Posted on Jun 12, 2014
SGM Matthew Quick
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Idiots
Not sure if it is authorized or even appropriate, but what are your thoughts about our senior leaders drinking (taking shots, specifically) while in the Army Combat Uniform?
Posted in these groups: 4276e14c UniformsPolicy Policy140114202911 large Alcohol
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Responses: 90
1SG James Wise
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Edited 8 y ago
Drinking a beer or glass of wine at a leader call on base is one thing...downing shots portrays a whole different look, even ON BASE. NO, I do not think that the Garrison CSM or any other senior leader at that level, particularly on a TRADOC base where our NCOs are attending leader courses and may be present to witness this (in civilians likely) should happen or be tolerated.

With that said, the NCOs pictured senior leaders just need to have a side-bar with them, and then those NCOs need to conduct an NCOPD with their subordinates to put out the right way to do a leader call (right-arm-night) and how you should conduct yourself...and that should be the end of it. More than likely, given our last 12-13 years of combat, no one ever instructed these NCOs what should happen or how it should look...it was deployments back to back for many and time to conduct traditional things like leaders calls or right arm nights was non-existent in most units....teach the right way and keep some traditions alive is my thought.
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LTC William Gilmore
LTC William Gilmore
5 y
Times have certainly changed. It was common to see folks drinking in uniform at the officer's club on Friday evenings.
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PFC Bradley Campbell
PFC Bradley Campbell
5 y
we are going full Puritan Army these days! and crushing any mention of Christianity along the way. Army !! you are mentally ill!!!
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SSG Michael Burdiss
SSG Michael Burdiss
5 y
Full puritan?
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CW2 Information Systems Technician
CW2 (Join to see)
5 y
I believe there is a place and time for everything and this is not it. Your have to think if one of your soldiers were present would you be acting in that manner in uniform. The NCO's are looked at as setting the example from subordinates...so from their point of view they think it is ok to drink in uniform. Conduct yourself professionally and be responsible. The only time I think it is acceptable is at a formal military ball after the colors are retired.
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1SG Mike Case
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I would start off by saying, if this is Chili's then I would say it is not the best place to be taking shots. I remember the NCO Calls on West Ft. hood at the Longhorn Saloon and even recently, I have seen high ranking Soldiers at a formal social function pull out a bottle and start taking shots, once the "fun portion" of the evening started. I don't think there is a problem with taking a shot of alcohol, I just think that we have to be aware of where we are and the image we are giving.
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
8 y
This is at Ft Lee's NCO Club
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SPC Jerald Tolivar
SPC Jerald Tolivar
8 y
Even if this was at a NCO club on base, this photo should of never made it to the web. Everyday civilians won't know the truth of the location, and it still shows negatively to the Uniform.
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TSgt Melissa Post
TSgt Melissa Post
>1 y
MAJ Carl Ballinger - Lucky, sir.
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SSG Michael Montoya
SSG Michael Montoya
1 y
When I was a young SPC I remember being out on a Friday night at a bar and seeing young officers come in after a ball in their dress uniform....at that time I didn't really care and luckily they didn't make a spectacle of themselves there. To see those making a spectacle of themselves you only need to go to some unit balls and there you can not only see some officers acting a fool, but some senior NCOs. I think I got any bit of "crazy" drinking out of me when I was a lowly E-1 to E-4, then I got tired of being reminded of how much I hate alcoholics. Now I just drink a beer or 2 on occasions or a couple of glasses of Whiskey.
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MSG(P) Student
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SGM Quick,

From AR 670-1:

c. Restrictions on wear.
(1) Soldiers may not wear the combat uniform for commercial travel unless authorized IAW paragraph 3–7b through c, above.
(2) Personnel may not wear the combat uniform in off-post establishments that primarily sell alcohol. If the off-post establishment sells alcohol and food, Soldiers may not wear the combat uniform if their activities in the establishment center on the drinking of alcohol.
(3) The combat uniform is not normally considered appropriate for social or official functions off the installation, such as memorial services, funerals, weddings, inaugurals, patriotic ceremonies, and similar functions.
(4) Commanders may further restrict wear of the combat uniform IAW paragraph 2–6c.

So (2) does not specifically restrict from drinking while in uniform, but the activities cannot center on that - i.e. out to dinner in ACU's and have a beer with that meal would likely be considered as acceptable. However, the perception from this photo is that the activities here center around the drinking of alcohol. The key to fixing this is found in (4), where installation commanders can restrict uniform wear as they see fit - i.e. ACU's are not authorized for wear at any time when a Soldier is consuming alcohol in a public location - both on and off post. Problem solved, problem staying solved, Rangers lead the way.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
8 y
Good play SSG McCoy! (I owe you a thumbs up, I'm empty) Given the same circumstances of said photo popping up in this type of forum years after the fact, yes. If it was circulating on FB the day after, different story - same if I, my companions or any other SM was caught on the spot. The oldest catch-22 on the books.

Do we have to follow orders, yes we do. Did everyone in country know the tricks and go-arounds regarding alcohol, yes they did. Did people get caught, yes they did Os & Es, over & underage alike. Why? Let's ask MAJ Reisman.

"One problem, ... you let somebody see you do it."

Or you showed up wreaking or stumbling or out of sorts... Alcohol in a combat zone happens whether we like it or not and despite GO#1 and command enforcement. If someone has a drink in a discreet manner, out of earshot and controls their intake. what can really be done. I'll not be taken advantage of but as a section leader, but if you have trust in your senior NCOs you need to know when to divert one's eyes. Command is as much, if not more, an art than a science.
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CMSgt James Nolan
CMSgt James Nolan
8 y
Well, in this case we are talking about a policy. Policy is often really just sort of a guideline. Guidelines are open for interpretation. The real problem is not the consumption of alcohol. It is the introduction of what I like to refer to as the Dumb-Ass factor. That is where idiocy gets introduced. In this case, a camera.

I am kidding of course. Restrictions on alcohol are for a reason.
I am not kidding of course about the Dumb-Ass factor. That joker shows up at the most inopportune times!
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Lt Col Squadron Commander
Lt Col (Join to see)
8 y
MAJ Robert Petrarca, I agree. We did the same in Qatar, and in fact had beer ration cards. We were allowed 3 beers a day, but we seldom had them because we were on Alpha Alert most of the time for our missions. I think context is huge in this realm. Having one or two to boost camaraderie and morale is one thing. Going with the purpose of getting stupid drunk is another. And as many have previously noted, cell phones with cameras are everywhere nowadays.
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SSG Roger Ayscue
SSG Roger Ayscue
2 y
Best answer out there
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