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Properly wearing the OA sash on the uniform

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BSA24 - I catch your drift, I really do. But to me it's sometimes like something I saw on the old Truth or Consequences show many, many years ago. A male and female contestant were in the proverbial green room waiting to go on television. The female was very concerned about her appearance and asked the male contestant how she looked - hair, lipstick, etc. It just so happened that the ladies slip was showing quite predominantly. This being the mid-60s that was not the fashion of the times for those who may be wondering.


Well the inside "joke" was that it was a set-up. The males contestants wife was previously asked to predict if her husband would mention that fact to the woman contestant (they had never met beforehand). Given the genteel society of the times, most of the men did not.


As for myself, if I'm improperly uniformed, much like having spinach in my teeth, I welcome someone politely and discreetly pointing it out to me. On the other hand, I would not appreciate a derogatory comment or comments meant to belittle me in the same regard for the same offense.


For myself, I usually would not point any uniforming faux pas out to strangers but sometimes for adults I knew well or for Scouts that I was "Scoutmastering" I would point out in a respectful and discreet way - more as knowledge transfer, not as a means to denigrate the wearer.

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Because, DOD, that's what the BSA Uniform and Insignia guide states. Your proper "Class A" uniform already includes your lodge flap (indicating you are an active lodge member with paid up dues) and t

I always wash my things thoroughly after outdoor activities (I am not a fan of mud or grime), so my first sash has remained pretty clean and bright through the years. A clean sash may be a sign of a l

In my lodge growing up, "A clean sash is a sign of a lazy Arrowman." Kinda got in trouble for saying that when I told an individual who beligerently questioned my muddied, wet appearance at an Ordeal

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The answer here is simple. A question was asked and answered 7 pages ago. This is not a case of a Scouter pointing out that another Scouter is improperly wearing the uniform. Someone asked if it is proper. When such a question is asked, what is the proper reference? The insignia guide of course. This is a simple question with a simple answer. The guide clearly says do not wear the sash on the belt. If you choose to do so fine, but it is not proper. End of story. A silly picture of some politician wearing the Arrow pointing down does not change the guide, and it is silly to point out such a picture in an argument.


Question was asked and answered 7 pages ago. If you want to break the rules go ahead. Your choice.

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Sometimes open, honest, direct, correct, referenced, current, and accurate answers to simple questions aren't accepted. Usually the questions are a little more difficult or perhaps open to interpretation. This one was simple, but didn't result in the desired answer, so it went on for over 100 posts! Is the answer clear yet?


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john, we could do that, or we could participate in a 7 page discussion about what is or is not "proper" versus "authorized", and whether or not which, if any, OA or any other insignia is merely "look at me" fluff that should or shouldn't be on a tan shirt with the words "Boy Scouts of America" over the pocket.



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I agree. I have conducted "uniform inspections" with units before. I still recommend them. I try to make them fun, encouraging, positive, and educational.


I have never told an Eagle dad not to wear an eagle dad pin on his pocket flap, though. Nor have I ever made note that someone was wearing a leather necklace of beads from some cub event or round table. I ignored things like an unauthorized, home-designed knot designed by some unit for some special award they do internally.


Advice is a funny thing. The tone of it and how it is expressed can change everything about it.


"You are not allowed to do that" will inspire a rebellion.


"Leaders are asked to wear only official stuff on their uniforms and keep it simple and uncluttered, but it's your shirt! Have fun!" is received with more welcome.

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john ponz & BDPT


And both of your responses sound like two little prissy uniform police, my way or no way type of responses that must cause the boys to leave your troops in droves every year I bet. You can either allow the scouting experience to be a fun loving and growing experience for the boys or turn it into little hissy fit exchanges which you both love to do.


IMO if there is one thing seriously wrong in boy scouting today it is adult leaders like yourselves who enjoy pushing their authority around and make your boys scouting experience a living hell. You both should seriously consider applying for positions with the american Heritage Girls where your closed and narrow minded opinions would be welcome. As the infamous Mr. T would say "I pity the fools", you both have my pity and your boys my sympathy.


Is that clear and concise enough for both of you?

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I think this is where I can jump in. In the 1980's the OAHB stated: "The Arrow sash is worn at Order of the Arrow functions and at special Scouting functions such as courts of honor." page 127 1980 printing of the 1977 copyright. For a historical perspective that should just about clear it up. Meaning to me that by the rule at that time Acco is wrong. Sadly in later versions, copyrights and printings this was changed so that now it reads: "The sash is worn at Order of the

Arrow functions and special Scouting functions, when members need to be identified as Arrowmen rendering special services." 2010 printing. My read and the read and interpretation of others I have asked at NLATS is that "Special Scouting functions" and "needing to be identified" are two different instances. Thus the interpretation aspect. Yes I do not agree with the Chairman you are quoting. he is simply wrong unless he is making a policy change and then he is misguided IMHO. To answer directly the OP, the correct answer was given right away.


I do not expect to change anyone's mind. However I think it is helpful if folks would either do the research or keep from posting because this thread is full of wrong answers. Either the policy has changed over the years, and prior to the 80's or '77 copyright I have been told that "special Scouting functions" was not an option, or it has not since then it has just been so poorly stated as to confuse the issue. Peoples ability to read and understand what they are reading and how punctuation changes the meaning of clauses, sentences, and phrases has also diminished over this time period.

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john ponz


The truth when brought into the light can sometimes be hard to hear, but it is also the first step in reforming and improving outdated and archaic ideas into a constructive and positive vehicle for future change. In this case a definitive improvement for the scouting program and reforming outdated and/or unneeded rules for the 21st century. Remember boy scouts is supposed to be a boy led organization not an adult dominated one.

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I agree with your sentiment. However in this case a question was asked about wearing the sash properly. Where else are we to get the correct answer but by using the available resources that BSA provides? It is clear by these resources that wearing the sash on the belt is not proper. Question asked and answered.


If someone chooses to wear the sash on the belt, it is not the end of the world, and more than likely I would not personally confront them as I have more important things to do. However when asked the question, if it is improper to wear the sash on the belt, the answer is and until it is changed will be it is not proper.


As far as youth leadership, I agree that the National Organization of the OA should have more youth representation, and adults should have no vote in policy formation similar to the lodge. However it is not set up that way currently so since a Scout is obedient, we have to live within the framework that we have.


You know if we knew each other personally and we talked, you would probably find out our views are not that much different, the tactics we use are assuredly different though.


Personal attacks that clearly violate the Scout Law should not occur on these boards. If you notice, I work hard to avoid any personal or inconsiderate attack. The closest that I came to doing that on this subject was calling someone's use of a picture "silly." I want to clarify that I was not calling the poster "silly", but rather his use of the picture to try to bolster his argument. We can all agree that an Arrow pointed down and a sash worn as a bandolier with the MB sash is silly I would think. As an aside, I was not even going to comment on this picture, but the OP brought it up again, and wondered why no one commented on it.


I will continue to try to change things by following the current rules, and hopefully climbing the ladder until I am in a position to facilitate changes.


Your tactics of blatantly calling people out, and making personal attacks does not work so well in my opinion. As the saying goes, you attract more flys with honey then with vinegar.

(This message has been edited by johnponz)

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But it appears that you condone such type of posts as long as it is done obscurely it would appear. Seems two faced to me.


As someone has already posted..in the 1980's there was no such written rule..


I stated once I had a written handbook I would follow the rules..and several posters implied I would not.


and to Quote Directly from the rule book.

Copyright 2008

page 57


The Order of the Arrow sash is worn with the official Scout field uniform or Scouting's official adult dress wear (a blue blazer and grey slacks). The Sash may be worn by Elangomats who are not in Uniform at an Ordeal, youth wearing ceremonial attire, and in such other instances as approved by the Scout Executive. The Sash is worn over the right shoulder so that the arrow is pointing over the Right shoulder. The Sash is worn diagonally across the chest. It is not to be worn in another manner.


So it appears that the carry on the belt is a personal add-on and only referenced on a website which is not provided at cost to members..yes I can access it but OA does not pay for my Internet.


Lodges provide a current handbook to all new members for free..We Pay if we lose it or need to update it.


Strictly interpreting Adult's can only wear it in Blue Blazer and Grey slacks since it does not Say Adult Scouting Field Uniform

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This has been explained to death. The rules are clear. However if you choose to interpret them differently then the guidance given by the National Chairman of the Order of the Arrow, so be it.


You have rationalized the wearing of the sash on the belt.

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"Lodges provide a current handbook to all new members for free..We Pay if we lose it or need to update it. "


I know of no lodge that provides the current handbook FREE to new members.


New members pay a fee which covers ALL their costs. The lodge does NOT pick it up. This fee will usually cover:


* the membership dues for the next year

* the weekend fee for the event (which will usually include a patch)

* lodge flap

* sash

* OA Handbook

* any other materials the lodge provides to the new member




You really need to learn the concept of 'pay your own way'. Nonsense like "yes I can access it but OA does not pay for my Internet" makes you sound arrogant and stupid. Get over this idea that the organization needs to provide you with stuff.



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