Misrepresentation

I read this on Eleanor Burne-Jones’ blog, and I have no way to contact her directly so will do so here. She writes this:

So far as I understand it, and I am still trying to get this clarified, as a soldier in the Salvation Army I have no right to be discipled, mentored or directed to some active service by my officer. I can be kept out of active service indefinitely, with no reason given to me in writing, with no right of appeal, with no grievance procedure if I feel I have been unfairly treated, and with no procedure to follow if I wish this to be reviewed. When this happens to soldiers we are simply expected to sit and let it happen. That seems to be the cultural assumption?

It is sad that that is her experience at the moment, however, this is not how it is supposed to work at all, by far. I don’t know the specific circumstances, but offer this response here seeing as there is no way to do that on her blog.

– Firstly, in orders and regulations for Officer, an officers is charged with the responsibility for the development and employment of his soldiers in the fight…second only to evangelism, it is his/her key task.
– Secondly, it is the corps officers ‘privilege’ to ask the soldier to take up or lay aside a task and soldiers are encouraged to accept this decision, however, if you are being kept out of service for an issue that appears to be a disciplinary one, then the divisional commander should have been invovled in that process.
– Thirdly, assuming a soldier has a valid case, the soldier always has the right to contact the divisional commander to explain the position. The divisional commander is ultimately responsible for discipline and will intervene in any situation if he considers there to be an injusice, either against a soldier or an officer.
– Fourthy, s reminder that inspite of church being the church, it will always always have a human element to it. When we become soldiers, we agree to show the spirit of Salvationism whether in times of popularity or persecution….that is valid for ocassions such as this…it is something we all have to do at times, even our Lord had to do it! God is our defence and ultimately he will vindicate us if indeed we have a case to be vindicated. He is good all the time.

Sorry you are being misrepresented Eleanor, but clearly the Army’s processes have been under-represented to you. God bless you as you seek resolution. May it never detract from the keeping of your covenant and in serving Jesus wholeheartedly.

blessings
Andrew

3 thoughts on “Misrepresentation”

  1. In the US, I have, in my possession, a list of role expectations that Officers can have of Advisory Board members, and that Advisory Board members can also have of the Army.Should there not be a similar list for soldiers (likewise Local Officers)?I like what you posted as a response, perhaps that could form the framework of such a list that could be presented to a prospective soldier (or even current ones?).

  2. There is a list of job descriptions for local officers and roles etc.Also, Order and Regulations for Soldiers outlines in full the expectations of soldiersThe problem here seems to be that for one reason or another, Eleanor is not able to fulfil her role as a soldier in the way she feels she should be able to.She is familiar with Os & Rs for Soldiers, I believe! However, as you say, I am not sure that soldiers are always aware of their opportunity to appeal an unjust decision, or certainly one for which there is no good reasoning.We must balance obedience and acceptance with challenge and questioning and have the maturity to know when is the right thing for each.

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