Posted May 27th, 2016, 07:28 PM
As a retired army officer I believe you are incorrect. The AR states that the Mess Dress is appropriate for any occasion that you would be wearing black tie.
No, actually, sir, you are incorrect. Before I go any further, let me say that, no, I am not guessing on this. I saw the discussion and believed that I had seen this discussion before and that wear of the uniform by retired Army personnel at a non-military function was not authorized. To see if my memory had not failed me, I went online the obtained a PDF version of the current Army regulation (Navy, AF and Marine regs certainly may differ, I don't know) and looked up the answer. What I found is posted below.
per AR 670-1, dated 10 Apr 2015:
23–3. Retired personnel
a. Personnel who will be advanced to a higher grade upon retirement have the option of wearing the insignia of that grade thereafter.
b. Retired personnel on active duty will wear their uniform and insignia in the same manner as prescribed for personnel in the AA of corresponding grade and branch.
c. Retired personnel not on active duty may wear either the uniform reflecting their grade and branch on the date of their retirement, or the uniform prescribed for personnel in the AA of corresponding grade and branch, when appropriate, but may not mix the two uniforms. Personnel will wear the grade as shown on the retired grade of rank line on their retirement order.
d. Retired personnel not on active duty are not authorized to wear the Army uniform when they are instructors or responsible for military discipline at an educational institution, unless the educational institution is conducting courses of instruction approved by the Armed Forces.
e. In addition to the occasions for wear listed above, retired personnel are authorized to wear the uniform only on the following occasions:
(1) While attending military funerals, memorial services, weddings, inaugurals, and other occasions of ceremony.
(2) Attending parades on national or State holidays, or other patriotic parades or ceremonies in which any active or reserve U.S. military unit is taking part. Uniforms for these occasions are restricted to service and dress uniforms;
the combat uniform and physical fitness uniforms will not be worn. Wearing the Army uniform at any other time, or for any other purpose than stated above, is prohibited.
As I mentioned above, the regulations for the other military services may differ on this subject.