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mds3d

"There is no Class A" isn't a helpful statement most of the time, and people should stop posting it.

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Posted (edited)

I didn't want to post this in the original thread because I didn't want to derail. I seem to see someone bring up the classification of uniforms any time the words "Class A" or "Class B" are used.  I just wanted to say that this interjection of correctness (pedantry IMHO) isn't helpful or courteous most of the time.  

Most of the time it easy to tell if people mean "Class A = Field" and "Class B = Troop T-shirt" or some small variant of that.  In most circumstances it really isn't important that the field is the only real uniform and that there isn't an accepted variant on "fully uniformed." If it is important to differentiate what people mean by "Class B" then you should probably ask.  

If the discussion revolves around these designations of classes or what an official activity uniform is, then it might be useful to bring up, otherwise maybe think about contributing something else. 

Edited by mds3d
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I agree.  While "Class B" is not an official BSA term, the fact is that the BSA licenses a company named ClassB.com that makes Scouting t-shirts.  So if someone says "Class B" I don't think it is something worth getting agitated over. (And over the years, some people in this forum have gotten VERY agitated about it.  One time one of the "class" terms did sneak its way into an official BSA online publication, and one of the (long-gone) members of this forum became very indignant about it, and wrote to the BSA and actually got them to change it.  And yet, both then and now, you can buy troop t-shirts from ClassB.com and the BSA is very happy about it as long as they get their checks from the company.)

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Posted (edited)

What I think is funny (and confusing) is that if you search "scout activity forms" you still get the following from Mike Walton http://www.scoutinsignia.com/abcd.htm

As he is generally considered a good reference for scout things, him leaving this page up means (or maybe causes) the terms still do get used.  Of course, what he describes is what my unit called them circa 2001.  Except for us, Class A  = the full thing, and Class B = just the shirt.  I know that this was wrong even at the time, but I think it served a purpose.  For our unit, it encouraged the full uniform while still giving preference for scouts that bothered to come in the uniform shirt even if they didn't change pants from school. In a place and time where uniform pants and socks were a luxury that some scouts couldn't do I think it was fine.  

Edited by mds3d

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"Class A" and "Class B" are military specific terms.  The BSA prefers not to use military terms when describing uniforming.

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"Class A" and "Class B" when referring to uniforms originate with the US military but are no longer specifically military.   Police, Fire, and EMS departments also use this terminology.  Additionally there are no longer officially "Class A" or "Class B" uniforms (confirmed with US Army, don't know about other branches) in the military either.  

Regardless, in most contexts, the military heritage of these terms is irrelevant. If the BSA was really that concerned with the military association they wouldn't license to a company called "Class B"

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There must be something more important than stamping out "Class B" - like having a uniform instead of merely a brand of heterogeneous clothing.

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For Pete’s sake, folks simply must remember to eat their Wheaties each morning.

Barry

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Maybe the BSA could solve this by re engineering a field uniform that is actually a field uniform. The current uniform is more like a military dress or ceremonial uniform. It's completely impractical for the field. The shirts are not warm in winter or weather wicking in summer. The patches, other than those that allow leaders to recognize who is who (meaning, I can see from a distance that that scout is in my unit 000), serve no purpose. The shoulder tabs get speared by branches. The neckerchief is actually a safety hazard in certain circumstances.  The thin pant fabrics offer no warmth or little real protection while hiking. The heavier duty fabric is chafing to the point where scouts often have to wear bike shorts under them. And all this impractical nonfunctional gear is still expensive.  

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Perhaps rather than stew over semantics, we should focus on the proper and complete wearing of the uniform.

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I apologize for my comment in the other thread. I did not realize it would have been so bothersome to some. My reasoning  for even mentioning it has to do with the military history of its usage. I see a lot of military customs, etc... creeping into the BSA. It isn't the words, but the shifting towards adult run program in a militaryesque efficiency which I fear. This is not just my concern but also that of BP's. He often wrote about the movement using terms such as "a jolly game in the out of doors", and eschewed words and conceps like "half hou drills once a day". He often specifically referenced clearly military terms and ideas as the anti-thesis of the movement. While class a, etc... are just words, they matter. When we begin to use historically military terms, we start the crack which may widen to allow the ideas and practices to change as well. The opposite is also true when one is trying to beneficially change a system; because words matter, changing our vocabulary paves the way to reforming the concepts and practices. 

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Oh boy - the uniform police are coming, always good times.

Let's also get riled up about red epaulettes vs dark green ones, rows of knots, placement of temporary patches, and headgear.  

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I have to chuckle here.  

Often we knock the BSA for it's lack of consistency.  Yet, here they've been pretty consistent on this one for many years.  So, because people are used to saying "Class A" or "Class B", we want the BSA to relax and go with those terms.  

Why don't we all just go with the terms the BSA prefers and call it a day?

 

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3 hours ago, DuctTape said:

While class a, etc... are just words, they matter. When we begin to use historically military terms, we start the crack which may widen to allow the ideas and practices to change as well. 

If we're looking for military terms, we shouldn't forget there's a whole military occupation called Cav. Scouts.  We should find a new name.  We should also get rid of patrols, since that's a military term too.  

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An army scout was an experienced woodsman that could care for himself and carry out his duties (cook, navigate, track, evade, etc.) away from the safety of the main body of the army. Isn't that why BP chose the term?

Maybe we should change the name to SBSA...

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