is not a test of fellowship.  Be assured, regardless of your choice, pastoral care and religious support for your spiritual well-being will continue to be offered and available to you.
  • Be good citizens and neighbors.
  • Know the laws of your nation related to military and public service.  Comply with them to the best of your understanding and ability, insofar as conscience permits.
  • Commit yourself to being faithful to your beliefs and being the best possible witness.
  • Stay in contact with your home church, pastor, and Adventist military chaplains.
  • Support Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries offerings; be faithful stewards.