Salvation Army officers: All the things you never knew

Twin Cities Commander Major Jeff Strickler speaks at the 2012 red kettle kickoff

Written by Rose Peterson, a Development Associate at The Salvation Army Northern Division who likes to blog. She’s the newest member of the public relations staff.

Have you ever seen a Salvation Army officer? They dress up in military attire with a big letter S on their lapels. And they wear really nice hats.

Since being at The Salvation Army, I have asked many questions about officers and have grown to have a deep respect for them. They are uniformed missionaries who have dedicated their lives to serving God and humanity.

What many people don’t know about Salvation Army officers is they’re really pastors and businesspeople, and the Worship and Service Centers they lead – called Corps – are actual churches. Their aim is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and serve as administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, youth leaders and musicians.

To accomplish this, these nobles go through two years of intense training at a Salvation Army college. To enroll, they must give up almost everything they own and not have any debt. After college, cadets are commissioned as Lieutenants, become ordained ministers and are assigned to “active duty,” usually at a Worship and Service Center. They are also required to undergo five additional years of study.

All officers are stationed wherever The Salvation Army sends them – no arguments. An officer could be in Jamaica one year and Minneapolis the next.

Officers have various rankings such as Lieutenant, Captain and Major. Their rank depends on how long they’ve been an officer, how proficient they are at their job, special talents and so on. Learn more about Salvation Army officers.

Read more stories