This is not in regard to any particular story but just in general. Ever since the Occupy Wall Street protests started, I’ve read a lot of stories and seen photos of individuals who are reported to be veterans attending these protests in the uniform of their former service. The most irritating thing to me is these people who say they are veterans show up wearing their uniforms grossly out of regulation. The photograph on Stars and Stripes’ Nov. 4 front page for its Mideast and Europe editions shows a former sailor in his uniform — wearing earrings. To me, I feel that is completely disrespectful to the uniform.

I’m not sure about the uniform regulations of other services but the Army clearly outlines when retired servicemembers, separated servicemembers, and even civilians can wear Army uniforms. This is under Chapter 30 of AR 670-1. Paragraph 1-10 in AR 670-1 also clearly outlines when wear of the Army uniform is “required or prohibited.”

There is no question about when, where and how anyone is allowed to wear the Army uniform — and it is likely the same for other services.

However, for Army veterans who were honorably discharged, they can only wear the Army uniform to ceremonial occasions, parades on national or state holidays, or other patriotic parades in which any U.S. military unit is part of. “Wear of the Army uniform at any other time, for any reason other than the purpose stated above, is prohibited.”

Bottom line, if you are a veteran taking part in any protests, that is your constitutional right; however, if you want to wear your uniform I suggest you take a gander at your service’s uniform regulation. Just because you are no longer in does not mean you can discredit your former service or uniform.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Calder

Fort Meade, Md.

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