Posted on Nov 15, 2015
CH (MAJ) William Beaver
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I've run into a bit of an issue and can use some words of wisdom. I have a subordinate who is 30 years younger than I am, and the opposite sex.

We travel to TDYs on public transportation. I understand that even travel to a TDY is still atime to dress appropriately if civilian clothes are authorized. In my subordinate's case, the pants are always too tight and the tops are too low cut. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but professional appearance means alot on official business travel. In this era of heightened emphasis on EO and SHARP, I do not want to do the wrong thing or say something that could be taken the wrong way. I want to see more professional or conservative clothing choices during TDY travel. Together we represent a team. I asked a supervisor of mine what the best course of action is and was told that I should not be the one to address it. But how should I proceed then? The last thing I want is to be falsely accused of harassing. Any ideas?
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Responses: 619
MCPO Roger Collins
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Going to have to be a contrarian here. What I see is an attractive young woman dressed in contemporary fashion. Absolutely nothing to tie her to the military. If we use the same measure for male and female, there would be an uproar. IMO, unless there is something in the UJCMJ that defines civilian dress, leave it alone. BTW, if that is actually her picture, I'm not so sure she doesn't have a legitimate complaint.
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CW3 Charles Morris
CW3 Charles Morris
2 mo
I'd say the contrarian approach, as much as it might bother me, is the way to go. BRAVO ZULU to MCPO Collins.
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LTC Richard Wasserman
LTC Richard Wasserman
2 mo
If you feel it's inappropriate and you have a senior female in your group, ask for her opinion on the female dress.
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MCPO Roger Collins
MCPO Roger Collins
2 mo
LTC Richard Wasserman Probably would have done that, given the situation as you described it.
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LCpl Brendan O'Leary
LCpl Brendan O'Leary
1 mo
Nothing wrong.
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CAPT Kevin B.
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Edited 6 y ago
Do you have a senior female ENL in your organization? You might want to broach it with her and let her take a look. Good female leaders don't like junior females trashing up what they worked so hard to achieve image wise. She'll have a good idea where the junior member fits on the "OK Scale". If not OK, don't be surprised if she wants to deal with it. I had a great female Senior Chief that I'd turn loose on the command. Seems all the questionable issues evaporated within a few weeks. I knew she was done by the wink I got when I asked if everything was shipshape. I didn't ever want to know the details. Funny thing. The junior females were more proud of themselves as a result. Let's just say they were more dressed for success.
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CW3 Chief Of Police
CW3 (Join to see)
4 mo
PO1 Helena Janice Ritz -What is wrong with female? I know nowadays some would object to 'women'.
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SSG Robin Moore
SSG Robin Moore
3 mo
It is not a problem I can’t believe you are talking about this she is not in uniform, leave her be!
SGT William Howell
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PFC Pamala (Hall) Foster
PFC Pamala (Hall) Foster
3 mo
PO1 Helena Janice Ritz -. I was taught that you look professional-you are treated as a professional. She is NOT out of 'regulations' by any means. I would have hoped her jeans were not torn out at the knees-but she is contemporary...we were told DO NOT draw attention, so she is OK. Maybe the men need to stop being clowns and correct themselves-seeing underwear/diapers on a baby is OK because they are little, but grown men NEED TO PULL UP YOUR PANTS!!! On you it is gross.
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CPT Chris McGowan
CPT Chris McGowan
2 mo
This is 100% NOT the correct answer. Holy crap. Either the female Soldier was breaking the regulations and you as the leader should be and feel completely comfortable correcting her in an appropriate manner or she was not and nothing should be done AT ALL.

What I am seeing here is an extension of certain types of men wanting to control women beyond the scope of their authority to do so (such as tell them what to wear off duty) Guess what? NOT YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!

I have NEVER, ONCE, heard of a Senior leader giving two craps about what male Soldier wear off duty and I have some seen some crazy stuff. Non in uniform means NOT IN UNIFORM It is this exact double standard of thinking you can dictate and have an opinion on what a woman wears off duty because you find it "too sexy". Your problem, Hoss....not hers.

And don't think that senior female chief of yours actually respected you. She just knew the score and played the game...which was plying you like a fiddle. SHe understood power dynamics and that you had the power and she was in no position to fight back at that time. I don't blame her.....she played her dealt hand as best she could.

But trust me...she resented your ass for even talking to her about it and only ever pretended to actually like you.
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SSG V. Michelle Woods
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Sir, please do not have a female NCO or officer address your soldier. While it may seem you are protecting yourself from a potential harassment case, if you trust her enough to go on TDY alone with her, then I can almost guarantee you can trust her to have a professional conversation about proper civilian attire. Besides, a female NCO can be just as guilty of harassment as a male.
I think TSgt Hunter Logan's response is the best course of action.
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LTC Zachary Hubbard
LTC Zachary Hubbard
3 mo
CW3 (Join to see) - Amen brother! At least once a week I remind myself how lucky I am to be retired. When I was in all we had to worry about was physical fitness, good training, taking care of soldiers, and total nuclear destruction. I forgot to mention painting rocks. :)
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CW3 Chief Of Police
CW3 (Join to see)
3 mo
I have a son in the AF. From everything he relates, there is no way I would survive in today's military. Just yikes.
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CPL Linda B.
CPL Linda B.
2 mo
Hmm interesting that harassment is just somebody pointing out that somebody might be representing something besides themselves when they're traveling under an organization...
if it's their free time ...that's differen.
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CPT Chris McGowan
CPT Chris McGowan
2 mo
I agree 100% and said as much in a comment prior!!! I wonder how many times he has had issues with males Soldiers and how they dressed off duty? My guess would be NEVER despite seeing some pretty provocative things and out there stuff.

Also, it is not just about trust of her reaction. Either she is breaking an Army/military regulation or policy and as a leader he needs to be able to talk to ANY of his subordinates with confidence and authority about it or she is NOT breaking an Army/military regulation or policy and its none of his damn business.

Which means its none of any female NCO's business either and not appropriate to bring up as a professional issues. *IF* any advise like that is needed because of people just like you (who frankly I think are in the wrong judging women for this and do not deserve to be in leadership positions if this is their line of thinking) the proper person to advise her would be a peer of hers ON THEIR OWN ACCORD.
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