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The Salvation Army uniform reflects the military principles upon which the Army is organised. For Salvation Army officers and soldiers it is a visible expression of their faith that often creates valuable opportunities to provide a helping hand.
Uniforms have been worn in many forms since the Army's earliest days. The first evangelists of the Christian Mission wore suits of clerical cut, with frock coats, tall hats, and black ties. Women evangelists wore plain dresses and small Quaker-type bonnets. After the Mission became an Army (1878), it was agreed that a military type uniform should be adopted, modelled on Victorian military garb.
The first captain of The Salvation Army, a former chimney sweep named Elijah Cadman, is credited with instigating the wearing of the military-style uniforms after declaring at an early meeting, "I should like to wear a suit of clothes that would let everyone know I meant war to the teeth and Salvation for the world."
The Salvation Army uniform has evolved over the years. In recent years the unifrom has often been adapted to the culture and context in which The Salvation Army is working. Although we still wear the more formal whicte shirts and navy trousers, you may also see people walking around wearing the Salvation Army Red Shield on just about all the clothes.
For some more reading check out: The Uniform Stone