I certainly have to agree 100 percent with the writer of "Show respect to the uniform" (letter, Dec. 7 ).

I had the privilege of retiring from the U.S. Army and deploying numerous times. (Last one with the Ready First Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Friedberg, Germany). It seems that if the brigade and battalion command sergeants major, first sergeants and senior leaders do not put enough emphasis on the uniform, no one else will.

I have to say that the pride in the uniform is what sets us apart from other armies around the world. However, due to combat stress in the battlefield, the standards are suffering, and some leaders are not taking note; see Stars and Stripes’ picture of an officer wearing an American flag bandana, accompanying the story "A long way to go," Dec. 9.

While I do understand that the uniform will get dirty, grimy and torn [while out on patrol or] going outside the wire, there is no excuse not to change or replace it as soon as the soldier gets a chance or order more through Army Direct Ordering.

Uniform standards and guidelines given by the commander/command sergeant major should not suffer while on any base for lack of discipline by the person wearing it. That is when pride in the uniform kicks in! While I have seen tired soldiers bend the standards, usually once the correction is brought up, you won’t see it again.

I want to thank command sergeants major, first sergeants and other noncommissioned officers out there for making sure the standards are followed and kept.

[I want to thank the letter writer] for bringing this issue up. Maybe more leaders and soldiers will follow suit and attack this issue.

Master Sgt. George L. Figueroa (retired)Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

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