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Thus was I enrolled as a soldier of The Salvation Army — a teenager brought to Christ by the witness and influence of Salvationist neighbours. My parents were not professing Christians and did not attend church except on special occasions at the corps. Both knew they were welcome and valued. Late in life my father became an adherent. Dad was a self-employed tradesman and occasionally met the corps flag sergeant, who was a glazier, as they worked at houses in the neighborhood. A friendship was formed and eventually Dad took his seat beside Bram during Sunday meetings. He is intentionally provocative in characterising Jesus as being qualified only for adherency but not soldiership and, in so doing, has challenged us to rediscover the passion for souls that gave birth to our movement. Believing usually starts with belonging. Informal contact with a corps often leads people to want to belong. People need to receive not only a friendly welcome when they enter our halls, they also need to find friends.
IN combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. We are fighting guerrilla wars, against insurgents hidden in remote regions, often deep among the local population. In battles such as these, squadrons of billion-dollar bombers and naval fleets mean much less than on-the-ground intelligence and the ability to organize local forces. That's why, more than ever before, we need men like those of the Army Special Forces—the legendary Green Berets. Each year, several thousand enlisted men and several hundred officers volunteer for Special Forces training; less than a quarter of those who apply will complete the course. Chosen Soldier spells out in fascinating detail the arduous regimen these men undergo—the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well they gather operational intelligence to their skills at negotiating with volatile, often hostile, local leaders. Green Berets are expected to be deadly in combat, yes, but their responsibilities go far beyond those of other Special Operations fighters; they're taught to operate in foreign cultures, often behind enemy lines; to recruit, train, and lead local forces; to gather intelligence in hostile territory; to forge bonds across languages and cultures.
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