The Archdiocese for the Military Services was created by Pope John Paul II in 1985 to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces. This includes more than 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 V.A. Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the USA in 134 countries. Numerically, the AMS is responsible for more than 1.8 million men, women, and children.
On November 19, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland, as Archbishop of the Military Services. Archbishop Broglio was serving as Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico. Archbishop Broglio was formally installed as Archbishop for the Military Services on January 25, 2008, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
The Archdiocese serves as the sole endorser (certifier) of Roman Catholic chaplains to the United States government. A Roman Catholic priest cannot serve within the United States Military as a priest without the express permission of the Archdiocese. As of 2008, 285 Roman Catholic priests were endorsed by the Archdiocese for active-duty military service.
The Archdiocese receives no funding from the United States government. Rather, the Archdiocese is solely funded by the generosity of its chaplains, men and women in uniform and private benefactors.