Jump to content
TAHAWK

"field uniform"

Recommended Posts

In 1929, it was the "Scout Uniform" or "Official Uniform" in the Handbook for Patrol Leaders.  It consisted, in major part, of the "Regulation shirt" and "Regulation breeches" (or shorts).

 

In 1936-1941, it was the "Official Uniform" in the Handbook for Scoutmasters.

 

When I joined Scouting, it was the "Uniform" or the "Scout Uniform.  Handbook for Boys, 5th Ed. (1955) and remained so when the 6th Edition came out to celebrate B.S.A.'s fiftieth birthday.

 

When I became a Scoutmaster, the Scoutmaster's Handbook referred only to the "official Boy Scout uniform."  5th Ed. (1959).  My first SM had given me his old Handbook for Scoutmaster's (4th Ed. (1952), and it said the same.  There was no change when I next became a Scoutmaster in 1981 (Scoutmaster  Handbook, 7th Ed.)

 

The current literature refers to the "official uniform" or simply the "Uniform."  12th Boy Scout Handbook, 12th Ed. at p. 33 See also http://www.scoutstuff.org/boy-scout-uniform-youth.html#.Vgv7gvlVhBc("Uniform,"  [to be precise: "Boy Scoutâ„¢ Uniform (Youth)"]

 

A single reference to a "field uniform" appears at p. 57 of the Guide to Awards and Insignia (omitted from the index).  Otherwise, it's the "uniform" over and over again.

 

Then we have the world of blogs, official and otherwise, and unofficial websites, where the "field uniform" lives on.

 

When did B.S.A. start using "field uniform" and when did B.S.A. stop using it?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10th ed. BSHB 1990, states what a field uniform is and has an image on page 566. Also has a descriptio of the activities uniform, field uniform with a polo shirt. That's the 1997 printing, and i think the image was changed because the 1990 ed, first printing SMHB, uses field and activity uniforms, and has pics on pages 231 to 233. The image of the uniforms also includes the tan activity shorts with white socks that they stopped producing around 1995.

 

And yes, I have a pair of the tan shorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I earlier mentioned its use in an official blog (insomuch as such a thing can truly be official) as of two months ago. The editors of that blog did matriculate around the time of the literature @@Eagle94-A1 references, so they may very well be reflecting their training.

 

A more interesting etymology would be that of Class A, B, etc ...

 

But, the "when" is not as interesting as the "why". The ODL uniform lent itself to parades ... allowing our boys to be as colorful as the majorettes. So I can see how applying the military term for parade dress came in vogue. The application of "field" tends to be an attempt to encourage boys (and their parents) to don the ODL for more than just parades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"ODL"?  Olive Drab ?

 

Class A, Class B, and Field Uniform  are U.S. Military terms.

 

"Field uniforms

Utility and organizational uniforms, excluding the hospital duty and food service uniforms, that are worn in field, training, or combat environments."

 

"The class 'A' ASU [Army Service Unform] includes the army blue coat and trousers/skirt/slacks, a short or long sleeve white shirt and four-in-hand necktie (male)/neck tab (female) (for accessories and other items authorized for wear on the class 'A'."

 

"The class 'B' ASU includes the army blue trousers/skirt/slacks, a short or long sleeve white shirt. Soldiers will wear the four-in-hand necktie with the long sleeve white shirt when it is worn without the class 'A' coat."

Edited by TAHAWK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't encounter these terms until I started working on camp staff in 1993, when it was necessary to distinguish when we were expected have the entire uniform on with a camp staff t-shirt or polo versus the field uniform shirt, versus wearing whatever you wanted to activities like the campers. So we referred to them as Field Uniform and Activity Uniform. And we frowned upon Class A/B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yes, a "Scouter named Kirk" thinks there is still a field uniform.  He is hardy alone. Many still think that is the terminology, but when newer Scouters or parents try to find what that is, it is not defined, or even used, in current B.S.A. literature, but for a single example in the Guide to Awards and  Insignia  (if they find it) relating to wearing the OA sash.  So I get repeatedly asked what this "field uniform" is.  Is it, I am asked, different from the plain "dress uniform." [AKA "Boy Scoutâ„¢ Uniform (Youth)]  

 

It's not that using obsolete and unofficial terminology is a sin, but it does interfere with communication.

 

I'm just trying to track down when the "field uniform" came and went.

 

qwazse, on 30 Sept 2015 - 3:05 PM, said:

 

 

But, the "when" is not as interesting as the "why". The ODL uniform lent itself to parades ... allowing our boys to be as colorful as the majorettes. So I can see how applying the military term for parade dress came in vogue. The application of "field" tends to be an attempt to encourage boys (and their parents) to don the ODL for more than just parades.

 
Is what was so 'colorful" the khaki background, as opposed to OD, or the appearance of all the colorful patches?  Those started appearing below what I know to call "ODL."  When BSA went to 'subdued" patches, it got less colorful although on the same khaki background.  No?
Edited by TAHAWK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tahawk,

 

I think that the problem is the powers that be have no consistency in their publications. Now do they understand how the various programs work. Remember the terminology they used when the Centennial uniforms came out in 2008? I loved how the adult leader inspection sheets specified the new shirts for Boy Scouts leaders, and the old ones for Cub Scout leaders. And do not get me started on the green on tan numbers and trained strips vs the white on red numbers and red on tan trained strips. 

 

 

In regards to trained strips, G2AI shows 3 different types

For shirts with pocket sleeves, the emblem is worn on the sleeve pocket flap above the badge of office; red, No. 18120, Cub Scout and Venturing leaders; forest green, No. 18064, Boy Scout leaders. For shirts without pocket sleeves, the
emblem is worn on the left sleeve immediately below and touching the emblem of office for which it was earned; red, No. 280, Cub Scout and Venturing leaders; forest green, No. 18064, Boy Scout leaders.
 
But then in one of the national training committee newsletters and on a BSA website, it states it any trained strip is appropriate for any position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a scout saving dimes for Jambo when the redesigned uniform appeared.  Oh, ODL uni, how thou didst thou "flash"? Let me count the ways:

  1. "Khaki" became more than one color: tan shirt + green pants/shorts.
  2. Epaulets! And from the start we were all baffled why Explorers weren't also tan, but with green Eps.
  3. Collars ... they came back!
  4. Those red berets.
  5. The quaint red stripe "pretend garter" at the top of your socks.
  6. Yes, more colorful council and lodge patches seemed to appear.

Interestingly, the majorettes started sewing more sequins on their outfits at about this time. ;)

I'll admit that I was quite pleased with it all, but I was one for gaudiness. I think other boys were less enthused. I don't recall if I uniformed any less. Always wore it to school on February 8ths. Never would any of us wear it to service projects, or on weekend trips.

 

It's interesting that the Centennial uniforms constituted muted tones (epaulets that matched pants, socks without the red stripe, single color hat, etc ...).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far as I can tell, BSA was the only group to call a shade of green "khaki."  "Khaki," as many here know, was a Hindustani word for dirt-colored.  Khaki replaced red in the UK military uniform when they noticed what a grand target red was for Boers with 7mm Mauser rifles.

 

Perhaps the same thought process that resulted in calling 2010 the "Centennial of scouting." ( It wasn't even the centennial in the U.S.)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard multiple reasons why they took the red out of the Boy Scout uniform. Some silly, i.e. someone at national didn't like red and BSA didnt want to look as if they favored one political party, to rational, i.e. subdued colors are LNT friendly.

 

What I hated about the switchover was the lack of guidance and information by national and utter confusion and waste of money it caused. And Insignia Guide came out a year after the uniforms were unveiled and 9 months after the uniforms became available. Initially it said anyone wearing a Centennial Uniform (CU) had to go with the green on tan numbers, so of course Cub Scout leaders and Webelos getting new CUs got those tan and green numbers. Then around January rumors came out that Cub leaders and Webelos are suppose to wear the red and whites in the CUs. Then some literature came out with Webelos wearing red numbers on a tan background, that didn't even exist! 

 

In late April 2009, I joined a pack, and to get the correct colored numbers, I called  my old National Scout Shop, to get an answer from a national source.  I was told CU = green on tan numbers. I asked about the red on tan numbers, and was told they were a proposal that didn't go anywhere because it would be a 5th line of numbers that national would have to make. So I got the green on tan numbers.  2 weeks later, the IG comes out and says that CS leaders and Webelos wear red on whites.

 

The only thing that national got correct IMHO was allowing ODL uniform items to be worn with the CUs per the literature that was in effect from May 2008 ( announcement) until May 2009 ( when IG came out)  So I have no problem defending scouts at the district camporee's uniform inspection wearing the red and white numbers.

 

Some things I say before the IG came out are the following:

 

Venturers wearing the tan and green numbers and trained strips because " we were told only Cub Scouts wear red numbers"

 

Cub Scouts in blue wearing tan and green because that was all that was left at the distributor and the parents didn't know better.

 

Boy Scouts wearing the Venturing green loops

 

Venturers wearing the Boy Scout green loops

 

Suffice to say, I think the  CUs were not thought out completely prior to being introduced. I think it shows when a new uniform shirt comes out within 5 years of one being introduced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

A single reference to a "field uniform" appears at p. 57 of the Guide to Awards and Insignia (omitted from the index).  Otherwise, it's the "uniform" over and over again.

 

 

This single reference in an official BSA publication (which is the current edition as well) is about the OA Sash and how to wear it.  It specifically states that the sash is to be worn under the epaulets - and the only BSA shirt I know that has epaulets is the Official BSA Uniform Shirt, which would seem to suggest that the Official BSA Uniform is also the "field uniform".

 

I've not had a chance to look but I wonder if the OA Handbook references the "field 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

×
×
  • Create New...