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Cub Scout Red Vest & BSA Policy

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  • Cub Scout Red Vest & BSA Policy

    I have been told that the Red Vest (or Brag Vest) is not to be worn at Formal occasions such as Flag Retirement ceremony's, Relgious Ceremony's and Blue & Gold events.

    Does anyone have the BSA Regulations on this with source?

    In Scouting-

    Kevin (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

  • #2
    Like to see someone enforce that. Wear them. The boys earned the awards/patches. It's showing respect.


    • #3
      I am not aware of any regulation that would prohibit wearing the brag vest at any particular activity (but I could be wrong, I haven't worked with the Cub program in quite a while). A bit of advice: when some one tells you that something is "policy" or "BSA regulations," etc, calmly acknowledge them, but say something to the effect of, "I've never heard that before. Could you show me the official BSA reference that says that, so I can make sure I'm following the rules the right way?" If it is in fact an actual policy, you'll see it in writing, and would thus be obligated to obey it. But, more commonly, if its just a myth, you may have had the opportunity to help dispel it within getting into an argument. Not that there's anything wrong with posting questions on this forum, but sometimes its more satisfying to help correct a problem at its source.

      Back to the issue of brag vests. There may not be an official rule on the subject, but I guess I could see where a pack's leadership might try to dissuade their use at certain events. While I certainly support recognition of youths' achievements, I guess I could see where some might think that a piece of clothing whose only purpose is to brag about one's achievements (hence the name) might not be the most appropriate thing to wear at, say, a religious function. Or, maybe if 100% of the pack's membership doesn't use the brag vest, leaders may ask that it not be worn at certain formal occasions, to keep the uniforms UNIform.

      Just throwing out some ideas - not saying I support or endorse them, but they may be the "root cause" of where your question is coming from. Does any of this sound like it might be applicable to the "bigger picture" of the situation that's prompting your question here?


      • #4
        While I doubt there is a written offical policy about it, I'd bet it comes from that alot of the patches on the vests are not offical uniform patches. Where that would be relavent is that you are "encouraged" to wear your uniform to such events. And since the majority of the patches on the vest and the vest itself are not part of the "OFFICAL" uniform....then it's probably not correct to wear the vest at such events as you described.

        Now..having said all that...I have no problem with the boys wearing them. In MY OWN eyes, I see it no different than wearing awards, knots or Boy Scouts wearing their sashes.

        I mean, again- my own personal opinion, if some adult thinks the whole ceremony or B&G is ruined.........then THAT adult has bigger isues and is missing the whole point of the program, which focuses on the boys and having fun.

        If they want to wear what?


        • #5
          Let them wear them; who cares, as long as the uniform is neat and more or less proper. I would discourage them if they are directly involved in the presentation of flags; simply have them take them off for the ceremony, then put them on if they want afterward. No big deal.



          • #6
            Actually the red vest is for ALL members; Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and leaders. Only folks who can't wear them are Sea Scouts, and that is in their rules.


            • #7

              No such regulation exists. Ask the person who stated that to show you the regulation.

              If someone wants a particular flag ceremony to be without vests, just ask for that. Don't try to turn it into some so-called rule.

              Let the kids have fun.


              • #8
                Grrrr...I didn't see that this topic was posted twice and this one had a few responses.

                Sorry folks, but there is a loose policy on this:

                From the online excerpts of the BSA Insignia Guide at:

                Under "Excess Insignia":

                "Previously earned badges and insignianot representing present statusmake a fine display on a BSA red patch vest, a trophy hide or blanket, exhibited in the home of the recipient, or at functions where such a display is invited."

                Whoever told Kevin that the vest is not to be worn is basically stating that the vest is "not invited" to be displayed at these events.

                Then again, the brag vest isn't an official part of the uniform. Every unit seems to have their own policy on brag vests (at least those that have them).


                • #9
                  Moxieman - The BSA supply division produces an official red patch vest, which on its website is described as "the perfect compliment to any official scouting uniform." For me, this is strong evidence that it is an official uniform part, and can be worn as a component of the rest of the Scouting uniform in appropriate occasions.


                  • #10
                    The appropriate uniform inspection sheet defines what the official uniform is.

                    The red vest, like the jac-shirts, are not part of the uniform any more than any other clothing worn over the uniform is official.

                    I have my boys take off all non-uniform clothing when doing official acts. If a boy wants to wear his parka in a meeting in mid-July, I don't care, but he does take it off for open and closing flags. Like what many refer to as "class-b", it is scout related but not part of proper scout uniforming.

                    Everyone is trying to just get by with what they think is "correct" and then do whatever they want anyway. Blue jeans, whether they are with a "class-b" t-shirt or uniform shirt is not scout related in any sense of the word and is clearly spelled out that blue jeans, even those sold by BSA, are NOT part of any scout uniform.

                    Your mileage may vary,



                    • #11
                      jblake47, I am sorry but I am going to have to disagree with part of your point. The appropriate uniform inspection sheet only defines the basic uniform and does not cover a lot of optional official uniform items. The Insignia guide specifically lists jackets as "optional wear" and specifies what patches are to be worn and where. If the item were not official there would not be required standards. The uniform inspection sheet is a tool to allow units to set a basic standard but it is not as specific as it could be as there are variations it does not cover (I believe due to lack of manpower specifically addressing these items as they are not critical). A couple of examples of this would be World Crest rounders and Woodbadge name tags, are you expected to wear both you official name tag and wear the woodbadge official name tag as a temporary patch? In our Council we were told the rounder was a required, not optional, item although I think National said it was optional but in our inspections you got dinged for an item not even on the sheet. From National: "This goes around the World Crest, so it would not be considered for temporary placement as advised by the Insignia Guide.". The point I am making is unfortunately the inspection sheet is just a tool but is not the only and last, final authoritative say in uniforming and a red jacket is an official part of the uniform but is not a required part of the uniform.


                      • #12
                        You could make an argument that the red vest is not "official". But there is nowhere that it's written that there is a distinction between "formal" events where the vest is not welcome and "informal" events where the vest is ok.

                        Essentially, it's like any jacket that might be worn on top of the uniform. Are they prohibited at all times? Does this same adult who is making this rule also make sure that Cub Scouts always have official Scout socks on whenever they wear the uniform?

                        Good grief. What adult is trying to suck the fun out of Cub Scouting? If some Cub Scout wants to wear the red vest, which is clearly designed to be worn with the uniform, why would you stop him?


                        • #13
                          "Sorry, Johnny. I know you worked very hard to earn these badges. You helped the community by doing scouting for food and got a really cool patch from the council. You went to summer camp and got a patch for being a chaplain's assistant. You built a pinewood derby car, rocket, and boat and got patches for doing your best in all those activities. And your parents bought you a vest where you can proudly display these patches.

                          But you see, at this very important event, you can't wear your vest and patches, because as it turns out they're really not 'official.' Hope you understand. Keep working on that badge handbook and be sure to sell lots of popcorn!"

                          Good grief! What an idiotic decision.

                          Let 'em wear it. We should be doing everything we can to encourage boys to be interested in and proud of their accomplishments in the program. It's an "offical" vest even if it isn't on the inspection sheet. And it's covered by patches the cub has received from participating in Scouting activities.

                          The fact that someone would try to prohibit this, makes me question who they are in the program for--themselves or the boys.


                          • #14
                            There's an easy way to solve this kind of issue: Just ask the person to show you the policy and put the burden on them to prove its not a proper uniform code.


                            • #15
                              While that is good in theory I am afraid that in real life it may not work quite so well. As I pointed out already, the inspection sheet is not the perfect tool but, rest assured, if asked to prove it the person will pull that document out and say "if it isn't on here it isn't official". Sometimes having the correct information upfront can save you dealing with it later. Asking them to prove it is fine but also be ready if they have an answer that looks good on the surface as it may not be a complete answer and that may not be recognized. It is obvious from many uniform issues here amongst experienced Scouters, that even the official documents may not be complete or correct in regards to all situations and yet many people use them to "prove" what is or is not correct.