Re: Uniform Wear Complaint
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 07:56:13 CDT
>I really should let Mike answer this one, but I can't resist the temptation
>to put in my $0.02 worth. BTW, I agree with your complaint. My commentary
>follows the quote
>>... What I find much worse is that whenever I
>>see a picture of a Chief Scout Executive, his uniform is stripped down
>>belief - no Lodge Flap, the only knot is the Prof. Training knot ( no matter
>>much we hear about prior volunteer experience)... ... If ayone out
>>there should be an example of uniforming, it should be the
>There seem to be a couple of reasons for this. First, for a long time, the
>policy (written or unwritten, Mike?) for professional uniforming was to
>discourage wearing of knots, even if the professional earned the Eagle Scout
>or other top achievement awards.
The policy was unwritten for the most part. Professionals up until the
early 80s were discouraged from wearing ANYTHING except the Eagle or
religious award square knot, and recently, the Professional Training
Award and the Professional Circle award (the small universal emblem
worn on the center of the Professional Training Award by those few
pros that work even harder and write an evaluated paper on some aspect
of their service experiences in addition to other requirements).
This means that for the most part, many professionals *despite the
volunteer experiences* didn't wear much at all on their field
One of the first things that Ben Love did, based on his experiences as
a previous Council Scout Executive, was to INSIST, as I've written
earlier, ANYTIME a professional comes in contact with volunteers and
especially Scouts wearing the field uniform, that the professional
ALSO comes wearing his or her field uniform (most professionals wear
the traditional suit and tie which "specializes" the professional from
the volunteers...it was considered a way to "emphasize the special
calling of the career Scouter".
As a result, thos old uniforms were taken back out from the closets
and from the extra hangers and is now considered the "second dress
suit" of most field professionals.
> Wearing of training awards earned as an
>unpaid Scouter were verboten. The professional training recognition knot was
>the only knot they could wear, and that was a recent occurrence. I speculate
>that they discouraged thos so that the local unpaid Scouters could shine in
>the meetings, rather than the professionals running the show.
That's right....the Professional Training Award and Circle are recent
additions, and until 1983, professionals were forbidden from receiving
or wearing volunteer awards. Since then, there are some 50
professionals that have been honored by their District with the
District Award of Merit, and four professionals have been honored by
their local Council with the Silver Beaver Award. This is a GIGANTIC
DEAL, because such applications must also be approved by the Regional
Director in the Region the Council is located...and by the National
Director of Operations (the number three man at National) and the
Chief Scout Executive's office BEFORE approval or presentation. You
can be assured that any professional that wears either award was not
awarded it for "doing a good job" in their District or Council....
>This seems to be easing up, at least to the point of the professionals now
>wearing the Eagle knot, at least.
Presently, professionals are ENCOURAGED to wear the square knot
representations of awards earned as a member, volunteer or
professional Scouter. They are also encouraged to wear one temporary
patch (the summer camp patch from the prior year is a usual example)
and a Order of the Arrow flap from THEIR Council (as per present
National "guidelines"). All professionals still wear the Regional
patch of the Region they belong to instead of a "Patrol Medallion".
>Now, regarding OA flaps, I don't recall any discouragement of wearing the
>flaps, unless the Council Executive had a particular dislike for OA (never
>mind it is an adjunct to the BSA program - some professionals had a strong
>dislike against the Order of the Arrow). For the most part, most District-
>and Council-level professionals are pretty good about advertising the local
>OA Lodge by wearing the flaps.
That's also right, Randy...there are SOME CEs that really don't like
the Order of the Arrow (don't know why) and won't wear the Vigil flap
of their Council at all; some will not only wear the flap but go out
of their way to get a Vigil flap from the Council in which they have
received the Vigil Honor (even if it is not "kosher" to do this. The
BSA says that all Order members wear the flap of the lodge they are
currently members of, not the flap of the lodge that they became
members in or the lodge in which they received the Vigil Honor or for
some other sentimental reasons).
>Now, we all know the financial costs associated with getting a uniform in the
>first place - that dead horse has been mutilated :) We also know how much it
>costs us to deck out a shirt with all the knots, flaps, etc. we have earned
>and are allowed to wear. The cost is usually such that we oonly have one or
>two shirts which are correct, and that's it.
>Most professionals wear their uniforms daily - after all, it's their working
>clothes. Professionals are also poorly paid for the hours that they work - I
>suspect that most of us would tell an employer to go pound sand if we were
>expected to work the same hourly rate :) And most of the professionals with
>whom I have worked _earned_ every cent.
But Randy, professionals also pay cost for all BSA Supply Division
items, not the cost plus 27 percent that it goes for retail (and which
we pay for). Professionals also can get their uniforms specially
-ordered (like we volunteers can also, by contacting the BSA's Supply
Division) and pay cost for those too. The money can even be deducted
from their pay accounts or their expense account in most cases.
>Take seven or eight uniform shirts and pants worn weekly. Add to that $21-28
>for CSPs, $12 for World Crests (why doesn't National go ahead and have this
>one sewn on - the pushing of this emblem, coupled with getting it in the
>right place in the first place, would be worth the extra $3 per shirt IMHO)
I asked about that, and it seems that there's not an exact place which
would work with all males and females as far as sewing is concerned.
The Supply Division is working on that, though....
>$21-35 for OA flaps, $28 for Badges of Office, and $11 for each knot that
>would be worn (say for this example that the professional is entitled to earn
>three knots: professional training recognition, Eagle, and a religious award
>- make that $33 for the set )
>I can see about $120 that the professional would lay out to get seven shirts
>fully covered with insignia we as Scouters consider basic necessity. That's
>a lotta jack, Jack. Now, add to that about 60-90 minutes per shirt to sew
>these on (30-45 each if sewn by machine). Who's gonna do that, huh? Jim,
>maybe you would volunteer to do their sewing for them? :)
Still, even at cost, we are still talking about a large amount of
>Most of the professionals I know have two to three shirts which have
>correctly applied insignia. The rest of the time they wear shirts with only
>the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA strip and the shoulder loops. After all, the strip
>is really all that the shirt needs to distinguish it from an ordinary shirt.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
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