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Why the Uniform? Image

Why the Uniform?

An Army Dedicated to Fighting Poverty

Salvation Army officers wear uniforms as an outward sign of their calling to care for the hurting, homeless and hopeless. They serve as a reminder that we are a part of a worldwide organization dedicating to preaching the Gospel and stopping poverty in its roots with weapons of hope, kindness and compassion. 

The Salvation Army's militaristic spirit is rooted in its founding by William Booth in the 1800s. This organizational style brings discipline and mobility in order to respond quickly and efficiently to meeting human need wherever its needed in the U.S. and around the world.

Because of their leadership roles in Salvation Army operations, officers are required to complete a two-year program at one of our Officer Training Colleges. After courses in nonprofit management, business administration, social sciences, theology and more, officers graduate as ordained ministers and are sent out to their first assignment at a local unit. Advanced coursework continues throughout their officership.

While wearing their uniform on duty in the office or the community, officers serve in many roles throughout the week: nonprofit administrators, youth leaders, social workers, counselors, pastors and so much more.