Why The Uniform? Image

Why The Uniform?

Helping Others for hundreds of years

We’ve been around since 1865. An itinerate pastor named William Booth started the organization as a grassroots effort with boots on the ground in London. He didn’t have buildings, but he did have a dedicated following who saw desperate need among the poorest of people and took to the streets to offer help. What better way to be recognized by those in need?

Why Officers?

As the organization grew, he used military-style rankings to describe the hierarchy of leadership. Leaders adopted a uniform apparel that mirrored military styles. Their mission was to serve others in Jesus’ name, meeting not only their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs. Booth described their work as providing “soup, soap and salvation,” eventually changing their name to The Salvation Army. Though we started as volunteers, over the last 150 years, The Salvation Army has grown into a multinational organization with volunteers, full-time staff and officers that serve those most in need.


Officer Training College

Because our officers function as directors of our business units, we require them to complete a two year program at our accredited Training College. This program includes nonprofit management, business administration, and theological training. Upon graduation, they are ordained as Salvation Army Officers and sent out on their first assignment in a local community.

Visit our Candidates website to learn more on the process of becoming an officer.