Posted on Jan 14, 2015
SPC Crg Operator
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Is the Army able to force you to buy Unit T-Shirts? I know in AR670-1 it says I am able to wear civilian attire off installation with my PT Shorts but what about during PT? If it is the Uniform for that day of PT then would it be required I buy it and better yet if I owned it wouldn't I have the choice not to wear it if it is not required to be purchased?
Posted in these groups: 4276e14c UniformsRules and regulations RegulationPolicy Policy
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Responses: 37
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
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- I am not tracking that the Army as an institution can force you to buy a unit T shirt.
- I am not tracking that your unit (CO/BN) can force you to buy a unit T-shirt.
- Your unit (CO/BN) can highly encourage you to buy a unit T-Shirt.
- What is the difference between force and highly encourage? The same difference in "wait a minute" depending upon what side of the bathroom door you happen to be on.
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SSG Advance Culinary Nco
SSG (Join to see)
8 y
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM Sir your last line, totally so damn true....lol.
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SGT Heath Cox
SGT Heath Cox
5 y
I'm trying to understand why you wouldn't want to buy one? "espirit de corps".
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SGT Heath Cox
SGT Heath Cox
>1 y
SSgt Joseph Baptist - I'm not implying I think the Unit should have the ability to "Force" the purchase of "Non"-Military attire, I would just think as a member of the Unit a person would want to.
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SGT James LeFebvre
SGT James LeFebvre
>1 y
SSgt Joseph Baptist - I know it was a month ago, but oh, well. I agree with you about making the Tshirt one where they'd WANT to get one. Had a unit in Korea that had one that was just awesome (think I still have it somewhere) I wanted it and got it. Frankly, if I thought all my Soldiers should have one, I would purchase it for them, but if they really didnt want one, I would go to bat for them with anyone who kept trying to "encourage" the purchase.
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
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SPC (Join to see) James, As you have heard no they cannot. As you have also heard... Pick your battles. This to is wise counsel. Yes... You will be encouraged in some units... Some will truely simply encourage with no reprecussions... Others will not and will highly encourage and make it very uncomfortable. No, your annual clothing allowance is not suppose to be used for there purchase also... That money is to replace your initial issue and update your "barracks bag" with new items.

Now for some Honesty!

That " highly encourage position" is nonsense and anyone over the rank of SGT and 2LT knows it. Units can make life unbearable for a soldier who simply doesn't wasn't to buy one.

I watched it so many times I promised it wouldn't happen in the companies I was 1SG for... and it didn't. Pride has nothing to do with it. It stems from not wanting to burdening a soldier with another questionable expense... As was a burden on many of us. Don't believe me... Then you're fooling yourself. I had a whole drawer full of "esprit de corps" that were worn once a week... They did make a cool quilt my mother in law made me a few years ago though. What gave me pride in my unit was the leadership and the team... Not a T-shirt! If you need a T-shirt for espirt then your unit has a larger challenge.

On one occasion I relented. The CO of my second company really wanted the soldiers to have a unit T-shirt for OIF the original. I made my position clear and he agreed and asked if i knew a way where the soIdiers didnt have to pay. I managed through a series of highly creative resourcing methods (don't ask I'm not telling) to purchase 400 at no cost to the soldiers... the CO and I coughed up $50 ea. But not a big issue. We were able to give each soldier a T-shirt and the bulk to the supply sergeant for "free issue" to new soldiers as they came in. Which was another stipulation... There would be no elitism.

I commend any leadership team that doesn't burden a soldier with this questionable expense... And when you are apart that leadership team... Remember. Don't let your integrity get bruised with that "highly encouraged position".

I will now shut up and get off my soap box.
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SFC Christopher Wilson
SFC Christopher Wilson
>1 y
You are an amazing 1SG. I’m sure your soldiers appreciated you.
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
1SG Cameron M. Wesson
>1 y
SFC Christopher Wilson thank you for you kind words but truthfilly all I ever tried to do was take care of soldiers... was I successful. I like to believe I was
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SPC Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst
SPC (Join to see)
>1 y
Sure wish my unit had leadership like you. Right now it is sports week, and we are told we can't wear civilians unless we bought a battalion shirt of some kind or were on a team. My unit didn't help with my bah nor bas paperwork, so I will happily wear my pts though I am being 'punished' for not wearing fake esprit de corps.
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
1SG Cameron M. Wesson
>1 y
Brother... in one unit in the 101st... as a SFC in 99... i did not buy a t shirt. I was as l so a cadence caller. First time anyone gave me shit... i just didnt call cadence. 1SG tried... i said my voice was bothering me. Then he tried a 4856... which i took to the IG and then... it got fun.

I was asked by the CO why i didnt bring it to his attention... I had my CPT with me... and asked why I should when was he was instigating the issue with the tshirts. He said he was not aware that the 1SG was harassing soldiers and NCOs about t-shirts... and this is when my CPT (we were on staff) called BS.

It was amazing... i could go on and on... but that shit stopped. A few month later when I was acting 1SG... we did PT in army gray.... period.
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SFC Mark Merino
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I say choose your battles. $10 of "espirit de corps" can save you $1,000 in headaches.
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SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
8 y
I'd chip in for some unit gear, supposing we had any. And we don't. However, if someone can design anything cool around a transportation MOS, I'd be willing to, uh, roll the idea to command.
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SPC Charles Griffith
SPC Charles Griffith
8 y
I guess my question is WHY wouldn't you want to????
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
8 y
I will use a piece of advice given to me by the TRADOC Commander at the time (with a few words changed to fit the situation), "Specialists, You're Pole Vaulting over Fly Sh!T"
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