Seascout-Net Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Uniforming Ribbons
Re: Uniforming Ribbons
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 00:36:51 -0400
> The first thing that has to be done in Sea Scouting is to get uniforms
> more uniform throughout the entire US Sea Scout family. When I was in Sea
I agree with the above comment wholeheartedly. There is little "uniformity"
within Sea Scouts, which causes confusion and misconceptions.
I've been told that there are three types of ships (bear with me, my formal
training in this is limited to being tossed a Sea Exploring manual). I'll
focus on the so-called "Blue" or Traditional ships.
Having Scouts wearing the Navy's uniforms (or in some limited cases, the
Coast Guard's), places - IMHO - a great deal of responsibility on the wearer
to live up to the heritage and standards of the uniform. Seeing Sea Scouts
**in a military-style uniform**, especially if they were wearing
military-style ribbons, gives the general public the impression that this is
a regimented organization. This is clearly not the case, from a nationwide
point of view. Some very traditional and outstanding Sea Scout ships wear
uniforms and conform to the Navy's grooming standards, exchange salutes,
etc...most do not. Having Sea Scouts in Navy dress blues with long hair and
no military bearing (yet wearing a military uniform) gives me a case of
I am proud to be the Skipper of Ship 654, which is also Levy County
Detachment of the Naval Sea Cadets. In my three years as a SS Skipper (and
20+ as a NSCC Officer), I learned that there are areas of youth development
where the Sea Scouts truly excel beyond any other program. I have also come
to the conclusion that there is a need - again IHMO - to develop a "uniform"
for those Ships which are not patterned after the Navy/Coast Guard in a
career exploration mode.
In days gone by, Sea Scouts where all "Blue" Ships - very traditional,
uniformed, and proud to be associated with the Navy/Coast Guard. Today,
that is not the case. I'd venture to guess that the majority of Ships are
not traditional and have no military tie. I'd suggest that the wear of the
Navy's uniform be restricted to those Ships which are patterned after the
sea services. The NSCC was developed when a group of adults with a military
background left SSS 43 in north Chicago and formed Sea Cadet unit 9-1-1 in
the early 50s. As I understand it, this was in the early days of the White
and Red SS ships when traditionalism was leaving Sea Scouting.
As for military ribbons...the Naval Sea Cadets have about 18 ribbons, and
the NJROTC has about 35 ribbons, which may be earned/worn by Cadet members.
I am not in favor of having little "Chesty Pullers" walking around in
uniform. My Sea Cadets - all with two years of less in the Corps - have an
average of 2-5 ribbons. Seeing Cadets with 15 ribbons, medals and ropes all
handing off their uniform looks rediculous.
In addition to following the NSCC training program (mostly military career
exploration), my Cadets/Scouts also follow the traditional Sea Scout
promotion program. They work very hard for everything they've got, and you
can see their pride when they donn the uniform. Ribbons work for them;
however, I think this is because they are more closely patterned after the
Navy and its uniform standards.
Joseph M. Land, Sr., LCDR, NSCC
Skipper, SSS 654 / OIC, Levy County Detachment, NSCC
Cedar Key, Florida
To leave Seascout-Net, send the following message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>: