International Leadership & Structure
The General is The Salvation Army's world leader and highest-ranked officer.
The office is currently held by General André Cox, who has been serving in the role since August 3, 2013.
André Cox is The Salvation Army's 20th General.
General André Cox, born 12 July 1954, is currently the 20th General of The Salvation Army.
He was elected to the position of General by the 18th High Council of The Salvation Army on 3 August 2013.
He was the Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army from 1 February 2013 to 3 August 2013, until he was elected General. In the wake of the unexpected retirement of General Linda Bond, Cox fulfilled the duties of General for a little under two months until the High Council could elect a new General.
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe to an English father and Swiss mother, General André spent his childhood years in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, before moving to Switzerland where he met and married Argentinean-born Commissioner Silvia.
Cox was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in 1979 and spent the early years of his ministry as a corps officer in Switzerland. In 2005, Cox was appointed as the territorial commander of The Salvation Army’s work in Finland and Estonia; a post he held until he took command of the Southern Africa Territory in October 2008.
André and Silvia spent four years as leaders of The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory, which includes work in the countries of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, the Islands of St Helena and Swaziland. They then served for six months as the territorial leaders of the United Kingdom with Ireland Territory.
When he took up his appointment as Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army, Commissioner André Cox followed in the footsteps of his father, Commissioner Ron Cox, who served as the Chief of the Staff from 1987-1991.
On 13 June 2013 when General Linda Bond unexpectedly retired from the position of General of the Salvation Army, Cox became Acting General of The Salvation Army. The High Council of The Salvation Army met on 29 July 2013 to begin the process of electing a new General.
On 31 July 2013 Cox was nominated by the High Council as a candidate for the 20th General of The Salvation Army, and on 3 August 2013 was elected General of The Salvation Army.
The General directs Salvation Army operations throughout over 120 countries of the world in collaboration with the administrative departments of International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, which are headed by International Secretaries.
The Chief of the Staff, a commissioner appointed by the General to be second-in-command, is the Army’s chief executive whose function is to implement the General’s policy decisions and effect liaison between departments. As well as the handling of day-to-day business and the allocation of resources, IHQ is concerned with strategic, long range planning and acts as a resource centre for the worldwide Army and as a facilitator of ideas and policies.
For administrative purposes, The Salvation Army is split into Territories. Usually each country forms a single Salvation Army Territory, but some where the Army is strong numerically are divided into two or more Territories.
Territorial leaders are called Territorial Commanders (usually Commissioners in rank, sometimes Colonels) and they are responsible either to a National Commander or directly to International Headquarters.
Territorial Commanders are based at Territorial Headquarters (THQ), where they are assisted by a Chief Secretary and various other Secretaries (departmental heads) responsible for overseeing the various branches of Army activity.
There are currently 56 Salvation Army Territories in the world. Australia has two: the Australia Eastern Territory (NSW, ACT and Qld) has headquarters in Sydney, and the Australia Southern Territory (Vic., Tas., SA, WA, NT) has headquarters in Melbourne. The Salvation Army in Australia does not have a National Commander, but rather, each of the Territories is responsible to International Headquarters.
The Australia Eastern Territory of The Salvation Army operates under a Cabinet Administrative System. The five member Administrative Cabinet – similar to a Board – determines policy and strategy for the Territory, particularly as it relates to the future.
Each Territory throughout The Salvation Army world is divided into Divisions, which are administered by Divisional Commanders, who are responsible to the Territorial Commander.
A Division is a grouping of districts, similar to a diocese in the Anglican Church. Each Division consists of a number of Corps and social centres which are mostly run by officers of varying rank.
In the Australia Eastern Territory there are seven Divisions
- Sydney East and Illawarra
- The Greater West
- Newcastle and Central NSW
- North NSW
- ACT and South NSW
- South Qld
- Central and North Qld.
Corps / Centre level
A Corps is The Salvation Army equivalent of a church, and often acts as a community centre.
Each Corps is led by a Corps Officer who is responsible to the Divisional Commander. There are around 350 Corps in Australia.