Religious Programs Specialist
(abbreviated as RP
) is a United States Navy
Religious Program Specialists have a number of duties, they:
- they support United States Navy Chaplain Corps chaplains in implementing Command Religious Programs (CRPs) to accommodate the religious needs and rights of sea service personnel and their families;
- facilitate the delivery of ministry by chaplains by conducting rehearsals, making referrals, and rigging and unrigging for religious services and CRP events;
- recruit, train, and supervise CRP volunteers who assist in worship, religious education, and other programs;
- publicize CRP programs and events;
- organize, coordinate, and support religious education programs;
- serve as bookkeepers and custodians of Religious Offering Funds;
- provide library services onboard ships;
- manage and administratively support CRP program elements;
- determine, requisition, and manage logistic support for CRPs;
- manage, maintain, and assist in designing and determining requirements for Religious Ministry Facilities afloat and ashore;
- provide physical security for chaplains in combat.
RPs can attend a course similar to Field Medical Service School (FMSS) for Hospital Corpsman bound for service with the Fleet Marine Force. The course, called Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Skills Training (CREST) is 8 weeks long and operated out of Camp Lejeune, NC. Upon successful completion of CREST, RPs earn the Naval Enlisted Classifier, NEC 2401 "Marine Combat Skills Specialist", a rating roughly equivalent to a US Marine Corps infantryman.