Jump to content

Saluting in "Class B" uniform

Recommended Posts

hops_scout wrote (a couple pages back):


>I believe that oranizations must be chartered by the US Congress in order to have the right to salute the flag as we do.<


Really? Where did you get that? Police and Firefighters in uniform salute the flag. Are they "chartered by the US Congress"? According to the US code, during the Pledge of Allegiance, "Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute." Although the code does not specifically address the definition of "Persons in uniform" or what organizations they might represent there is a hint in another section on wearing flag patches on uniforms: "No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations." BSA certainly constitutes a patriotic organization, as do several other adult and youth organizations, not necessarily chartered by the US Congress. What sets us apart from most other youth organizations, even though there have been recent moves to disassociate BSA from any military appearance or affiliation, is that our history and traditions include that affiliation. "Scouting" in its original sense implies a certain military discipline and organization, which is still carried out today in the use of uniform, ranks, and of course a "military salute". As hops_scout further noted:


On a side note, placing the hand over the heart is also considered a salute and anybody can do that."


Aaaah, yes. But it is not a "military salute". The salute (from "salutation", a greeting) is a form of recognition or respect. The Boy Scout and Cub Scout salute IS a modified military salute. Compare the Scout salutes to the U.S., British, or almost any world military salute and you will see that, except for a few finger positions (outstretched or closed) they are practically the same. Now, contrast those with the Black Power salute (fist upraised, in defiance), the Nazi salute (arm outstretched upward and forward, palm forward), the "peace sign" often used as a greeting in the 1960's (even today by some), the fictional "Vulcan salute" of Star Trek fame, or even the old Native American greeting (elbow out, forarm vertical, hand outstretched), all forms of salute, but not "military". The military salute originated with the medieval knight's practice of raising the hand to lift the visor, indicating a peaceful and respectful greeting and recognition. We continue that today when we salute by touching our cap's visor or where it would be if we were wearing visored headgear.


Truly, we have a gray area here. Technically, as noted above, those rendering the military salute should be silent during the Pledge. Scouting tradition, which presumably predates the Flag Code, has us reciting the Pledge while saluting. What is important is that our actions teach respect, for both the Flag and the uniform, because they both represent important elements in citizenship and the Scouting program.


Do we really want to argue about what constitutes the "Scout uniform"? Clearly, BSA believes the "activity shirt" is part of the uniform because it is included as an option on the Official Catalog website, scoutstuff.org, when you click on "Boy Scout Uniform - assemble a complete uniform here."


Should a Scout-themed or unit T-shirt also constitute an "activity shirt" and thus be considered part of the "activity uniform"? Another gray area. Kind of like some of our US Constitional amendments, it may be open to interpretation, but who decides? In lieu of any decision coming down from National Council, it would seem that the local Council or even each unit could make that decision. My opinion is, if all or a majority wear the same identical clothing, including council or unit "approved" shirt and other official uniform parts, it constitutes an activity uniform, and Scouts should salute.


As a precedent, even military organizations authorize local unit headgear ("ball caps") and t-shirts. When I was at Air Force Basic Training, we often wore our numbered unit T-shirt with our fatigue uniform caps, pants, and boots, without our official fatigue shirt. As a USAF hospital medic I wore a maroon ball cap with the medical "Caduces" insiginia with my fatigues or my medical "whites". Did we salute in these uniforms? You bet we did! Recently I saw a US Army "rock band" perform wearing camo BDU pants, combat boots, regulation black web belt, and "Go Army" logo black T-shirts!


If I am wrong in any of the above assertions please quote me chapter and verse of the Scouting regulations which are in opposition to what I have written.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 122
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

You may use the scout salutes when "in uniform" for Boy Scouts that means the Official Uniform , also called the Field Uniform, and the Ativity Uniform. There is no such thing in scoting as a "class B" uniform.



Link to post
Share on other sites


I think I know what you're trying to say (please correct me if I'm wrong), which is that the term "Class B" uniform does not appear in any official BSA publication. This is certainly correct. However it is very different from saying that, "There is no such thing in scouting as a "class B" uniform."


Many (not all) Scouts and Scouters would argue with you and tell you that they indeed wear Class B uniforms for particular purposes. From that, I conclude that Scouting does indeed have a thing called Class B uniform. It may not be officially recognized, but it certainly exists.


I think what you and others are saying is that if well meaning but inadequately trained Scouters would just stop using this abomination of a term, it would just go away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a new user of this forum, all I can say is.........you guys need more to do. You could have planned and executed an outing with your troops with the time and energy put into this thread. Bottom line is......let your conscience be your guide, no one is grading your troops' salute.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"As a new user of this forum, all I can say is.........you guys need more to do. You could have planned and executed an outing with your troops with the time and energy put into this thread. Bottom line is......let your conscience be your guide, no one is grading your troops' salute."


"jnclement" misses the point entirely, just like on the thread about Cubs uniform pants (or lack thereof). These people are showing proper concern for two serious issues, respect for the Flag, and proper uniforming. It's all about patriotism, citizenship, and "esprit de corps", which I hope you will agree ARE proper concerns of scouting. I'll bet the people posting here have "planned and executed" plenty of outings for their scouts. I am sure they are here for the same reasons (I hope) you are, to learn and share experience and information that will help make us better Scouters. If the question posed by this thread is not an issue for you, why bother posting here? Just to try to flame someone and make them look bad because they are concerned about trivial (in your opinion) issues? I hope not. That would not be in the spirit of Scouting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion is, if all or a majority wear the same identical clothing, ... it constitutes an activity uniform, and Scouts should salute."


"Identical clothing" does not a uniform make. The uniform is defined in the Boy Scout Handbook and the Insignia Guide.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I NEVER said the activity uniform should not include official uniform parts.


The entire quote, which you edited ( "..."!), and not even including the previous context, was:


"My opinion is, if all or a majority wear the same identical clothing, including council or unit "approved" shirt and other official uniform parts, it constitutes an activity uniform, and Scouts should salute."


Now, please show me where BSA defines the "activity" uniform! Yes, the "field" uniform is well-defined, but, as I said, the choice of shirt worn with the "activity" uniform is a gray area. BSA offers an activity shirt (polo-style) WITH the uniform, but does not exclude other shirts. Do you not agree that BSA provides for the wearing of both the "field uniform" and the "activity uniform". If both ARE Scout uniforms, why shouldn't Scouts salute in the "activity uniform", or as some call it (though NOT an official term) "Class B". (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found the following on a Council website in their summer camp leader's guide.

Scouts should travel to camp in their Class A uniform.

No description of what a Class "A" is so apparently the units know what a Class "A" uniform is.


Class B uniform including Scout socks, shorts, and Scouting related Tee-shirt, is the preferred dress during the day and for flag raising and breakfast.


Sounds like a description of a Class "B" uniform


What to Bring to Camp Suggested Individual Items

Official Scout uniform of your Troop


Not the Official Scout uniform but the Official uniform of your Troop. Sort of implies each Troop has a uniforming option.


Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, I'd assume that they are referring to troop options in neckerchiefs and hats.


Very interesting though that these terms appear on an official council website, which are supposed to strictly follow National policies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoo-hoo, boy! Here's more! From the Greater St. Louis Area Council website. "2005 National Scout Jamboree - Information for Scouts and Parents":


Uniform Requirements

There are two types of uniforms.

One is the official national jamboree uniform. This uniform will be worn while traveling to and from the

National Scout Jamboree, while on tour in Washington D.C. and Williamsburg, and at selected events at the

Jamboree such as the Arena Shows.

The other uniform is the activity uniform, sometimes referred to as the Class B uniform. This will be worn

mostly during the day at the jamboree while participating in many of the activities such as motocross,

pioneering, trapshooting, archery etc. Class B uniform will also be worn at Busch Gardens....SNIP(unrelated)


Official National Jamboree Uniform:

Scout shorts (at least 2, preferably 3)

Scout shirts, short-sleeve with complete insignia (at least 2, preferably 3 shirts)

SNIP(Insignia stuff)

Special troop visored cap (not the official jamboree cap) can be purchased from Troop.

Scout khaki web or leather belt

Scout socks (official red top green ankle crew sock, at least 3 pairs)

Neckerchief slide will be determined by your Troop.

Two official uniforms should be taken with the Scouts on the pre-jamboree tour.

Activity Uniform (Class B):

Same Scout shorts listed above

Same Scout socks listed above

Same visored cap listed above

Troop T-Shirt, 2 can be purchased through the Troop

Scout T-Shirt (such as S-F or Philmont or Order of the Arrow, official red) or plain white T-shirt

(recommend two). At the Activity Day on April 23, the Troops will apply iron-on logos to T-shirts

provided by each Scout.



So is one of the largest councils in the nation in violation of BSA rules by proscribing a "Class B" activity uniform, which can apparently include various Scout-themed T-shirts, as well as the "official red" (we assume polo-style) activity shirt? And where is Scouting represented better than at a Jamboree, where Scouts are even instructed to wear "Class B" while attending Busch Gardens, a PUBLIC THEME PARK!


My, oh, my, oh, My! Walls of Jericho, come-a tumblin' down!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Proving what? That the author (a volunteer) has been a victim of the same misinformation that many posters have? You knew it was a wide spread error without seeing his newsletter didn't you?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...