The Salvation Army uniform is, for the most part, recognized by many people (that is unless you happen to be in uniform in an airport). It’s certainly not the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear, but it’s certainly not the most uncomfortable either (er pantyhose…nevermind).
I’ve been wearing an army uniform since I was
born…I mean since I made a junior soldier.
3 Things No One Told You About Wearing A Uniform:
1. Evolution Exists In The Uniform:
The Salvation Army uniform is, or should be, a fluid thing.
If you don’t believe me that there is an evolutionary process to the uniform just look at pictures of our uniforms as early as 1990…things are changing. Some of us might wish the uniform would change a little faster, but the days of the high collar and the bonnet are gone (cue the sad music and some of you will no doubt pine for days gone by). The Railton shirts and the Dorcas (maybe a better name could have been suggested) blouses are relatively new editions to our growing uniform. Perhaps one day the “Patriot” shirt and others might not be limited to only certain times of year but instead may be worn year round…thus the evolving uniform.
2. The Uniform Opens Doors:
Perhaps someone once told you that the uniform opened doors, but you didn’t believe them. It really does, if you still don’t believe me just wear it traveling sometime and you’ll see. Some soldiers have joked that they have worn their uniforms to coffee shops and received a military discount. Besides the occasional discount (which of course isn’t the reason we wear our uniforms) visits to governmental offices and dignitaries tends to go a lot smoother when wearing of our polyester finest. The uniform can open some doors…not all. There might be places and occasions where the uniform is not welcome, so bear that in mind too.
3. In Times Of Crisis, The Uniform Changes Lives:
All joking aside, moments of crisis do take place around us, and The Salvation Army uniform is recognizable! After the horrific events of 9-1-1, The Salvation Army’s presence in New York and ground zero was sought out. Counseling took place for rescue workers and individuals by uniformed Salvationists. When you wear the uniform, the opportunities to impact lives in crisis increases. In times like these 1 Peter 3:15 comes to mind; “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
The Salvation Army uniform is a unique thing. It can be annoying to wear from time to time but it can also be a witness tool, a blessing and a door opener. I used to take the use of the uniform rather lightly…there are times that I still grudgingly donn it on, if I am honest. But the older I get the more I see its vital use within the Salvation Army’s ministry. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be changes made in the future to it, but I am saying I hope we don’t simply relegate its use only for Sundays.
Perhaps there are more things that no one told you about wearing The Salvation Army uniform that you would like to share with us. Comment below, we’d love to hear your responses as well!
Something more for the Army world to ponder today!
To God be the glory!
I agree with your topic but I just have a small issue with the title of the third point.
I think the title should be something like ….the uniform leads to changed lives. As officers/soldiers or Christians, we can help them but we lead them to the one that can change them.
Mark I agree with you and if I didn’t expound on that its my fault. Let me clarify you are spot on with that last suggestion! We never neglect our first love! Our Uniforms and everything else we do should be an outpouring of that love!
I am proud to wear my uniform regardless where, whether in church or on the street. It has opened many avenues of ministry as well as many opportunities for me to talk about Jesus. The uniform most times presents the Salvation Army as someone who cares and I have heard many stories of what The Army means to them or has done for them. For me, I hope they see Jesus.
I wear my uniform to exalt the word of Christ. Am proud to be part of the army of God nomatter what other denominations view it. Salvation for the despised!
Semantics aside – meaning it’s Christ that opens doors and Christ that changes lives – I agree with most of this article. However, I wish the uniform would evolve some more. I have always thought – and this is coming from an Officer’s child and former Salvationist – that the uniform should fit the work of The Salvation Army. This is a group of believers that really get their hands and feet dirty for Jesus. The uniform should be jeans and a t-shirt! I also grew up in the era where the TV series “The Holocaust” made a profound impact on my life. I know the SA’s uniform was around decades before WWII and Hitler’s SS elite forces, but the “S’s” on the front really creeped me out as a child and still make me cringe now.
Great insight and a much needed reminder.
Just as the US Military changes their uniform according to the work they are doing, for example wearing dress blues when on parade or in an office setting and wearing camo when in combat, so also we wear our Dark blue dress uniform when in church and Emergency Disaster vest when serving on a canteen (mobile kitchen).
On thing i notice growing up and sticking with The Salvation Army is that many times it seems like we only wear our uniform when we are around others who already know we are soldiers or officers but when we are out visiting or ministering to people in our everyday life we are just in plain clothes.
I enjoy wearing some of the new t-shirts SA Threads put out (www.sathreads.com) That way we can witness for Christ by sharing what we do in The S.A.
Great post Pastor!
We were wondering not being SA ourselves what the SS on the army is on the lapels meant is it salvation soldier thanks
Thanks for asking! Some say it means “Saved to Serve”
While others content it stands for “Saved to Save” either way, that’s the gist of the “S’s”