Re: "Quasi-Military" Uniforms
Mark Ritter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 09:34:42 EDT
According to the 1987 edition of the Sea Explorer Manual, explorers are
not *required* to wear uniforms, although it is encouraged. If units
choose to wear uniforms, they may adopt their own. The "gotcha" is a
federal law (I haven't look up the specific reference lately) that
prohibits unauthorized wearing of the uniform of our military forces.
The agreements between the BSA and the military allow BSA use of military
uniforms, *if* they are "suitably identified" as non-military.
Thus, the BSA regulations that "uniforms" must have a Sea Explorer or Boy
Scout strip over the right pocket, the council shoulder patch and unit
numbers on the left sleeve, use of silver buttons and belt buckles rather
than gold, wearing our badge of rank on the left pocket rather than the
sleeve, etc. Usually we remove the middle stripe from the collar and
cuffs of the dress blue jumper, in addition to covering the stars on the
collar with our Sea Explorer "bug". As far as I know, there's nothing
that says we can't wear cammo or BDUs, as long as the proper insignia is
added to distinguish them from true military uniforms.
FYI, the BSA is not unique in the requirement to distinguish its
uniforms. The Sea Cadets wear a NSCC "flash" on each shoulder; the Civil
Air Patrol and USCG Auxiliary wear silver buttons rather than gold and
the USCG insignia of office all has a letter "A" superimposed on it, as
well as the name tags being different colors; ROTC and JROTC units have
distinguishing flashes and usually use silver rather than gold buttons
and stripes, etc. And another FYI, movie actors are subject to the same
laws. Trivia test: try to spot the "change" that makes it an acceptable
costume rather than a violation of law. Hint, check the color of their
shoes and socks as well as the color of their buttons and stripes.
For some interesting reading, find a copy of the Geneva conventions and
see how/why the law and agreements are in place.
Mark Ritter - Committee Member
Ship 90 - The SES North Star - New Milford PA