In uniform off duty(rant) - Page 2

In uniform off duty(rant)

This is a discussion on In uniform off duty(rant) within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I find it unprofessional to wear BDU's out and about for no good reason. I see it more and more around here, and they almost ...

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Thread: In uniform off duty(rant)

  1. #16
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    I find it unprofessional to wear BDU's out and about for no good reason. I see it more and more around here, and they almost always are young reservists or NG... or a kid home fresh from boot. I see them at ball games, the store or just out walking around with their girlfriend. I see it as them soaking up the novelty of the "look at me syndrome"... a very dangerous thing to do, this time in history in particular. There is no other reason for them to do this.
    Tired or not, a professional would have made time to change... or not travel in the wrong uniform in the first place. That is one of the very first things taught in basic/boot... but one of the very first things ignored once out of the watchful eyes of the experianced NCO's.

    It does make the solider a target... and everyone else around him. If your going to where a uniform, you need to think of the things that are not on the tip of your nose. You need to be smarter than that.

    I didnt walk around in uniform when I was in the military, and I dont as an LEO. To do this to take advantage of discounts or anything like that is just plain wrong, unprofessional and well... cheap. I think it makes the person look like an ass, and casts the entire orginization in a bad light. We had a guy that worked for our PD a while ago that would wear is uniform through fast food drives thru's in order to get a free or discounted meal... it didnt matter if he was working or not. He was fired for it, and rightly so. I have no use for people who use this for their own personal gain.

    I can understand seeing them around if there was a base close by, like at the grocery or quicky mart on their way home from work... thats to be expected.

    When I was in, it was a huge no no to go out in BDU's. Some guys with fresh tabs did this one night to show off there new decorations, they regreted that.
    There are plenty of ways to show pride and respect for the service... notice I said the service. Not my service, or your service. Its a collective thing. The best way IMO, is to follow the rules, traditions of those that served before with and after you did. Acting in a professional manner is also a good way to show respect too.
    "Just blame Sixto"


  2. #17
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    In the Marines, cammies (BDU's) were never authorized for leave, liberty, or travel.

    Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.
    Don't worry, utility uniforms are still not authorized in the Navy and Marine Corps unless on base or in transit to or from. This is a Army, Air Force phenomena. Ya know, the kind that tuck their pant legs into there boots.....

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon J View Post
    I am curious as to just why does it bother you details please, and not a rant of how it really grinds you to see someone in uniform off base!
    Because it is often against policy, and is always an invitation to harm.
    I for one am glad to see them walking around proud of our country and what they do, and I quite often tell them so. They also get Military discounts, no they do not need to be in uniform to get it just show their ID just like the police and firemen do.
    Exactly, they don't need to be in a DUTY uniform. There are uniforms prescribed for 'out and about' wear.
    Class A uniforms limit them to what they can do, i.e. they cannot carry anything period, no bags, no milk, nothing.
    I beg to differ. Having done the 'duffle bag shuffle' in Class As and Bs on more than one occasion, I can't see how a person can't carry a gallon of milk. Class As are basically a business suit - not some sort of restrictive torture device. If you're dressing for comfort, go home and put on shorts and a t-shirt.
    Yes they are on 24 hour call and must be able to respond immediately when ever called,
    Not really. When I was in Bn, we rotated through 'RR1' where we were on two hour recall. We still wore civvies off post. The vast, vast majority of folks are under no such recall restrictions.
    granted they cannot CCW or otherwise off base (or on)
    On is a definite no-no, off is according to the commander and state laws.
    and are a big target for a BG,
    BINGO!
    but I reiterate I do not find it offensive and am proud to see them walking about.
    I don't find it 'offensive,' I find it (often) a violation of policy and always an invitation to attack.
    When my daughter came home on a short leave for Christmas she was in her class B uniform.
    NOT a duty uniform.
    She had not had the time to do any shopping yet, so it was a quick hop form the airport to the mall, and 5 hours later a tired dad and his Corporal headed home loaded with stuff for mom and the rest of the family.
    So, she could shop for 5 hours in this uniform? I thought you said you couldn't carry anything in it?
    Had you pulled this hissy-fit nonsense with me present, she being a professional would have walked away, but me that is a different story let us just say that I you would have left crying for your Mommy.
    Well, this Captain (and former Staff Sergeant) would have had a long talk with your Corporal's chain of command, assuming your Corporal was in violation of published uniform policy. And I doubt my mom would be involved in any way.

    atctimmy - I resent, most vehemently, the insinuation that I don't have pride in my service because I choose to abide by the lawful orders of my superiors, and/or that I choose not to put myself on the BGs radar. Cheers, indeed.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I didnt walk around in uniform when I was in the military, and I dont as an LEO. To do this to take advantage of discounts or anything like that is just plain wrong, unprofessional and well... cheap.

    When I was in, it was a huge no no to go out in BDU's.

    There are plenty of ways to show pride and respect for the service... notice I said the service. Not my service, or your service.

    Replying to Sixto I'll say that in my case the city of San Francisco invites the Navy to come and show its colors. They expect us to be in uniform when out on liberty. It is most definitely not wrong, unprofessional, or cheap! A good time is had by all (I think New York does this each year as well)!

    Second, as I stated above, it is up to the local base commander to determine if working uniforms (read BDU's)are allowed off base. So your C.O. thought they were a bad Idea. Not all of them do. The reservist and NG personel are professionals. professional doctors, lawyers, and school teachers who have volunteered their time to help serve our nation. So if they wear their BDU's in the mall it is because they don't know any better or are allowed to do so. Don't hate the small guy (e-3) who is out of his element for one month a year.

    Last, I was using the term "your service" in the singular. Meaning the individuals act of serving, not their branch of service.

    Again...still proud!

    TN
    Last edited by Scott; January 9th, 2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: fixed quote tag

  5. #20
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    I was in the reserve component for many years (still am, to an extent). My soldiers knew what the policies were, and followed them. And it wasn't one commander when I was on AD, it was every single Post Commander I served under, or who I ever heard of anyone else serving under. I was the small guy - I came in as a Private E-1 - so don't think that I'm 'hating' them; I do, however, expect them to follow policy, and to exercise common sense and good judgement.

    Going out to the "Navy Show" once a year while in uniform is a far cry from picking up the new entertainment center at Wally World, complete with crying kids, ketchup on your collar, and so on... The DUTY uniform should be worn when ON DUTY.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  6. #21
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    To OPFOR,

    I did not intent to single you or anyone else out. When I was in we used the buddy system to deter BG's from singling us out as a easy target. Lastly all of my above comments only applies to persons in CONUS or HI/AK.

    TN

    PS what are you doing in South America?

  7. #22
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    Well, the buddy system is great for detering the odd mugger, but a big group of uniforms is an even MORE inviting target for the terrorist... I admit this is HIGHLY unlikely, but troops have been targeted in the past and there's no reason to think that they won't be again. Low profile is the watch-word here - get yourself de-selected from the target list by any means at your disposal.

    I am in SOUTHAM for my civilian federal LEO job. I'm heading back to Baghdad this summer. Believe me, I dress WAY down when I'm traveling around those parts!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  8. #23
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    God bless, and good luck brother!!

    TN

  9. #24
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    OPFOR,
    I didn't say you were ashamed of your uniform or that you sounded like it...I was referring to the OP's rant...that being said...
    1st of all, to answer your question, I was in Jan 01 to Jan 07. 2nd, Navy Nuke school has a badge system. Yellow badge, cannot leave base unless in Dress uniform or Service Whites and can only leave on weekends...(utilities are not authorized off base unless person is married and headed home, he can only stop for necessities like milk, diapers, and things like that, it was a very strict list. He could also go to the Navy Federal bank and that was off base). Then it went to a green badge. On the weekends you could wear civies, but if you left during the week you had to where dress or service uniform. Then it went to a blue badge which granted civilian clothes privelages. Great Lakes, Illinois base also has strict rules on when you can and can't wear civilian clothes. A lot of training commands have them. Partly so new people stand out so if they get lost in a new city then other people from base can help them out, keep tabs on them, etc. Traveling in uniform was dependent on where you were going, and if you were on a commercial airline or not. If we were traveling commercially, we were encouraged to wear civilian clothes and not display military ID(this was right after 9-11 so I don't know what it is now.)

    Coveralls and working uniforms should never be worn off base, I have no problem with a serviceman or when I was AD, stopping at a Walmart or grocery store in an appropriate uniform.

    And now that they are trying to go to the digital BDU's that resist staining(or at least stains don't really show up), people are allowed to wear those in public also.

    I'm not arguing with you that soldiers and sailors should not be acting a fool while wearing their uniform, that's common sense, but they shouldn't be acting a fool out of uniform, either.
    Last edited by Kerbouchard; January 9th, 2008 at 04:35 PM.
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  10. #25
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    Replying to Sixto I'll say that in my case the city of San Francisco invites the Navy to come and show its colors. They expect us to be in uniform when out on liberty. It is most definitely not wrong, unprofessional, or cheap! A good time is had by all (I think New York does this each year as well)!

    As long as you're in the correct uniform, its fine. I'm specifically talking about BDU's.

    Second, as I stated above, it is up to the local base commander to determine if working uniforms (read BDU's)are allowed off base. So your C.O. thought they were a bad Idea. Not all of them do. The reservist and NG personel are professionals. professional doctors, lawyers, and school teachers who have volunteered their time to help serve our nation. So if they wear their BDU's in the mall it is because they don't know any better or are allowed to do so. Don't hate the small guy (e-3) who is out of his element for one month a year.

    Allowed or not, I still say the BDUs are tacky to wear just because you want to be seen it it.
    I didnt say they were not professionals, I said that act is unprofessional.

    Last, I was using the term "your service" in the singular. Meaning the individuals act of serving, not their branch of service.

    Again...still proud!

    as you should be.

    TN [/QUOTE]
    "Just blame Sixto"

  11. #26
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    BerneyG, your entire post supports what I said - duty (utility) uniforms are for duty, and not for grocery shopping. And as for being ashamed of my uniform - you, sir, are greatly mistaken. A part of it is my avatar, for crying out loud... I wear my Blues to formal functions here at the Embassy, even though I am in the reserve component (and barely, at that) and could much more easily wear a tux. I wear my BDU/DCU pants for range days and training. In short, I wear the appropriate uniform in the appropriate places.

    I'm just past the "wear BDUs to look cool and get free drinks" stage in my life. Now I flash a badge...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  12. #27
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    opfor,
    We're pretty much saying the same thing in different ways. I was responding to the original post. He does not mention fatigues or working uniforms, he just said uniforms. That is what I took exception to. And I edited the post my previous post to reflect that.

    You had said there are no bases or commanders that require you to wear your uniform at all times. I gave you specific examples of bases that do.

    As for the OPSEC comment...that's rubbish. Overseas, when we went on liberty for the first day, you were required to wear your uniform. And even on the second and third days when you could wear civilian clothes, it's nuts to think that we don't stand out. Young men, should be in shape, clean shaven, short hair cuts, and not Moslem...Hmmm, I wonder if we can pick out the serviceman regardless of what he's wearing. A sailor in Dubai, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore...all stand out...Even in Hawaii...
    It's not an OPSEC issue, it's not a professionalism issue, it's not any of those things.(again, talking about the OP)(okay, sometimes it might be a get free drink issue, but hey, we're sailors, give us a break).

    The one thing we agree on 100% is that you shouldn't wear working or soiled uniforms in public.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  13. #28
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    Nothing wrong with wearing the proper uniform with pride out in public, I also understand that different services and different commands have different regulations concerning these matters. But, I too have seen a whole lot of soldiers and airmen out looking like a football-bat in public and that does irk me just like some of you. Of course theres really not much I can do about it, if his NCO's let him show up to work like that, they aren't gonna do anything if I manage to get a hold of them and tell them about it. And I've settled down enough in my old age that I'm not willing to confront some turd-bird about it at the local Wally-World. As for the threat, I'm sure that most places update they're force-protection as needed, I remember lots of times when we were advised to not wear uniforms off base but those periods only lasted a short time unless we were overseas.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    In the Marines, cammies (BDU's) were never authorized for leave, liberty, or travel.
    Same for when I was in also!!!
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobcat35 View Post
    i just have to get this out of my system. every time i go to the nearby wall-mart, mall, or any other off post business i see at least 4 soldiers in uniform wandering around. sure its understandable to run some errands right after work or on your lunch break but for crying out loud at 20:00!! what do these idiots think they're doing. and whats worse i can't even go into an airport bar and not find some soldier getting drunk in uniform. I'm sick of these people making me and every other soldier out there doing the right thing look bad. sure i make it a point to correct them and have often told someone to go change if they are going to get drunk but they're everywhere. haven't these people heard of a thing called opsec? i know I'm probably preaching to the choir but its really getting my goat.

    disclaimer: if you are one of the people that do this please realize that it is a violation of uniform standards and i will not apologies if you are offended by that.
    If they are in training or school, civilian clothes may not be authorized. You didn't really state where this takes place, so depending on where it is, that may explain it.
    I'm in the ANG and I'm pretty sure we are not supposed to wear BDUs in any place that serves alcohol and for only short stops between base and home.
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

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