Aren’t guidelines in AR 670-1?

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 21, 2009

Can somebody please answer this question with a no-nonsense answer backed up with a reference: What are the guidelines for the wear of the combat patch? Aren’t the guidelines for wearing those found in Army Regulation 670-1?

If there is a policy in black and white that states otherwise, I think a lot of soldiers would be interested in having that information. If the regulation is "the law," then why do senior leaders continue to force soldiers to wear certain patches?

I read "General: GIs can wear combat patch of choice" (article, June 1, 2008) about this subject, where it took a general officer to inform certain levels of leadership that AR 670-1 is clear in its wording and that soldiers are allowed to wear whichever patch they want at any time.

So why is this still even an issue today? On one hand, some senior leaders will imply that arguing for the regulation, and thus against their demands, shows younger troops that it is OK to question their leadership. However, when the leadership is clearly wrong, shouldn’t it be questioned? Wouldn’t it set a good example to soldiers that, as long as it’s done respectfully, it’s OK to question leadership when they are wrong?

Sadly, leaders tend to use their rank as a deterrent to soldiers questioning the validity of their policies, even if those policies go against the regulations. This just sets a bad example because one day, when these troops get to be in positions of leadership, they too will use the terrible excuse of "because I said so" and ignore the rules.

If that is acceptable, then why even have regulations to begin with? This nonsense of "add to, but not take away" needs to go the way of the dodo, especially in regard to AR 670-1.

Staff Sgt. James Cresegiona
Camp Speicher, Iraq

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