I have seen Salvation Army church members going to church in white uniforms. Here is a sample image (source).

Salvation Army

What is the role of uniforms in the Salvation Army?

Is it compulsory for them to wear uniforms in the church?

  • Maw., what does it mean 'Is it compulsory?'? – Elberich Schneider Oct 26 '13 at 12:50
  • The Salvation Army is noted for its quasi-military appearance. I think it wants to make allusions to the military. While militaries fight, the Salvation Army supposedly saves souls. It does have "Salvation" in its name, doesn't it? – Double U Oct 26 '13 at 12:51
  • Yeah, Anonymous. An army is also noted for its uniforming. See Wikipedia's article on William Booth, the founder of the SA movement. It'll probably have numerous links to other sites where the uniform question might be answered. – rhetorician Oct 26 '13 at 14:31
  • Similarly, Mormon missionaries, if both male, can be easily identified by that distinctive black suit with name tag. – Double U Oct 26 '13 at 15:28
  • Looks like we don't have any user from the Salvation Army denomination! – Mawia Oct 29 '13 at 4:48

As a Soldier of The Salvation Army, I wear my uniform, in the same way others might wear a cross around their neck or something, the uniform identifies the wearer as a soldier of The Salvation Army, but more importantly as a Christian.

This excerpt from the New Zealand. Fiji, Tonga Website answers the questions "Does a soldier have to wear the uniform, and why?"

Today, not all Salvationists wear uniforms—it has become a personal choice. But the reasons for wearing a uniform are unchanged—to show a commitment to a war against evil; a personal testimony to the wearer's own Christian faith and practice; and to signify to those in need that the wearer is available to help or listen.


This is an old thread but I just found it. As a Salvation Army Soldier who feels called into officership I want to answer this. The SA (Salvation Army) does not do water baptisms, nor do they partake of communion (another story for another time) But we do have the Uniform. The uniform is an outward statement of an inward change much like Baptisms.

  • And as soldiers its not required to wear. As an officer they have to wear it. – Jon White May 21 '14 at 20:24
  • In connection with “soldiers”, the use of the abbreviation “SA” should be avoided. In Europe, when you read “SA”, the first thing that comes to your mind is “Sturmabteilung”. – user15443 Oct 24 '14 at 9:39

It tells the onlooker that the person wearing uniform is a professing Christian and that he or she is available to give practical or spiritual help through the Movement, if not personally. Uniform also opens the way for the wearer to be recognized and accepted as the representative of The Salvation Army in all kinds of situations. There are also personal advantages in uniform-wearing. It helps the wearer to remember to live up to the Christian profession he or she has made. In difficult or dangerous situations the uniform can give the wearer a measure of protection. Wearing uniform also gives Salvationists a feeling of fellowship when they meet. I remember every moment I wear my uniform that I represent the covenant that I signed as a soldier to live a christian life and live HAND TO MAN AND HEART TO GOD.

  • 2
    Welcome to Christianity.SE! And thanks for offering an answer. Can you provide any links or references to Salvation Army materials that will support and give more information about your answer? If so, it would make this an even better answer. Meanwhile for a quick overview of what Site Tour. – Lee Woofenden Sep 4 '15 at 5:13

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