Jump to content
mariewendan

Must you have an "official" uniform to salute the flag?

Recommended Posts

Maybe we here, in Ireland, look on these things a little diffrently to people in the USA but as a Leader, either in Cubs or Scouts, I would insist on proper respect to our National Flag. However I would also take the more relaxed view that kids of Cub Age love saluting and if it happens that they are not in 'full uniform' I would still see nothing wrong with them saluting the flag. I have often seen on TV your President Mr. Bush, saluting military personel even when he is wearing civilian attire. I appreciate that in these troubled times, there is a great upsurge in National Pride in America, however I would hold that kids, in Cubs, will show the proper respect, appropriate to their age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FScouter and BrentAllen have hit the nail squarely on the head: When wearing the "Complete Uniform-of-the-Day", render the hand salute. Otherwise, hand over the heart. Of course the "Uniform-of-the-Day" has to be announced or posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said salute when wearing the UNIFORM, which is permanently posted in the publications. I have no idea what is a uniform-of-the-day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WARNING... this message may be taken as an attack on an individual. However, it is NOT. Rather, it is my interpretation to one (and others) posters actions. It is made to encourage thought and debate. Maybe it should be its own thread, I don't know.

 

FScouter, while I applaud you on your knowledge and also your research and looking up the answers for everyone in various manuals much like Bob White, I have to ask, is everything done by the book? I challenge you to find any day camp, where the Scouts wear a camp shirt, that the adults don't encourage the Scouts to salute. They, for this Scout activity, are in uniform. What is wrong in that?

 

If National suddenly acknowledges a "Class B" uniform, do folks who go "by the book" suddenly beleive in it too? I get the impression that folks like this never have gone over the speed limit, accidently went through a red light, had to measure a baseball diamond to be sure the size was right for a pickup game (since the rules say what those dimensions should be), etc..

 

Some rules are guidelines, not cold hard law. Maybe the next time I see one of my Scouts enter a building or church, regardless if they are in uniform or not, I will remind them to remove their hat. After all, proper etiquette dictates that this be done. And according to the dictionary, etiquette is defined as the prescribed rules of behavior in society. The only reason I mention this is because not even the military wears hats in a church. They remove them upon entrance. Why should the BSA be excluded and allowed to wear them inside the church, evn if just passing through for a den meeting in another room? Etiquette says, no hats.

 

I am now off my soapbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Forums, scotiacat.

 

As long as you're asking your boys to remove their caps in church, it might interest you to know that's exactly what BSA says, too:Official headgear may be worn while the unit is participating in an indoor formal ceremony or service duty, except in religious institutions where custom forbids.No one is saying everything must be done by the book -- but I do think its helpful to know exactly what the guidelines are, so if one violates them, one does so knowingly, and not out of ignorance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you read the comments from FScouter, Bob White and others, they tend to read "scripture" from the BSA as if it is law. That is the impression they give, there is no flex in a subject, no gray area what so ever. No common sense, just because it is written, "so it shall be done".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if you don't follow the guidelines, what will happen, exactly?

 

Will anyone from Irving come down and arrest you because your boys didn't wear their uniform exactly as the inspection says they should?

 

Rather than getting all worked up over what others say, I try to focus instead on delivering the best program I can for the boys -- and part of that means knowing the rules and following them as best I can.

 

We set the example for the kids -- if we "fudge" on the rules, it won't take them long to figure out they can too -- and if we should call them out on it, it won't take them long to understand we want them to do as we say, not as we do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My observation is that people in life do what they want to do. If the speed limit is 65 and they want to go 75, they go 75. There is no need to explain or defend ones reasoning. Just go 75 and be happy about it.

 

The initial post in this thread asked a question. The answer is really simple. BSA has not granted authority to either units or adult leaders to re-define the uniform. The uniform, and protocol for saluting and wearing hats is spelled out in the literature.

 

If one wants to go 75, there is no BSA police that will pull you over. If you ask what is the speed limit, the answer is not going to be 75 regardless of how many other people are going that fast. If the rest of us want to go the speed limit, dont knock it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FScouter is dead right on the uniform policy. That being said, our District sold and required t-shirts for our Day Camp, which was the uniform of the day.

Other policies I see violated frequently include the one requiring the uniform to be worn in full - no parts. I see adults wearing all kind of pants/shorts with their Scout shirts.

Another states that Packs do not have the right to set their own uniform policy, but I know several Packs that have their own "waist up" policy. Mostly they claim the shorts and pants are too expensive and uncomfortable. I can't say I disagree, but I "strongly encourage" the full uniform policy at my Pack.

As for the Class B uniform, since the Boy Scouts have one, I just like to think we are ahead of the curve on the policy, and National will soon add the Class B uniform to the program, following what a lot of units favor. If that makes me a hypocrit considering my position on the full uniform, then I'm guilty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like we finally have an "official" answer to the question at the top of this thread. Scouting Magazine answers the question on page 4, Saluting in uniform. As per BSA, the terms are "official uniform" and "activity uniform." Scouts salute while wearing both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BA: thanx for pointing that out. Its available at this URL temporarily:

 

http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/current/d-lett.html

 

Here's what it says, in case readers see this after the next issue comes out:

 

Saluting in uniform

 

In addition to the official Class A Scout uniform, the BSA also has a Class B uniformofficial Scout pants or shorts with a troop or camp T-shirt. My question regards protocol during flag ceremonies: Should a Scout use the Scout salute while in a Class B uniform or place his right hand over his heart?

 

Christopher Dillon

Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 24

Bloomsburg, Pa.

 

First, when referring to uniforms, Class A and Class B are military terms that are not used in the BSA. The correct Scouting terms for the two versions of the uniform are "official uniform" and "activity uniform." Although less formal, the activity uniform is still considered an official uniform, and therefore it is appropriate for boys to use the Scout salute while wearing it during a flag ceremony.

 

I think they meant to say "field" and "activity" uniforms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there are those of us who are "unintentional miscreants"! ;) Anybody out there besides me, after attending several BSA meetings in a week (in uniform--yes, "full", "field", "Class A"...whatever YOU want to call it, I was in uniform), who have gone to a football game, and while standing there in school colors, salutes? I usually get sheepish. Those around me know what the problem is. Sometimes my husband has to tug on my elbow...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually some Packs and Troops for that matter have been allowed to adopt a slightly altered version of the uniform. Such as wearing the class A shirt with jeans. It may not be teaditional, but for many it has become approved uniform. I served in Cub Scouts through the 1990s and my son is in the same pack now that I was in. And for as long as I can remember our district and area council have allowed this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow this thread is old! But I think it's important to add one of my favorite B.P. quotes here:

 “Smartness in uniform and correctness in detail may seem a small matter, but has its value in the development of self-respect and means an immense deal to the reputation of the movement among outsiders who judge by what they see.”

I am now a Scout leader working with the same Pack and Troop I was part of as a youth, and were ALWAYS lax about uniforms. But as I progressed as a leader and came to understand the program more deeply, I realized that the way the boys dressed directly affected the way the boys felt, which ultimately affected they way they behaved. I made a push that has gone on for three years now, a push to get every boy properly uniformed despite economic challenges, apathetic leadership, or misunderstood intentions. And WOW - what a difference it has made! Our numbers have increased! Advancement has taken off! Boy are more excited, more energized, and more committed! Suddenly when we go to Summer Camp and Camporee and Scout-O-Rama, the boys actively participate in all the activities, and they feel passion for what they are doing. There is a lot more than just good uniforming behind all this, of course - but I can promise you, wearing the uniforms right, as a unified Troop, boys and leaders - it has made a massive difference

Whether or not wearing half a uniform is "allowed" or not is irrelevant. The uniform should be worn as a whole, or not at all. That's official policy. If a guy in a police shirt and bermuda shorts asked you to stop so he could write you a ticket, wouldn't you think it odd? If a businessman showed up to an important meeting in a bathrobe and slippers, would he be taken seriously? How we dress sends a message, whether we like it or not. It sends a message to those around us, and it sends a message to ourselves. That is why we want to stress smart, proper uniforming. Not because we are told to, but because we want to - because we want to send the right message to ourselves and to our unit, and to our community, and to our country. Every boy, girl and leader in these programs is a representative of our movement and its values. Let's learn how to send the most positive message we can by the way we present ourselves as we go about doing good. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree to an extent Latin Scot. I feel jeans are acceptible as long as they dont have holes in them and arent dirty. There are some Sheriff's deptartments which do allow deputies to wear jeans with a uniform shirt. Just as there are many businesses which allow you to wear jeans with a dress shirt and tie. As long as the shirt is clean and wrinkle free, tucked in and the pants are clean and free of holes I feel that can have the exact same effect as a full uniform. 

Share this post


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

×