Officer (The Salvation Army)
An Officer in The Salvation Army is a Salvationist who is in essence a minister of the Christian faith, but who fulfills many other roles not usually fulfilled by clergy of other denominations. They do so having been trained and commissioned to service and leadership and given a quasi-military rank.
Candidacy and Training
When applying to become a Salvation Army officer, strict acceptance guidelines must be adhered to before training can commence. Each Territory will have similar conditions that applicants must fulfill prior to entry and include, but are not limited to, the following, they must:
- Believe they are called by God to full-time ministry, specifically Officership.
- Be active Soldiers in their local Salvation Army corps.
- Receive a recommendation from the Commanding Officer of that Corps.
- Be endorsed by the Divisional Candidates' Board.
- Receive satisfactory references from their families, friends, and peers.
- Attend an Assessment Conference weekend which includes a number of in-depth interviews with various assessors.
- Be accepted for training by the Territorial Candidates' Board, and Territorial Commander.
While attending a College for Officer Training, the training participants are referred to as 'Cadets'. The length of training is normally two years, but a special dispensation may allow cadets to be commissioned after a shorter period, based on prior experience or training. Once this training is complete, the Cadets are commissioned.
Officer Training Colleges are located across the world.
- Booth College (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
- Catherine Booth College (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
- College for Officer Training (Chicago, IL, United States)
- College for Officer Training (Suffern, NY, United States)
- Evangeline Booth College (Atlanta, GA, United States)
- College for Officer Training (Winnipeg, MB, Canada)
Commissioning and Posting
Commissioning sees the Cadets promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and formalizes the Cadet's first posting (commonly referred to as 'Marching Orders'). These orders can send the new Lieutenants anywhere in the territory, and sometimes even see them posted to other territories that could involve overseas service.
Officers have the opportunity to serve within the Salvation Army in many different capacities, and may be posted at a Corps, Divisional / Territorial Headquarters, the Training College, The Trade, a Recovery / Rehabilitation centre, as a Chaplain (E.g. courts & prisons, hospitals), a street level outreach centre, a new or newer Corps (known as an 'Outpost' or 'Plant'), and any number of other need specific ministries.
In years past, officers were given 'Farewell Orders' every two to five years in which they were reassigned to different posts. Appointments of at least 5 years are now commonplace.
The Rank Structure and Uniform
Officers hold ranks throughout their service, and even into retirement, and their rank is reflected in their uniform. The uniform of an Officer is much like that of a Soldier, and like a Soldier's, is defined by the region in which the person is serving. The consistent difference between the two uniforms is that the Officer's uniform has red or maroon epaulettes on the shoulders, whilst a Soldier's are black or blue. Officer's epaulettes feature the Salvation 'S', as well as another insignia to designate rank. These insignia may be sewn into the epaulette, or be separate metal pins attached to the epaulettes.
|Rank||Date adopted||Current Status||Description||Insignia / Epaulettes|
|General||1878||Active||The worldwide leader of The Salvation Army, elected by the most senior Salvation Army officers in the world.||Red velvet trim with gold laurel-leaf crest, gold bar and gold 'S' on the collar. Gold piping surrounds the epaulettes and the 'S'.|
|Commissioner||1880||Active||The leader of a Territory. Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army and International Secretaries are also usually given the rank Commissioner.||Maroon velvet with silver laurel-leaf crest and trim except the Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army, also a commissioner but who has a silver bar under his/her crest.|
|Colonel||1880||Active||Reserved for territorial and international leaders.||Crest with silver trim and silver trim around "s" patches. Red background.|
|Lieutenant-Colonel||Active||Crest with silver trim without silver trim around "s" patches|
|Major||1879||Active||After 15 years of service the officer is promoted to Major.||Crest|
|Captain||1877||Active||After 5 years of service the officer is promoted to Captain.||Two stars|
|Following two years at Officer Training College, the Cadet is commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant.||One star|
|Cadet||1880||Active||A Salvation Army soldier, that is undertaking training to become an Officer at a Salvation Army Officer Training College.||Blue or red bar|
|Envoy||Active||A non-commissioned officer who works for The Salvation Army in a ministry position.|
|Sergeant||Active||A non-commissioned officer who works for The Salvation Army in a ministry position in the USA Southern Territory.||Blue epaulets with 3 white stripes|
|Candidate||Active||A person undergoing assessment for Salvation Army officership or Envoyship.||wears the soldiers uniform until either accepted into The Salvation Army's Training College or Envoyship.||Blue soldiers euplet with "Candidates Pin" worn on the left side of the tunic above the heart.|
Amendments to Envoy / Lieutenant Status
After a lengthy discussion with other Salvation Army leaders, General Shaw Clifton announced in November 2007 that the rank of Lieutenant would be re-instated on March 1, 2008. All cadets will now be commissioned as Lieutenants for a period of five years. The rank of Cadet-Lieutenant will be discontinued on that same date.
All officers serving as Lieutenants in the UK territory now receive the rank "Territorial Envoy" (as opposed to "divisional envoy"). Territorial Envoys are soldiers who wish to work as non-commissioned Officers for a limited time, usually three years. This replaced the rank of Envoy and Auxiliary-Captain. Other territories have made other 'ranks' to reflect this status such as Feldsergeant in Germany; Sergeant-major in the Ukraine; Envoy in Russia and Corpsenvoy in the Netherlands. In US Central they are simply Envoys and in the US Southern Territory they are Sargents.
- Generals of The Salvation Army
- Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army
- High Council of The Salvation Army
- Soldier of The Salvation Army