Operations of The Salvation Army are supervised by trained, commissioned officers. They proclaim the gospel and serve as administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, youth leaders, and musicians. These men and women have dedicated their lives, skills, and service to God. Currently, the administrators (Corps Officers) are Capts. Joseph and Chastity Hansen.
Lay members who subscribe to the doctrines of The Salvation Army are called soldiers. Both officers and soldiers are known as Salvationists.
Candidates for officership undergo an intensive two-year course in residence at Salvation Army colleges in Chicago; Suffern, New York; Atlanta; and Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The curriculum combines theory and field practice, including Salvation Army doctrine, sociology and social work, psychology, Salvation Army regulations, homiletics, public speaking, Bible studies, church history, composition, community relations, business administration, accounting, and instrumental and vocal music.
After two successful years of training, cadets are commissioned as lieutenants, ordained as ministers, and assigned to active duty while continuing their education. Lieutenants are required to devote five years to additional studies.
Numerous advanced training courses are available for officers wishing to specialize in a particular discipline. Institutes, seminars, and conferences have been established to ensure that officers are informed of new and innovative programs and developments.
Promotion is based on length of service, character, efficiency, capacity for increased responsibility, and devotion to duty. The ranks are lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel and commissioner. The international leader holds the rank of general and is selected by a high council of active-duty commissioner and territorial commanders.