Virtual corps provide real life experience

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by by Major Steve Smith – 

Did you know that there is now a corps in Boring, Oregon? And in Humptulips, Washington as well as Holy Moses, Colorado?

There are corps in these towns—kind of. For the second year, the College for Officer Training is utilizing fictitious corps with fictitious soldiers, employees and friends to simulate real-life situations. Started as a response from the field for cadets to receive more practical experience in the day-to-day operation of a corps, the Virtual Corps Training program delivers complex scenarios via the Internet to each second year cadet.

Subjects include property, social services, theology, Salvation Army policies, personnel and myriad other subjects common to the life of a corps officer. Cadets are also instructed to conduct weddings, funerals, baby dedications and enrollments as part of the course.

As in real life, each corps is part of a division with a divisional leader. This year, there are two divisions: the “By the Book Division” led by Major Jerry Ames and the “That and Better will Do Division” led by Captain Kevin Jackson. While cadets work independently at their own computers for the most part, there are three Officers’ Councils sessions where all of the cadets meet together to gain practical knowledge in the areas of business and personnel.

We will have to wait some time before we see a real corps in Hygiene, Colorado; Dead Horse, Alaska; or Chug Water, Wyoming but in the realm of the virtual corps, the Army drum is already beating.

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