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I Design a Uniform

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Here's how I'd redesign the uniform.


First, I'd wipe away everything having to do with Oscar de la Renta, who took his design cues from male airline stewards and bellhops.


Second, I'd recognize that the Boy Scout Brand is deeply, deeply tied to the images of scouting made popular---and put in the popular mind---by Norman Rockwell.


Third, I also think some of the concerns about the uniform being too glaring in public are valid.


So here's the result:

---a collarless shirt

---the Return of the Serious neckerchief

---drop the olive drab; too military. Keep it lighter, khaki's okay

---no funny loops on the shoulders

---very flat shirt pockets, with an internal button

---subdued and unified patch design is a good idea

---the material, at the end of the day, really has to be camp functional. Meetings are just meetings.

---fewer patches generally; drop the world scout thing; the trained patch; some of these other public markers that are secondary.

---the pants and shirts match in color

---the pants have modest cargo pockets on the side, since they have a real utilitarian function.


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Ok I'll give it a go.


I Agree with the collarless route, REAL neckers, flat pockets, no loops, unified patch design,dropping a few patches, and almost everything else suggested.


However I can tell you the WC will be going nowhere as that has been "suggested" by WOSM that everyone wear it. No matter what though I'll wear it as I earned it in 1987, and would have earned it a 2nd time in 1989 if WOSM hadn't made that suggestion.


I do disagree with the all khaki route, then we would look Navy CPOs and officers. I say stick with the traditional olive.


In addition to keeping the utilitarian cargo pockets, compared to ODL pants mods 1 and 3, I would suggest zippered legs for easy on easy off.


Also bring back knee socks.

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Okay, I have to ask.


Since neckers are completely a troop determined item, why do people complain about it?


As for the uniform. They had the perfect shirt in the Action Shirt. Sadly, not only wasn't it the new uniform shirt, they have already discontinued it.

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Just an observation ... There are some among us, such as extremely hirsute souls, who look very silly in collarless shirts. Certain people even dislike t-shirts for this reason. I'm not saying I know any of these people, but there's a reason I have a lot of polo shirts in my dresser. ;)


I'd bring back the full-sized, useful neckerchief. That's such an enduring symbol of Scouting that I hate to see it fall by the wayside. Units could have their own designs, styles and materials, but make it required. Oh, and drop the bolos as an option.


Personally, I'd ditch the khaki and bring back the green, maybe in lighter shades. It hides dirt a lot better.


I don't quite understand the opposition to shoulder loops. What's the beef?


There's no uniform that will be completely, 100 percent "camp functional." There's no shirt that can get sweated through during the day, snagged by branches in the afternoon, spilled on by dehydrated potatoes at dinner, dusted up by campfire ashes at night, rinsed out before bedtime and be dried out and ready to go by the morning.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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The "beef" is that the shoulder loops are dorky. They serve few useful purposes. If people cannot tell, based on the activities in question, the location, the size/age of the kids, and other identifiers (like a unit flag, head gear, neckers, etc.) what part of the BSA program they are seeing, then the shoulder loops probably aren't going to help them all that much.


Maybe those loops are more useful in identifying adult affiliation at training events, etc. But for the boys? They are unnecessary and just froo-froo decorations.

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Lisa hit it on the head, the loops ARE really for the adults. Think about it, CS wear blue uniforms until they get to the Webelos level, then they have the option of the BSA uniform or the CS uniform. Either way they still wear a plaid necker and hat that differentiates them from the BS. Venterers have the green and grey uniform as well as their leaders.


The only overlap with the Tan and Green uniform is the Adult leaders. CS and BS leaders wear the tan and green uniform with the loops and the unit color numbers being different.


And the Cncl/nationla folks can wear either the Tan and green or the green and tan, but the loops tell what level: silver for cncl and gold for national.


So I think it's safe to say we can doa way with loops, which would save some $

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So is it just the loops you folks don't like, or the epulets too? To my mind epulets would look pretty odd on a shirt without a collar.


While we're making a wish list can I add one thing? A small D ring on a sewn in loop on the inside top seam of the front pockets to secure keys, pocket knives, etc to.





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Dances, I REALLY REALLY like that D-ring suggestion. When I was a small boy I had a couple pair of khaki shorts that had a kind of chain swivel ring attached to the belt loop in front. I found it very useful. . . didn't the old brass belt have a similar brass slide plus brass clip on it?


Yeah, the epaulet things make no sense. They're redundant and make you look like the Orkin man. . . just too over the top for me. I mean, I'm a grown man.


I understand the rationale for keeping the shirt green rather than khaki. Let's do it.

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I would drop the shoulder loops (and epaulets) completely, including for adults. In theory, at least, every adult leader is wearing a position patch, which tells me not only which program he/she is in, but what his/her role is in the program. The silver and gold loops are particularly non-informative; the silver are worn by everybody from a Unit Commissioner to the (council) Scout Exec, while the gold are worn by everybody from a uniformed employee at a national Scout Shop to the Chief Scout Executive.

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My comments.


I prefer a two-toned uniform (different color pants/shirt).


If you drop the loops, drop the epaulets.


The World Crest needs to stay, as its the universal sign we are all part of world scouting. The scouts in other countries wear it, why not us?


Training strip should stay, but it doesn't have to be big. The ones they had before the previous red & gold one were much smaller.


I'd prefer smaller patches, and maybe more woven ones (not as bulky).



I really don't know about the necker. I hated it as a kid. It looked dorky, and dealing with the slide was a pain (I probably lost a few slides). Knoting it really didn't work. If you wear a necker, it should either go on top of the collar or have no collar.


When I was able to get a collared shirt as a youth, that's all I wore, with a bolo tie (most scouting related. then I got a SE Region one at Jambo and that became my main bolo tie until I got beads).


I've been going thru my collection of Scouting magazines. The ones from the 70s have several color photos of kids in uniform at the time (the old 'green-khaki- pre-ODL uniform). This is what I wore as a scout. Very rarely, and then its usually an adult, does someone look half-way decent in that uniform. Most, especially the kids, it looked horrible.


The only thing worse then neckers was that damn red beret. Yeah, I wore that too (that was our troop hat). I hated it because we were never able to get it to look like the berets worn by soldiers in the movies.


I wish they'd bring back the campaign hat (in correct colors to match the current boy scout shirt, and maybe one for Venturing in gray). Those were sharp, tho not practical. I think some kids would jump at that hat, IF made right.


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Shoulder epaulets came to military uniforms sometime around WWI to provide a place for smaller size commissioned officer rank, vice a host of rank insignia systems. They also gave a place for the trooper to identify his regiment. There is no need for them in Scouting at all. Period. They are decor, not utility. They should go away.


Go back to the campaign hat, or its lineal descendnant, the hot weather field hat (aka boonie hat).


Go to single color. It was good enough for Scouting the first 60 years or so.


Give the youth lots of bling options. Give us grownups 2 rows of knots (plus 1 if you're an Eagle Scout or Silver Venturer), an OA patch, and the Interpreter strip.


I think the materials of the new uniforms are appropriate, but none of us need to be a Movie General ...

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