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Saluting in "Class B" uniform

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OK. I am ready to dive into this one. Not fully armed, but we will see what develops. I collect Scout paper goods. That means MB books, fieldbooks, Hand books and so forth. This discussion made me pour over some of those and see what I could find.


The first reference I can find to an "Activity Uniform" in a Hand book is in the Tenth edition. In that edition every other scout pictured is in an "Official Activity Uniform". In that edition it is defined as follows : "The activites Uniform consists of a knit shirt (red for Boy Scouts, maroon for Venture Crews, tan for varsity Teams), Khaki shorts, and short white socks"


I have only just realized that the only copy of the Ninth edition that I own was mine when I was a scout. As such, it has been beaten to blue blazes and is missing the uniform section. However, one can infer much from the pictures used. Aside from those scout pictured in the water, all were in what would be concidered "Class A". In the Seventh and Eigth editions it plainly states that the khaki shirt is the proper attire for ALL scout activites. Cut and dried.


That said...My opinion is that,Yes there is an "Activity Uniform" that is something other than the Khaki Shirt and Olive pants. And as a uniform, scouts wearing it are allowed to salute.



Now, custom Troop T shirts....Those are not addressed and I think can rightfully be concidered Non-Uniform attire.


I haven't got an eleventh edition handy....Anybody care to tell me what it says?




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The 11th edition says

Scouts may wear troop or camp T shirts with the scouts pants or shorts.


But what does MAY mean? What is a "T" shirt?


But remember it is only a method. And the last one on the list of methods.

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For very practical and economic reasons, our troop only requires the uniform shirt be worn, tucked in, with belt if belt loops are on the pants.


That said, even at summer camp, even at our campsite, if it's morning or evening assembly, you are present with your shirt on and tucked in. No troop t-shirt, etc.


Then we salute.


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I'm going to throw a wrench into the discussion that some will find difficult to swallow, and others will find relief!


Our troop has made this definition:


The troop has determined due to cost amongst other factors that clean normal fitting blue or black jeans are the apporpriate pants to wear, scout pants or shorts are also welcomed, but not required. Participation in District Council or National training, activities such as jamborees, camporalls, require a full scout uniform (khaki shirt, olive pants, socks, neckerchief, slide)


Class A - Khaki shirt with Sash required for Boards and courts of Honor, with neckerchief.


Class B- Khaki shirt and Neckerchief with slide of choice.


Class C- Activity uniform (red t-shirt) with BSA and troop insignia.


You salute in any of these three uniforms. Socks are optional!


Whatever works for your troop and is acceptable within the guidelines in 2005 should be the standard uniform. I have seen troops make camouflage pants their "scout pants" - This is clearly not acceptable by BSA rules.


An established standard is then an acceptable uniform in which the scout can feel comfortable in saluting his flag.


What is a scout hat?

(don't answer- I don't really want to know!)





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Actually Dan, while not written down as official "policy", the BSA has taken a position that camo and other military and hunting style clothing is not appropriate for boy scouts. Back when Roy Williams was director of the Boy Scout Division, he issued a memo stating "hunting and military-style clothing, combined with or worn instead of the official Boy Scout or Explorer uniform, are not acceptable wear during any Boy Scouting or Exploring activity. Scout Executives are to instruct unit leaders and volunteers that those articles of clothing along with equipment like pistol belts, suspenders and military field gear are not allowed to be worn with official Boy Scouts of America clothing or in the place of BSA uniforms and outdoor clothing."


The BSA has never come out clarified any more, as far as I know. To this day, this is the only official statement that I've ever heard about regarding military style gear.

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So EagleINKY

What are you saying?

I have seen the supposed document. Why do you suppose it was only a memo, if it really was a BSA memo. I am not convinced to this day that it was really from a BSA executive. Why do you suppose it never made it into the rules and regs? Maybe old Roy did write it, but it is still only a memo from an ex executive, I put about as much weight to that as I do any rules I hear that are not within the BSA documentation.


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Well, if the memo is fake, I would assume the BSA would have come out and said it was. Any organization would take steps to stamp out false rumors, especially by an executive (be he current or former). Therefore, I can only assume that the memo is true.


So, the next question would likely be "why has the BSA not clarified its position?". I can only assume that they either agree with it and consider that enough, or they cannot think of a better stance to take. Perhaps they received some pressure from the military to take this stance...

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The memo or statemenmt is in the Scoutmasters Handbook - the one that is now issued with a three hole punch (sorry - can't put my hands on it right now for a cat #). Having been the Scout Essentials /Scout master training Director for my District, I have had this question come up before.


Simply put, this is military issue uniforms, and persons engaged in the military must wear these as their uniform. Scouts and Scouters have an "official uniform" that is uniquely ours. We aren't a military operation, therefore camouflage dress for scouting is not an acceptable dress.


Camouflage dress might be for certain hunting scenarios, but then those would usually not involve scouts as an official underwritten event. I'm getting into many other areas here then what is needed as far as uniforms go and when a person is "in uniform" and when he is not.


Refer back to my original post as far as class A and class B uniforms in our troop. We made this distinction so that the scouts and certain adults would not be confused.


So why is there so much confusion everywhere else? (this subject)


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Dan makes a good point. If the word doesnt filter down to the unit, how can Joe Scouter be held accountable? I recall seeing the memo on the internet somewhere. It looked official enough, on BSA letterhead. I think it was dated about 8 or 10 years ago.


There have been several updates to the Handbook, Insignia Guide, and training syllabi since then, but no mention of any camo restriction. Maybe that is because BSA has already made it perfectly clear that Boy Scouts wear Boy Scout pants. It is superfluous to additionally state what is NOT appropriate, including camo, blue jeans, orange shorts, pink pedal pushers, ad infinitum. Its very simple. Boy Scouts wear Boy Scout pants. What else needs to be published?


Custom unit rules and class letter designations with various meanings only complicate and confuse the issue. The BSA uniform and options are clearly stated. Other stuff is simply not the uniform. Confusion comes when we take something simple and fiddle with it to fit our personal likes and dislikes.

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I am surprised that you would follow that a memo that cannot be found anywhere within the BSA. I say this memo is as good as the terms Class Alphabet soup uniform terms. But I still maintain that camo pants are looked on the same way as blue jeans.


But take this as you may, this is from the Rules and Regs, but it is a "few" years old.


"BSA Rules and Regulations, Article X, Section 4, Clause 4. Prohibition of Alteration or Imitation:

a). No alteration of, or additions to, the official uniforms, as described in the official publications, or the rules and regulations covering the wearing of the uniform and the proper combinations thereof on official occasions, may be authorized by any Scouting official or local Council or any local executive board or committee, except the National Executive Board after consideration by the Program Group Committee.

b) Imitation of United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force uniforms is prohibited, in accordance with the provisions of Act of Congress, approved June 3, 1916."


Know we can discuss if hunter camo is a imitation of the armed forces.

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Let me answer your first question:


Let's remember why we are here and what we are trying to teach - Respect for the flag. As scouts, we have many uniforms that we wear. Typically specified by the unit, one uniform could include a shirt with all the proper patches, a neckerchief and slide, a belt, a hat, pants, and socks (and I may have left something off). In another unit it might be just the shirt. On outings, the uniform might be a T-shirt special to the unit. It might even be play clothes. You can get real picky (and some units do) and say that if you are supposed to have your neckerchief and do not, you are not in uniform and do not salute with the scout salute. Our Troop defines what we wear as the "Uniform of the Day" and proper attire is specified by the Senior Patrol Leader. It depends on what we are doing but in any case defines us as scouts and recognizes our unity within our unit. When in the Uniform of the Day, a scout salutes with the proper scout salute. We are scouts, we are properly attired, and we respectfully salute the flag with the scout salute. Enough said.


Do members of the color salute?

If you are holding something - no - especially if it is the flag. However, Color Guard members whose hands are free should salute. If you are putting up a flag, and one is holding the flag and one is holding the lanyard, as the flag is raised, and leaves the flag holders hands, he should step back slightly, look at the raising flag, and salute as the rest of the participants.

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