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Retired Military Wearing Uniform on Formal Night

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I was just wondering if there are any retired military who have worn their uniforms on formal nights on any cruise line?

 

I was also wondering what the general thoughts are about doing it?

 

Any retired military care to comment?

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Absolutely yes and please do it! Have sailed with a number of active and retired Army/Air Force and the majority of them wore their "dress blues". It was an honor to be in their company. :) Wife and I work for the US Army and if you're on any ship we're on you can have a drink on us.

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Yes, we have seen retired (and active) military in dress uniform on formal night. If you are retired (and the uniform still fits:) ) wear it with well deserved pride.

 

And, thank you for your service to your country.

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If the military has no prohibitions about their retired wearing the uniform, who am I to object?

 

I'd love to see more retired proudly wearing that "badge" of honour.

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I was just wondering if there are any retired military who have worn their uniforms on formal nights on any cruise line?

 

I was also wondering what the general thoughts are about doing it?

 

Any retired military care to comment?

 

Considering the trend on Vista ships, fatigues will fit right in.:)

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My husband isn't retired military, he is a Lieutenant in the fire service and he wore his Class A uniform (the dress uniform) for formal nights on our cruises. He's had quite a few people come up and shake his hand and say thank you ... not to mention how great a man in uniform looks ! Wear your uniform with pride !

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I was just wondering if there are any retired military who have worn their uniforms on formal nights on any cruise line?

 

I was also wondering what the general thoughts are about doing it?

 

Any retired military care to comment?

Have seen it many times. Wear it and be proud. Thanks for serving, and the drinks are on me.:)

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I have worn my Mess Dress on formal night, and will do so again. Luckily, swords are not part of this uniform.:) (There are sharper knives in the kitchen, tho, than most ceremonial swords). The Captain was very surprised, and our dining room steward insisted on calling me "Captain". I didn't mind (or correct him).

Cheers

MarkB

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I guess I'll be the lone voice to advise against it. It must just be a personal thing (I'm active duty myself), but I tend to think the military uniform is intended for use in military situations or when representing the military. Here's an example:

 

When I go to a friend's wedding and am part of the wedding party, and it's a military wedding, I'll wear my mess dress. But if I went to the same friend's wedding as just a guest, I would wear a suit.

 

Other than looking for those ego rubs from thankful fellow passengers and crew, why would you wear it on a cruise? I hear the "pride" argument, but you can very suitable carry yourself with pride and represent the military well through your behavior, courtesy, and bearing while on board. Anytime you strike up more than a passing conversation with someone your military past will surely come up, and then they can be impressed with you and how you represent your pride than with the uniform itself.

 

Just my three cents...

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Interesting point of view iceman - I guess from the fire service theory, they try to wear the dress uniforms to as many happy occasions as possible. For fire department personnel weddings, often it will state on the invitation "Class A uniforms welcomed". Seems like for the fire service, the Class A's only get pulled out for funerals, and everyone is happy to wear them for more joyous occasions. I can promise you, I know of no one that wears their Class A "looking for ego rubs".

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I agree with iceman, I don't understand the need to wear a dress uniform in a non-organizational setting. It does apppear to be solicitious. There are many civil servant uniformed positions, would all of these be appropriate to wear a dress uniform on a cruise ship, I think not? Should our police officers, toll booth officers, sanitation workers, traffic enforcement officers, etc. wear their dress uniforms ?

All of these professions are honorable , but they do not belong out of

their environment.

 

I am not here to blast our military. My spouse is a veteran, who served his country with pride.

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Have seen people fro several nations wear their military uniforms on formal nights.

 

If you want to, do it.

 

If some people don't like it that is their problem.......

 

James Vrhovac

Maj, FA/INF

Retired

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What I posted on this thread elsewhere:

 

As the son of a retired full bird with 34-1/2 years in, I say, you earned it, you are entitled.

 

Having said that, it should also be noted that some shipmates will love it while others may see it as a political statement which differs from their own. In my father's case they would be wrong. He is proud of his service and his accomplishments. He uses the honorific and could care less what others think wearing the uniform "means".

 

Still, on a cruise, he wears a tux on formal nights.

 

And, having said that, I might add: I'm not sure why a retiree would want to. I have an Eagle Scout uniform of which I'm proud, but have no desire to wear. But if I see an elderly man wearing a Boy Scout uniform, I too may read more into it than just an elderly man proudly wearing his Boy Scout uniform. No disrespect intended. I'd just be curious as to why he's wearing it.

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It saves buying a tuxedo, I suppose. How would you feel about an officer from another, non-allied country wearing his nation's Dress Uniform?

 

Lane

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This is just my humble opinion, formal is formal. On my last cruise a Scottish man and wife worn full Scottish Kilts. OK by me, if RevNeal wants to wear his formal Rev Wear :D That is fine. As long as the outfits are "formal". Now what is formal for nudist. :p

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Now what is formal for nudist. :p

 

 

 

If you're very creative, as well as talented in body-painting, I'm sure you could pull that off. I'd like to see you get away with that on board a ship.

 

On second thought .... maybe not

 

:eek: :cool: :D

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Trubey - Personally I'd have no problem with an officer from a non-allied country wearing his dress uniform. It's not a political statement, at least not to me. Actually, I think I'd find it very interesting having spent 14 years of my life living overseas in 3 different countries in Europe and Africa.

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I'm siding with the "wear your uniform and we'll all be proud" side.

 

WEAR IT !

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My father retired USN after 30 years wears his (altered to fit) dress blues whenever he has the chance. He is VERY proud of his service to our country. He proudly displays his medals upon his uniform which is also beautiful. When seated at the Captain's table he was not fawned over and wouldn't like it at all if someone tried!

My DH is a 100% disabled vet and he wouldn't wear a uniform anywhere for anybody! Just MHO. those who can; should.

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A man in uniform makes lots of women (me included,) "weak in the knees." I'd love to see you, but your wife might not appreciate all the stares. ;)

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Trubey - Personally I'd have no problem with an officer from a non-allied country wearing his dress uniform. It's not a political statement, at least not to me. Actually, I think I'd find it very interesting having spent 14 years of my life living overseas in 3 different countries in Europe and Africa.

 

Thanks Randy! that is EXACTLY what I meant and what I wanted to hear, especially from someone who has "been there"!

 

Lane

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I hate to be a damper on this and being retired Navy I would wear my uniform anytime when appropiate but here's the thing. There is a thing called Navy Uniform Regulations for retirees (Sect 61002 of the Uniform Regulations). Here is the take on this:

 

GENERAL. Retired officers and enlisted personnel, who are not on active duty, may wear the uniform, insignia, and qualifications corre¬sponding to the rank or rating indicated on the retired list.

UNIFORM AUTHORIZED

 

a. Retired personnel may wear uniforms at cere¬monies or official functions when the dignity of the occa¬sion and good taste dictate. Wearing a uniform is appro¬priate for memorial services, weddings, funerals, balls, patriotic or military parades, ceremonies in which any active or reserve United States military unit is partici¬pating, and meetings or functions of military associations.

 

b. Retired personnel may wear the uniform of their grade while instructing a cadet corps or similar organization at approved naval or military academies or other approved academic institutions.

 

UNIFORM NOT AUTHORIZED. Retired personnel are prohibited from wearing the uniform in connection with personal enterprises, business activities, or while attend¬ing or participating in any demonstration, assembly or activity for the purpose of furthering personal or partisan views on political, social, economic, or religious issues.

 

And Here is the real sticky part as your on Dutch soverenty on HAL:

 

FOREIGN COUNTRIES. Retired personnel, who are not on active duty, living or visiting a foreign country, may only wear a uniform to attend ceremonies or social func¬tions when wearing a uniform is required by the terms of the invitations of customs of the country.

 

GROOMING STANDARDS. Retired personnel must comply with the grooming standards in these regulations, but uniforms and equipment may either be those prescribed here or those authorized at the time of their retirement. (which means haircut to regulations, no beards as they are not authorized anymore)

 

On the brighter side, and I have done this in a Tux, is the wearing of miniature medals. I only wear the personal awards and not the unit awards:

 

Miniature Medals and Miniature Breast Insig¬nia. You may wear miniature medals and breast insignia on civilian evening dress (white tie) or civilian dinner dress (black tie) in the same manner as for dinner dress jackets.

 

So there's what the Navy has to say on it. I would stick with the Tux and miniatures worn on the left lapel.

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Let me start by saying THANK YOU to "most" of you who took the time to share your opinion with me (and the board).

 

In answer to some of the posts, YES, as a "retired" Commissioned Officer of the United States Naval Service I am LEGALLY entitled to wear the uniform of my retired grade.

 

There is no gray area or fudging the rules here, it is the law. If anyone is interested it is covered under United States Code, Title 10 – Armed Forces, Subtitle A – General Military Law, Part II – Personnel, Chapter 45 – The Uniform, Sec. 772. When wearing by persons not on active duty authorized, © "A retired officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the title and wear the uniform of his retired grade".

 

The only ambiguity is "when" it is "appropriate" for me to wear my uniform not "if" I have right to wear it. I do, for the rest of my life at least until/unless Congress takes it away.

 

Some posters have made comments questioning "why" I might want to wear my uniform. The simple answer is, because it is a part of who I am. Add to that, because my new wife has never seen me in it or been out with me in it. Add to that because I am a retired NAVAL officer and being around the Captain and other officers of the cruise ship on formal night makes me "homesick" for the brotherhood of the sea and wearing my uniform might make me feel a little more of that camaraderie again. Add to that because I look better in a uniform than a tuxedo (anyone would I think). Add to that because planning on wearing it might be enough incentive to loose those extra pounds I put on since retiring so that I would be able to "comfortably" wear it.

 

Notice I did NOT say because I want to wear my politics on my back. I can't speak for anyone else but, for me, wearing the uniform of the United States Navy has never been a political statement.

 

I think the war in Iraq was a mistake and I did not vote for the current President and I think Cindy Sheehan has the right to say whatever she pleases BUT none of that has anything to do with me wearing my uniform on formal night on a cruise ship and if you can't separate them, too bad for you.

 

So, again, those of you who responded to my original question with something other than spite or ill will, thank you. For the rest "fair winds and following seas".

 

In any case, there is no reason to post anymore to this thread. I will digest the answers that I received and make my decision.

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I am a retired USAF officer and I am extremely proud of my service and the uniform I wore.

 

I checked my service regulations several years ago when we started cruising to see if wearing my USAF mess dress uniform would be OK. I was disappointed to learn that while on a cruise, it is not authorized to wear. Thus, as much as I would have liked to wear it, I have chosen not to do so. As a retired regular officer, I felt that compliance with "the reg" was more important than my personal preference. Regardless, I was disappointed to find that the USAF reg is similar to the Navy reg quoted above. No doubt, the mess dress is a spiffy outfit, too bad the service regs are so limiting.

Each retiree has to make their own decision---it won't ruin my cruise if they choose to wear a mess dress and I wouldn't and don't think any less of them if they did.

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Now isn't this an interesting variation on the "It's my vacation and I'll wear what I want" idea!

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Answering this one as having been daughter of retired Army officer, been an Army Officer and married to a retired disabled vet - I say wear your dress uniform if you wish but ensure you meet the grooming and weight standards.

 

I highly doubt retired members who wear their uniform are "fishing for compliments" or trying to make a political statement. Other retirees decide not to wear it for one reason or another. The choice is theirs.

 

Seeing someone from another country in dress uniform is just as acceptable, if not a converstation starter.

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All I can say is that it's about as clear as mud when it comes to the appropriate time and place to wear the dress uniform. I know I've seen a number of folks....even tried to get my ex to wear hers but she wouldn't....wear their dress uniform and I'd be the last person to go up and question them about whether or not they thought it was appropriate. As for Navy_Chief's comments, and I have nothing but respect for chiefs since I married a chief's daughter :) , but I think actually all HAL ships are registered in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the fact that the officers are Dutch has nothing to do with sovereignity.

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I have reserved my remarks for a long time on this subject because I have several directions I come come at it. I shall approach this as clergy.

 

When serving as a Chaplain aboard a cruise ship I restrict myself to civilian Clergy garb. Since I'm a Protestant I have the freedom to dress like any other man in Formal gear, but I much prefer to wear the formal clothing common to clergy (and thereby avoid having to wear the annoying little "Ship's Minister" badge on formal night): clerical vest in appropriate color (black/purple or white) and a black suit. I knew one Roman Catholic Priest who was serving as chaplain and he dressed in a very nice cassock with red piping on formal nights. I thought that was a bit much, given the setting ... though I look fetching in my Anglican double breasted cassock. ;)

 

When aboard as a passenger, totally free of chaplain duties, I am free to dress as I do when serving as chaplain or I can go "incognito" and not bring clericals with me. I've done both ... I've gone on cruises where I wore clerics on Formal nights, and I've gone on cruises where I've worn my Tux. And, I've gone on cruises where I've worn clericals on some formal and the informal nights, and I've worn Tux on other formal nights. I generally am more comfortable in Clericals -- it's very much a part of who I am -- and it can be very fun to see the reaction on the part of my table mates when I come to the table so-dressed. On the other hand, I enjoy being "incognito" because I'm almost always treated very differently when I'm not dressed in clericals (I'm usually treated more freely, less reserved).

 

What's always interesting is how the stewards act. The Filipinos are always VERY deferential and even more polite than normal. The Indonesians are sometimes a little bit uncertain about how to react, but they're also very curious and usually gain the confidence to ask questions before the end of the Cruise.

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I would not have worn mine if I had not satisfied myself before hand that it was authorized and appropriate. This included refreshing myself in Uniform Regs, and contacting a Flag protocol officer. And no, it's not in "interpretation".

Wearing it when you can is no more a political statement than not wearing it when you can.

BTW, no flowers on uniforms, or mixed with miniature medals on Tuxes.:)

 

Cheers

MarkB

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What's always interesting is how the stewards act. The Filipinos are always VERY deferential and even more polite than normal.

 

Remembering the importance of the Jesuits in the Philippines would be appropriate here. Your cassocks are not the same as theirs, but not so dissimilar to a layman that they wouldn't ever be confused.

 

Lane

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but I think actually all HAL ships are registered in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the fact that the officers are Dutch has nothing to do with sovereignity.

HAL ships are Netherlands regestry, they fly a Dutch flag not a flag from the Bahamas (quite a noticable difference) and that's one thing that sets them apart from other lines (Curnard, of course, is another line that has officers from the country of origin). Either way, the way the regs read, it looks like it would be an issue. May I sugest speaking to youe area Retired Affairs Officer. He would certainly be able to help with this.

 

All said, I would never be critical of ANY service member, active or retired, for showing pride in their service by wearing the uniform. I simply wanted to put out what the Navy had said in it's regulations.

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The question was "should I wear my uniform"?? The answer (reguardless of military regulations) is YES. Formal uniform looks very sharp. The only big problem is that most of us could never fit back into the uniform we worn years ago. If I wanted it to fit I'd have to stay on Atkins Diet for at least two years.

 

My recommendation is to go for it. --- Just watch where your sword goes when your sitting down.

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The question was "should I wear my uniform"?? The answer (reguardless of military regulations) is YES. Formal uniform looks very sharp. The only big problem is that most of us could never fit back into the uniform we worn years ago. If I wanted it to fit I'd have to stay on Atkins Diet for at least two years.

 

My recommendation is to go for it. --- Just watch where your sword goes when your sitting down.

 

Unfortunately, we're not sllowed to pick & choose which regulation(s) we want to adhere to. That way lies Leavenworth!:eek:

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