Chaplaincy ministry in the Adventist Church began at Battle Creek College (ca.1875), and expanded shortly after into Battle Creek Sanitarium and other Adventist health care facilities. World War II prompted a few Adventist ministers with vision to venture into the military services as chaplains. Nearly one hundred Adventist clergy now serve as military chaplains, providing pastoral care for Adventists in the military services. The first Adventist chaplain for a correctional institution started serving in the California State prison system in 1959.
Currently over 350 Adventist clergy engage in one of the chaplaincy ministries across North America. Several hundred others engage in various chaplaincy ministries in the other countries of the world field.
Through an offering taken annually on the second Sabbath in June, the National Service Organization (NSO) provides military church members in uniform with Bible kits, church journals, devotional books, and religious literature. ACM evolved from the NSO in 1985. ACM/NSO also sponsors religious retreats for military-related members stationed overseas and helps resolve problems with accommodation of religious practice. Numbers of Adventist Military Chapel Worship Groups conduct Sabbath services in the current combat theater, Europe, Japan, and Korea.