Courtesy patrols discipline soldiers, family members on dress code; read our top stories in this week's Army Times


ArmyTimes cover 11.11

Welcome to the garrison Army. Some soldiers at major installations across the Army might have already encountered courtesy patrols, teams of soldiers who roam Army posts making on-the-spot corrections. Some posts are even targeting family members for dress code violations. And the Army’s top enlisted soldier is weighing in on the courtesy patrols.

The Army is assessing performance on another field, the public schools near its installations. The chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Ray Odierno, says the Army will  “put pressure” on officials responsible for providing education to the children of Army families.

One person resisting pressure from lawmakers is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. See what he has to say about the push from lawmakers to get a common deployment camouflage uniform for all the services.


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  1. god I’m glad I’m not in the Army any more having to put up with the silly stuff like this.. didn’t Bill Maudlin draw a cartoon about this, something about “how real soldiers look.” drive on guys, I’m a civilian and do whatever the heck I want.

  2. Matt, it is called a Uniform Service for a reason. I was assigned to CP several times. I’ve been back on Posts and Air Bases since retiring. It seem that the pride has been lost by a lot of service members. Their dependents act like they are shopping at Wal Mart. Some dress slutty and others just plain slouchy. I’m glad you are not in the Army now too. They do not need non-conformist like you.

  3. Sorry Matt, but you will have to follow the civilian dress code when on an Army post. There are signs at every post entrance saying that upon entering the post, you agree to abide by all laws, regulations and policies of that post. Failure to do so, could result in you being barred from post.

  4. and yet, another way to cause the few soldiers left in the army to have another detail to do rather than their actual job. gotta love it. whatever happened to no shoes, no shirt, no service? just kick the slouchy, slutty, and morbidly obese wearing tight clothes out the store and call it a day. while they are at it, target the crying babies for making a scene and causing someone to have to stare.

  5. This kind of control off work is unnecessary. Standards Nazis force a lot of intelligent people out. “Non-conformists” tend to be more intelligent and have better critical thinking. They do not conform to this because they realize it is crap.

  6. This is a crap idea. the only reason I can see for this, is not a good one. its a smaller step towards an already fascist authoritarian mindset in the Army. Not to say we all did not agree to join and follow orders, but this goes BEYOND orders. This is giving senior NCO’s and Officers the ability to flex non official muscle just to see how far they can get. General Military Authority does not give an NCO or an Officer the right to heckle off duty soldiers about town. General Military Authority is given to ALL RANKS in order that we can police ourselves and tell even our leaders if they arent following the dress code. This is forcing individuals to conform to military orders off post as well as getting the civilians used to the presence of military authority (although it may not be directed at them off post yet). All in all it is a bad idea for communities to allow military personnel to have any authority AT ALL inside of their communities, (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).

  7. 1st of all I wanna say that anyone that is complaining about this being implemented is exactly the reason it is. The only reason the Army has to result to the actions is due to the extreme lack of discipline and respect in the current Soldiers. As a Soldier you agreed that you would abide by all Army policies whether you agree with them or not both on and off duty ( which technically you never are as long as you are under service obligation). You need to realize that just because you are not at work does not mean that you are not at all times representing the Army and the United States. As a Soldier you should always look to display yourself in the utmost professional appearance. And on top of that when your anyone enters a military port they agree to abide by all clothing regulations on that Post, these are briefed to families during inprocessing at any new post.

  8. Phillip, when I inprocessed, my family was not with me to inprocess or even told that they had to. So where does the family inprocessing happen cus i’d really like to know?

  9. The Generals want to roll things back to the way it was in the 1950’s. Guess what boys and girls, Leave it to Beaver is dead. Instead of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, why don’t you try to plug the leak? Start by enforcing the UCMJ in a uniform way. If an E4 did what General Ward did, he’d be breaking big rocks into little ones for 20 years. Instead the General loses a star and still keeps his retirement and a cushy defense contracting job. What message does that send to the troops?Since Generals are entrusted with great authority, they should be punished more, not less when they abuse it.

    Dennis, you are now a retiree, go find something else to do. No one cares about how much better things were in your day. If you don’t like, stay away from post.

  10. I remember the CP patrols, we had at the Beer fest’s in FDR.
    It was used to augment the MP’s. I don’t know why NCO’s or Officers, or even MP’s who have the authority to correct uniform issues are sufficient enough. Especially in light of more serious issues facing the military.

  11. I grew up in a Marine household. My father briefed myself and my brother that our conduct on and off the base reflected on him and could effectively end his career. This was brought up even as I was driving, because he had seen too many of his Marines having to go to traffic court for their families misconduct, and it was reflected in evaluations. As a Marine NCO, he felt obligated to enforce the standards of service. Before I knew the word “No Slack”, I knew my father was proud of his service, his uniform and his families benefit from his achievements. As an Army officer, I’ve carried the same NO SLACK aptitude when it comes to the standard. These Civilian Patrols would not be needed if we all do what is right. I see soldiers in their ACUs at establishments that serve alcohol. Soldiers who are at Golden Corral or the food court at the mall in their ACUs (no, they are not recruiters) and leaders of all stripes, bars and stars at events that do not require the uniform. And, some of their families love it because Dad is a First Sergeant or Mom wears an oak leaf and yours do not. Go to Wal-Mart in and around a military base and you will see shoppers in uniform – not for an emergency, but buying new TVs and shopping for new clothes. Its time to abide by the rules. And, if a few CP soldiers in and about can spot soldiers smoking and chatting it up on the cell phone while walking will dissuade some of that, I’m all for it.

  12. Well, well here we go, “what’s good for the goose… right.” There are several cases where soldiers need to be put into regulation. Whether its overweight, tattoos, personal hygiene, tobacco in government buildings etc. soldiers in all ranks and divisions are in some way, some how out of regulation. Is it my right to walk up to them and politely inform them of this violation. Now mind you like Nancy said “There are signs at every post entrance saying that upon entering the post, you agree to abide by all laws, regulations and policies of that post. Failure to do so, could result in you being barred from post.” These violating soldiers need to be barred too if that is the case. Have those CP crews focus on out of reg. soldiers, period.

  13. Does the CP have the authority to correct every Soldier, regardless of rank? And the rules about “appropriate” are subjective. Who determines if a skirt is too short or a blouse too low? Have you ever tried correcting an officer, only to be told “At ease” or “move out?”

    If the rules are applied fairly and consistently, no problem. But when higher ranking officers walk away from DUIs while lower enlisted are recieving UCMJ for the same crime, the system is corrupt and the system is the problem, not appearance. Making Soldiers look better is like putting makeup on your eye when your spouse punches you in it. Everyone knows, but noone sees anything.

  14. If us NCO’s were doing our Jobs better and making on the spot corrections to the Soldiers/Sailors/ Marines/ Airmen, who need to be corrected then we might not be in this situation now.. I personally do make on the spot corrections and guide my Soldiers in the right direction through performance counselings and setting the example. As far as families go, It is not my place to tell someones spouse or child what they can and cant wear. It needs to be treated the same way as a family member stealing from the PX / BX. family member steals, Soldier gets in trouble = family member dresses innapropriate Soldier gets in trouble,, that easy, let them police up their own family.

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