Posted on Apr 18, 2019
SPC Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
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I am a female in the army current on rotation over seas. I was just told by my team leader that my platoon Sgt (female) told him that I need to start wearing a bra while off duty. in the clothes that I wear, you can't see my nipple or even the color of my nipple nor do I wear revealing or low cut shirts. At the most, you can just see that I am simply not wearing one. Nowhere in any reg does it say it’s required not even in uniform. Can she tell me to do so?
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SFC Senior Drill Sergeant
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SPC (Join to see), it's completely subjective and interpretive really. AR 670-1, paragraph 3-9 outlines the rules for wearing civilian clothing. Whether we like it or not, the Army does regulate what we can wear off duty outside of our home. However, it uses statements such as "subject to local regulations" and "will present a professional image". Those are interpretive statements and are difficult to disagree with. We, as RP members, don't know the local policies for your duty station. Your chain of command does.

RP isn't the place to get an answer on this topic. You'll just get opinions that are irrelevant to your chain of command. You really only have two options:

1. Comply and accept that it's a priority for this particular PSG. Ultimately, this will save you a lot of grief for your remaining time in that unit.

2. Continue to disagree and have a professional discussion with your PSG about your concerns. If you feel that your PSG is being completely unreasonable then you're always able to use the open door policy for your 1SG.

With that said, I highly suggest keeping this issue at the lowest level possible. You must weigh the pro's and con's of this fight. Is it really worth the effort? These are only questions you can answer.

Best of luck.
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PO1 Sonar Technician (Sts) (Subsurface)
PO1 (Join to see)
1 mo
Double thumbs up for this one. "Present a professional image", "local regulations", "overseas"... Remember what you're used to back home can be completely inappropriate in other parts of the world. Is it worth pissing off your PSG and possibly a few locals? I'd consider it a lawful order.
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SPC Joe Weiss
SPC Joe Weiss
1 mo
Better to be safe than sorry. Wear a bra even if it’s uncomfortable
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CPT Canon To The Ordinary
CPT (Join to see)
1 mo
SFC (Join to see) - "Me too" bites back.
The needs protection if she doesn't have the good sense to dress or behave in an appropriate fashion.
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1LT Christopher Gonzales
1LT Christopher Gonzales
4 d
Great advice here.

In AR 670-1, commanders are specifically charged with determining and publishing local civilian clothing policy. Ultimately, it comes down to commander's discretion. So, yeah. There is a recourse where you can take this to the Commander and say "Brah, bra or no bra?" and you'd totally be right to receive a determination.

But technically correct and prudent are not the same thing. This isn't that fight. You'll most likely piss off every single NCO you bypassed whether the commander sides with you or not.

Not worth it
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LtCol Robert Quinter
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The only conceivable reason I could come up with is the fact that you are US military in a foreign country and your platoon sgt feels your lack of a bra could be offensive to the locals. In any event, you deserve more information from your platoon sergeant directly without putting your team leader in what could be an awkward situation.
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1stSgt Edward Jackson
1stSgt Edward Jackson
3 mo
You must remember, you represent your branch of service 24/7/365, and when overseas you represent the United States. Your decisions on and off duty, as well as on leave or pass, are subject to review by your chain of command, that includes your civilian dress as well as your conduct. You are not allowed to go undressed at a nude beach, you must wear appropriate beach attire. This applies to anyone who needs to be addressed even by someone inferior to your rank. Once, while deployed to a large middle eastern country ally, I mentioned to our female Navigator, she a Captain, me a MSgt., she could not go out in public without a bra and proper clothing commensurate (she also had on shorts) with the local customs while we were in our hotel. She said she wanted to make a public statement of muslim treatment of women in the country. I told her she would be arrested for that and we would be thrown out of the country, creating an international incident. She asked our Aircraft Commander, then the Squadron Commander, both backed me up (she did get in trouble for it after we returned to the US, but I was not involved with that so I don't know what she received from the Squadron Commander. Both SAC and the USAF had a policy forbidding inappropriate clothing while in the ME. While this may be an extreme example, it is none the less, a good example.
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SPC Michael Tucker
SPC Michael Tucker
1 mo
That is spot on sir!!
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LTC Phil Marlowe
LTC Phil Marlowe
1 mo
The only foreign countries I think this would even fly in are those in the Middle East (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, et al) simply because it is an issue in Muslim countries. However, if she is in Europe, it is, and should not EVEN be, an issue. As a fmr Platoon Leader/DET, CO and BN Commander, not even her PS / 1sgt / CSM's business in my opinion.
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A1C Joseph Fox
A1C Joseph Fox
4 d
Maybe you Sargent's should give a TALK to 'YOUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF" ON MORALS!
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SSG(P) James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
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Edited 4 mo ago
As a former PSG. Straight up. I wouldn’t do it nor would I direct one of my team leaders to give such an awkward directive. Especially if just for the sake of saying that without giving further serious clarification. I am of the opinion that is way inappropriate for me as male to tell you something like that. Especially giving the facts of what you just stated and taking them at face value.

Having said that.......

I would ask my SQD/Team leaders if this is causing a legitimate widespread issue to unit cohesion and morale. If the answer is yes, then that is a seperate matter. If the answer is no, but just a personal gripe that they don't like, my answer to my SQD/Team leaders would be to leave her alone. We shouldn't be making on the spot corrections based upon our personal preferences. That isn't how that should work.

JP
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
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1 mo
SSG(P) James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4" Nice seeing around here and am going pretty good? You?
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SSG(P) James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
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SSG J F
SSG J F
1 mo
I agree more clarification is needed but from the Specialist. Where she is stationed is irrelevant. On and off duty she represents the Army and the United States in her actions and appearance. This is not a 9 to 5. You are a soldier 24/7/365 until your comment expires. Her claim that no one can tell she isn't wearing a bra doesn't hold water with me since her PSG is making the correction.
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CPT Canon To The Ordinary
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1 mo
Were I the commanding officer, I would shut that down before it created a problem. I would also do any counselling in the presence of the soldier's command team, commissioned and non-commissioned.
I would then walk back to my quarters and pack my D-bags for the trip into retirement.
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