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Author Topic: Given all the discussion about fuzzies around here...  (Read 6905 times)
vmstan
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« on: March 24, 2010, 08:11:03 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_army_sikh_soldier
1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school
Quote
SAN ANTONIO The soldiers in standard-issue fatigues and combat boots stood side-by-side repeating their creed: "I am an American soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values ...."

Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan was no different except that he wore a full beard and black turban, the first Sikh in a generation allowed to complete U.S. Army basic officer training without sacrificing the articles of his faith. He completed the nine-week training Monday after Army officials made an exemption to a policy that has effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984.

"I'm feeling very humbled. I'm a soldier," said the 31-year-old dentist, smiling after the ceremony at Fort Sam Houston. "This has been my dream."

Rattan had to get a waiver from the Army to serve without sacrificing the unshorn hair mandated by his faith. An immigrant from India who arrived in New York as a teenager, Rattan said he hopes his military commitment will allow him to give back to his adopted home country and will help diminish prejudice Sikhs sometimes face in the U.S.

More at source
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MICHAEL M STANCLIFT, 1st Lt, CAP
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Quote
I wish to compliment NHQ on this extremely well and clearly written regulation.
This publication once and for all should establish the uniform pattern to be followed
throughout Civil Air Patrol.

1949 Uniform and Insignia Committee comment on CAP Reg 35-4
SarDragon
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 09:05:11 PM »

I think there's a bit of difference between the Sikh officer and your average CAP "fuzzy".
The choice he has made is much more deep-seated than mine. My choice is mostly a matter of personal comfort; his is based on his religion and culture.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 09:28:39 PM by SarDragon » Logged
Dave Bowles
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 09:07:29 PM »

The Canadian military and Royal Canadian Mounted Police have had Sikh personnel for years...and not without tension at what other serving personnel deem "special treatment" (as if they didn't have enough with the French/English thing).

http://www.sikhcoalition.org/LegalCanada2b.asp

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/giverdonkey1/CanadianSikhSoldiers.jpg

http://www.nriinternet.com/CANADA/POLICE/Manjit_Singh/manjit.jpg

There were also a handful of Sikhs that served in the RAF in the Second World War:

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whatson/images/thumbs/pujji.jpg
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 09:08:30 PM »

I think there's a bit of difference between the Sikh officer and your average CAP "fuzzy".
the choice he has made is much more deep-seated than mine. My choice is mostly a matter of personal comfort; his is based on his religion and culture.

Hopefully Capt. Rattan's religion and culture will be respected.
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Fuzzy
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 09:12:32 PM »

Ok I know I just made a wise crack last post but...

Could polo shirts be considered a religious article?  ;)
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C/Capt Semko
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 09:18:29 PM »

Well this brings up some intresting questions about our military grooming standards.

1) Why do we have grooming standards in the first place?
2) If exceptions are made.....where and when do we draw the line of those exceptions?
3) Respecting religious beleifs is very laudable but are there any beliefs that are incompatiable with military grooming standrds?

These questions can also be expanded into other military standards as well...not just grooming standards.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 09:39:18 PM »

Not to side track the issue, but he isn't your usual soldier.  He completed 3 weeks of officer indoctrination for medical personnel as a dentist and did not complete usual basic training.  He is probably being given special treatment because he is a dentist.  I would like to see him complete the gas chamber with the beard.  This is another case of an officer not being a leader.  He will get the respect of being an officer, but there will be snickers throughout his career..  It would be hard for him to get those under him to take the dress code seriously.  Perhaps my religion requires me to eat a lot and adores my obesity.. Exception?? Not today, but soon.. 
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Pylon
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 10:06:05 PM »

Not to side track the issue, but he isn't your usual soldier.  He completed 3 weeks of officer indoctrination for medical personnel as a dentist and did not complete usual basic training.  He is probably being given special treatment because he is a dentist... This is another case of an officer not being a leader.

You've just suggested then that all dentists in the Army are not equal to other officers, and are not leaders?   I'm sure there would be plenty of Army officers who would disagree with you.

I would like to see him complete the gas chamber with the beard.

He did.  And he created a proper seal.  And the Army was satisfied.  And it was reported right in that article.

This is another case of an officer not being a leader.  He will get the respect of being an officer, but there will be snickers throughout his career..  It would be hard for him to get those under him to take the dress code seriously.

I'm sorry, I guess I don't understand why you think people should view him as less of a leader, or why you think he's not setting an example.    This captain is following the Army uniform standard to the letter.  He petitioned through the proper channels and received authorization for what he wears.  He is adhering to the Army regulations exactly as the Army has set them out.   Or are you really saying that people will laugh at him behind his back and not respect him as a leader because he's different from societal/organizational accepted norms?  That's a lot different.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 10:09:27 PM by Pylon » Logged
Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
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Thom
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 10:08:44 PM »

Not to side track the issue, but he isn't your usual soldier.  He completed 3 weeks of officer indoctrination for medical personnel as a dentist and did not complete usual basic training.  He is probably being given special treatment because he is a dentist.  I would like to see him complete the gas chamber with the beard.  This is another case of an officer not being a leader.  He will get the respect of being an officer, but there will be snickers throughout his career..  It would be hard for him to get those under him to take the dress code seriously.  Perhaps my religion requires me to eat a lot and adores my obesity.. Exception?? Not today, but soon..

I'm certain someone else will point out your misunderstanding regarding the chain of command and Officer status in the U.S. Army as it regards Medical professionals.  Suffice to say all Army Doctors don't command line troops, they never will, they know it, the troops know it, and no one (except possibly you...) is confused about it in the least.  They are almost as separate as Chaplains in that regard.

As to your comments about his religious requirements causing issue with others regarding uniform standards, please see the CAP Core Values, particularly Integrity, Excellence, and especially Respect, before commenting further on another's faith while they serve our country.


Thom
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Short Field
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 10:10:53 PM »

He will get the respect of being an officer, but there will be snickers throughout his career.
  Only by immature jerks and then only out of hearing of any officers or NCOs with real leadership ability.
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Wilson #2640
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 10:12:12 PM »

I would like to see him complete the gas chamber with the beard.

He did.  And he created a proper seal.  And the Army was satisfied.  And it was reported right in that article.

This is another case of an officer not being a leader.  He will get the respect of being an officer, but there will be snickers throughout his career..  It would be hard for him to get those under him to take the dress code seriously.

I'm sorry, I guess I don't understand why you think people should view him as less of a leader, or why you think he's not setting an example.    This captain is following the Army uniform standard to the letter.  He petitioned through the proper channels and received authorization for what he wears.  He is adhering to the Army regulations exactly as the Army has set them out.   Or are you really saying that people will laugh at him behind his back and not respect him as a leader because he's different from societal/organizational accepted norms?  That's a lot different.

No issue with him being in the military or weaing his head gear.  I work as a Deputy with several Sikh Deputies. However, Im raising the BS flag on the gas mask seal.  8 yrs infantry and 12 yrs LE wearing gas masks, chem suits, SCBA's and everything else to keep you alive, NO WAY IN THE WORLD you can get a seal with a gas mask.  Sorry.  You kids can believe that portion of the article if you want, but I will call out the Bio/Chem NCO any day on that one.  Liar Liar pants on fire.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 10:24:25 PM »

I was happy to see this article, until I read some of the posts in comments...especially from people claiming to be soldiers with 3+ deployments.
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 10:35:07 PM »

Also, just an aside, allowing beards on religious grounds isn't new and isn't exclusive to Sikhs or the Army:

[smg id=151]
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 10:38:34 PM »

Obviously a Chaplain?  Any idea what religion?
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2010, 10:39:52 PM »

Obviously a Chaplain?  Any idea what religion?

The badge he's wearing indicates Jewish Chaplain.  I was merely pointing out that CPT Rattan was not alone, nor was this type of waiver exclusive to Sikh's or the Army.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2010, 10:40:12 PM »

I was happy to see this article, until I read some of the posts in comments...especially from people claiming to be soldiers with 3+ deployments.

You have your opinions, and they have theirs.  SHould they not have them since they don't match yours?  I would say them being American soldiers would most definitely give them the right to voice their issues, agreeing or not.
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raivo
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2010, 11:16:18 PM »

You have your opinions, and they have theirs.  SHould they not have them since they don't match yours?  I would say them being American soldiers would most definitely give them the right to voice their issues, agreeing or not.

Depends on the opinion.

Rational opposition to the Army's policy on waivers is fine, bigotry against "towelheads" (which, unfortunately, I saw plenty of in the comments) not so much.
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2010, 11:20:28 PM »

I will point out my post was relating to genuine objections, not silly comments about being a towelhead or whatever.  However, I do see where military members may have an issue with waivers of any type.  Especially one being so visible.  I know people who are opposed to age waivers, ASVAB waivers, medical waivers.  And one opinion is what is to stop a christian or a mormon, or any other religion from petitioning to be able to have beards or wear a particular hat? 
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raivo
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2010, 11:28:57 PM »

I will point out my post was relating to genuine objections, not silly comments about being a towelhead or whatever.  However, I do see where military members may have an issue with waivers of any type.  Especially one being so visible.  I know people who are opposed to age waivers, ASVAB waivers, medical waivers.  And one opinion is what is to stop a christian or a mormon, or any other religion from petitioning to be able to have beards or wear a particular hat?

Ah, OK. Carry on. :)

I'm not quite sure what to think. Obviously, I'm happy that he's getting the chance to serve, and that the Army will benefit from his skills.

... but on the flip side, yes, I can see how it could open the floodgates for other religions to claim exemptions as well.

Then again, are there really that many people who want to join the military, who would require such exemptions?
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ol'fido
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2010, 12:05:33 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NetzahYehudafield.jpg

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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
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lordmonar
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2010, 12:18:35 AM »

My question is why do you get a pass on grooming standards based on religious grounds?

My point being....are we not told that the standards are the standards and they are there for a valid military reason?

We give someone a pass because of religious objections....okay I buy and agree with that.  That we are giving religious waivers is not the point I am making.

My point is that maybe some standards or more or less just arbitrary.  Grooming standards are a case in point.

Normally we say NO beards....expect with medical waiver...and now religious waiver......but why do we say no beards in the first place?

That is my question.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2010, 12:21:25 AM »

Like some others have already posted, I don't buy for a second that the gentleman could achieve an effective seal on a standard gas mask.  Aside form that I've got no problem with the waivers granted to him.  As long as he is OK with playing the canary if the defecation hits the ventilation (admittedly unlikely in his career field), let the man serve.
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raivo
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2010, 12:35:27 AM »

My point is that maybe some standards or more or less just arbitrary.  Grooming standards are a case in point.

Normally we say NO beards....expect with medical waiver...and now religious waiver......but why do we say no beards in the first place?

That is my question.

Historically, I believe it was because clean-shaven men with short hair were less prone to lice.

I don't remember exactly when in history, though obviously it was sometime after the Civil War! :D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Stuart
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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2010, 01:02:54 AM »

IIRC it was WWI and had to do with the gas issue..  I don't have a problem with the officer, but.. once the slippery slope is begun, it's hard to stop.  Perhaps a pacifist wants to be in the Army for whatever reason.. I feel that if one doesn't feel that they need to follow the rules, they should not apply and request waivers.  When they get in due to waivers, they are always "exceptional" due to their status.  They know it and everyone else knows it.  Everything revolves around it.  Either they get promtions because of it or they don't get it because of it.  It causes continual friction in the real world, especially one where everything is uniform with the exception of the exceptional one..  Political correctness can be problematic..
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Pumbaa
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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2010, 01:37:52 AM »

Pacifists can serve, usually as a CO.  They will be put in non combat positions.  many Mennonites serve this way.
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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2010, 01:43:47 AM »

True and they are very honorable, however, they will never be put in a combat leadership position and therefore do not fit the "norm" of soldier.  From experience, they don't fit in too well.
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PHall
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« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2010, 01:54:14 AM »

True and they are very honorable, however, they will never be put in a combat leadership position and therefore do not fit the "norm" of soldier.  From experience, they don't fit in too well.

They fit in just fine in the Medical Units most of them serve in. CO's have also served in Grave Registration units too.
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Cecil DP
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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2010, 01:57:22 AM »

True and they are very honorable, however, they will never be put in a combat leadership position and therefore do not fit the "norm" of soldier.  From experience, they don't fit in too well.
Check out Desmond Doss on the CMH website!!
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Michael P. McEleney
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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2010, 02:07:29 AM »

I think that pretty well covers the honorable part I mentioned..  Most of the ones I knew were during the Viet Nam era and one could not expect them to be a brother in arms when it came to defending a position..  They did a fine "limited" job in the Army, but were not considered part of the "troops" due to their aversion to fighting and that the ones I knew had no intention of serving longer than their draft period.  Back in the day, there was a difference in people that enlisted and those drafted.  That is just the way it was. 
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2010, 02:38:25 AM »

I was happy to see this article, until I read some of the posts in comments...especially from people claiming to be soldiers with 3+ deployments.

You have your opinions, and they have theirs.  SHould they not have them since they don't match yours?  I would say them being American soldiers would most definitely give them the right to voice their issues, agreeing or not.

His comments were this (paraphrased)

"Will we see him shooting up a base in a few months"

"Will people on his base need to wear body vests"

"Will he go crazy and try to kill people"

All obviously in reference to the Muslim Major who shot up a base a few months ago.

Tell me, besides being an ignorant A, who doesn't know a difference between a Sikh and Muslim, what exactly was his point? Turban+beard = terrorist?
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A.Member
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2010, 03:30:10 AM »

Well this brings up some intresting questions about our military grooming standards.

1) Why do we have grooming standards in the first place?
2) If exceptions are made.....where and when do we draw the line of those exceptions?
3) Respecting religious beleifs is very laudable but are there any beliefs that are incompatiable with military grooming standrds?

These questions can also be expanded into other military standards as well...not just grooming standards.
Obviously, you're already aware of this but I sure hope he (nor any of our soldiers for that matter) never finds himself in a situation that requires the use of his CPOG/NBC mask.  While I'm certainly no expert, I've got to imagine a good seal is a lot tougher to come by with that beard.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 12:36:50 PM by A.Member » Logged
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sarmed1
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2010, 11:03:58 AM »

Mask seal depends on the cut of your beard......if you keep it trimmed to the line the mask would sit on you can usually get a pretty good seal.

Quote
You've just suggested then that all dentists in the Army are not equal to other officers, and are not leaders
  Most military PME sugests that this is true. In the USAF Squadoron Officers School text, it basically states that JAG and Medical officers are not "real" officers because they are not engaged in the proffesion of arms.

mk
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Mark Kleibscheidel
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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2010, 11:25:16 AM »

That's very interesting.  I recall when I was in the army seeing a doctor, in uniform, with a full beard.

Now, on the CAP side of things, this is very different.  The military requires a waiver to have the beard.  In CAP, those with facial hair do not require a waiver.
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2010, 02:29:16 PM »

That's very interesting.  I recall when I was in the army seeing a doctor, in uniform, with a full beard.

Now, on the CAP side of things, this is very different.  The military requires a waiver to have the beard.  In CAP, those with facial hair do not require a waiver.
They also don't wear a military style uniform or even the TPU
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Michael P. McEleney
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« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2010, 07:41:29 PM »

I don't care what the uniform is worn, it still looks bad.  When you grow your neck hairs into a pony tail and/or a beard, you simply don't look professional.  I see the pony tails on uniform NOAA, USPHS, CAP and other agencies in uniform.  I don't care if they are an agency or department head, it still looks bad and creates mgt, ops, and pr issues wasting a lot of political assets without any return.  I understand beards on US SOFCOM operators as a part of the current war. 

I am not just CAP.  I am elected as head of an agency which among other duties, evaluates agency responders, responses, and activities.  When I see a CAP Lt in white/grays with a ponytail with a beard looking like ZZTop acting as the CAP rep in a state SOC, I just cringe.  Such an appearance leads to major questions about the individuals commitment to public service, and questions about the agency's ability to control its own personnel and ability to actually perform its proper job.

73s
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2010, 07:50:52 PM »

Such an appearance leads to major questions about the individuals commitment to public service , and questions about the agency's ability to control its own personnel  and ability to actually perform its proper job.

In 3 words or less, explain how an individuals hair is a good marker for their commitment to public service. Also draw a graph showing commitment levels from Bald/Shaven to Never-Has-Cut-Hair.

In 3 words, explain how enforcement of triviality establishes the command and control of the organization to the liking of outside groups.

In 3 words, explain how personal appearance affects the ability to actually perform a proper job.


Answers:

It isn't.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most committed
    10             |         10          |        10    |       10     |     10        |        10                 |           10                 |
Bald/Shaven | Some growth | Under 1" | Under 2" | Under 3" | Bums and women|  Never-Has-Cut-Hair

It doesn't.
It doesn't.
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raivo
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« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2010, 08:03:29 PM »

Most military PME sugests that this is true. In the USAF Squadoron Officers School text, it basically states that JAG and Medical officers are not "real" officers because they are not engaged in the proffesion of arms.

Non-line officers, technically speaking.

Don't know about the Army, but in the AF, their officer training is much shorter and less demanding (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) as a result. (I got to see three Commissioned Officer Training classes graduate before me when I was at OTS. How's THAT for a morale booster? ;))

Really, the military needs doctors/lawyers/chaplains - and there aren't all that many who are willing to sign up for the military. Doesn't make sense to make it overly difficult for the ones who are.
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« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2010, 08:31:57 PM »

USAFaux2004, three words, perception, perception, perception... That is all..
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« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2010, 08:34:32 PM »

Non-line officers, technically speaking.

I think it has something to do with their Geneva Conventions status as well; I think medics and padres cannot be forced to bear arms, but I don't know about legal eagles.
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2010, 08:37:56 PM »

I do understand self indulgence.  I do understand basic hygiene.  I do understand being that special little ray of sunshine your mother told you could be. I do understand folks in my generation growing that beard for that second and third chin. I do understand agencies with no spine in dealing with arrogance and political correctness in their ranks.  I do understand wasted time and efforts dealing with the public and political reps because of those little rays of sunshine.

Most folks are too polite to tell you when you look squirrelly regardless of the uniform or dress.  The perceptions of people from appearance is critical in certain situations.  Competence must be built up in people caught in ES and Disaster situations.  We don't need to look like we can't dress our selves properly.  Dressing properly doesn't apply to just uniforms, it also applies to those wearing suits and ties.  When I'm at the courthouse, folks expect to see me in a proper suit, white shirt and tie.  It is simply a show of respect.  And when I have to deal with a judge with a beard and pony tail, I start drawing conclusions about his politics, judicial ability, allegiances to the law, and arrogance towards people.  Usually, my experience shows I'm right.  When I'm at CAP, I wear the appropriate uniform for the activity.  It is simply a show of respect.
73s
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« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2010, 08:39:09 PM »

Pacifists can serve, usually as a CO.  They will be put in non combat positions.  many Mennonites serve this way.

It doesn't often happen, though. 

I have a Mennonite background a couple of generations back (my grandmother).  During Korea my uncle did alternative non-uniformed civilian service in a VA hospital.

Most Mennonites will not wear the uniform, nor will they do anything that they believe in their consicence to be assisting the "war machine."  Some are more vocal about it than others; some will register for Selective Service as CO but others refuse to register entirely.

I haven't yet run across any Mennonites in CAP, so I don't know how they would view it.  Some of my relatives thought our mission was a good thing but they didn't like the Air Force connections, nor the "indoctrinating children" of the cadet program.
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raivo
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« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2010, 08:40:58 PM »

I do understand self indulgence.  I do understand basic hygiene.  I do understand being that special little ray of sunshine your mother told you could be. I do understand folks in my generation growing that beard for that second and third chin. I do understand agencies with no spine in dealing with arrogance and political correctness in their ranks.  I do understand wasted time and efforts dealing with the public and political reps because of those little rays of sunshine.

Most folks are too polite to tell you when you look squirrelly regardless of the uniform or dress.  The perceptions of people from appearance is critical in certain situations.  Competence must be built up in people caught in ES and Disaster situations.  We don't need to look like we can't dress our selves properly.  Dressing properly doesn't apply to just uniforms, it also applies to those wearing suits and ties.  When I'm at the courthouse, folks expect to see me in a proper suit, white shirt and tie.  It is simply a show of respect.  And when I have to deal with a judge with a beard and pony tail, I start drawing conclusions about his politics, judicial ability, allegiances to the law, and arrogance towards people.  Usually, my experience shows I'm right.  When I'm at CAP, I wear the appropriate uniform for the activity.  It is simply a show of respect.
73s

Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, one of the best fighter pilots of the Vietnam war, famously sported an extravagant handlebar mustache.

Just sayin'.
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« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2010, 08:43:59 PM »

Good point, I do understand self indulgence.   :clap:
73s
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« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2010, 08:45:30 PM »

I see the pony tails on uniform NOAA, USPHS, CAP and other agencies in uniform.

NOAA and USPHS?

Do you mean their non-uniformed components?

The NOAA Commissioned Corps and USPHS uniformed side (who often provide medical care for the Coast Guard) wear slightly modified Navy uniforms and have to meet those grooming standards.

I've seen Canadian naval officers with beards...probably goes back to their Royal Navy traditions...

http://tinyurl.com/RCNadmiral

...but never any in the U.S. uniformed services.

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« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2010, 08:50:45 PM »

Unfornatually, I get to see and deal with'em all the time with eoc ops.  Still looks like my generation's hippies who just had to have a job. 
73s
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« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2010, 09:11:15 PM »

And when I have to deal with a judge with a beard and pony tail, I start drawing conclusions about his politics, judicial ability, allegiances to the law, and arrogance towards people.
Sure hope you can hide your feelings toward the judge.  I never knew that you could tell a person's allegiance to the law just by looking at their beard and pony tail.  That must be a really useful ability - you could make a ton of money working for TSA at airports.  Good thing you were born in the 1900s and not the 1800s.
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« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2010, 10:26:17 PM »

And when I have to deal with a judge with a beard and pony tail, I start drawing conclusions about his politics, judicial ability, allegiances to the law, and arrogance towards people.

Those be the dirty liberal hippies, right?
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« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2010, 10:34:25 PM »

If I could refer everyone, once again, to the CAP Core Values:

Integrity
Volunteer Service
Excellence
Respect

Please consider your statements regarding your fellow CAP members in light of your and their situations in regard to the CAP Core Values.

That is all.


Thom
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« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2010, 10:57:40 PM »

Unfornatually, I get to see and deal with'em all the time with eoc ops. 
  Equal opportunity commission? 
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« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2010, 11:09:05 PM »

USAFaux2004, three words, perception, perception, perception... That is all..

So....who's perception do we use to set the standards?

My father used to believe all body builders were gay.  So do we use his perception?  Cherokeepilot thinks that the longer the facial hair the worse the individual.

I agree that perception is important.....but as will all things.....only to a point.

As I asked before.....at one time there was a real military reason for no beards and short hair in the military.  Cleanliness, loss of individuality, gas mask seal, etc.  There is also the affects of social norms....what the society that is paying us (those of us who are serving or have served) expects us to look like.

Again I accept that perception is important.

But where do we draw the line?

If a ZZtop beard tucked into you pants is a bad image....but the good dentist with his nicely trimmed beard is not (or at least on the acceptable side of bad) where between 1/4 inch and 20" is the line?  And what specifically are the driving factors that set that line?

 
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« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2010, 11:26:34 PM »

Gentlemen all...........

I've never bothered to hide my issues from anyone in the courthouse much less any judge.  If they look squirrelly, then their logic and decisions will usually be equally squirrelly. I expect to see beards on folks dealing in harsh wx  or related jobs. Up until the past few years, I expected to see recent police academy grads wearing mustaches that looked like they had been issued with their badges.  I expect to see rock stars of my generation wearing long gray beards.  I expect to see a gentlemen of the Sikh religion to wear a beard.  And apparently the US Army has the same expectation. 

One of the general goals of CAP is to be accepted by other agencies as an equal professional, but unpaid volunteer agency.  If you want to be viewed as a professional then look and act as a professional.  The public and other agencies do have certain expectations.  Either we meet these expectation levels or we do not.  I'm not trying to be unpleasant, but we have only ourselves to blame if we fail.

73s
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lordmonar
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« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2010, 11:34:36 PM »

Fail to do the mission....or fail to look like we can do the mission?

That is the question.

Technical competance is just as important as image.....more so in my book.  Again appearance IS important.....I don't disagree.  Getting the mission done is the primary goal.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2010, 12:12:43 AM »

Fail to do the mission....or fail to look like we can do the mission?

That is the question.
Before you have the opportunity to fail a mission, you actually have to get a mission. 

This is an increasing problem for our organization.  This is also where perception becomes increasingly important.  And like it or not, we only get one chance to make a first impression.  In our case, we need all the help we can get.

I find it odd that there in the counterargument to grooming standards is almost this underlying suggestion that those adhering to grooming standards are necessarily incompetent.  Afterall, the consistent, fallacious counterargument implies that we fail the mission if we don't have these people with beards or long hair along to participate.  While I agree that getting the mission done is the primary goal, this counterargument is just nonsensical.

Just sayin'...
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« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2010, 12:33:19 AM »

Folks.............
I'm not really trying to beat up on anyone nor am I starting a fight.  However, I am part of the government that evaluates agencies in training and response.  There is a trend to outsource everything that the government usually performed.  Search and rescue is becoming a for profit business. 

For CAP to do its flyn' airsearch and rescue, CAP has to be asked.  Just because we are sittin' by the phone doesn't mean that we are going to be called.  Even the USAF has abrogated some of these issues to other agencies.  Remember that all agencies are out there competing for the tax dollar.  The USCG and USAF rescue duties may eventually be farmed out to for profit corporations.  This trend is already occurring with some of our NATO allies.  If you are rescued in certain parts of the world, your employer or you are gonna' have to come up with big bucks. 


I just want CAP to have its place in SAR and Disaster response.

73s
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lordmonar
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« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2010, 01:16:29 AM »

Before you have the opportunity to fail a mission, you actually have to get a mission. 

This is an increasing problem for our organization.  This is also where perception becomes increasingly important.  And like it or not, we only get one chance to make a first impression.  In our case, we need all the help we can get.

I find it odd that there in the counterargument to grooming standards is almost this underlying suggestion that those adhering to grooming standards are necessarily incompetent.  Afterall, the consistent, fallacious counterargument implies that we fail the mission if we don't have these people with beards or long hair along to participate.  While I agree that getting the mission done is the primary goal, this counterargument is just nonsensical.

Just sayin'...

Well that is the point....but the argument that beared people are incompetent and the counter argument are nonsense.

Yes apearances are important.....not denying that at all.....but we need to keep it in perspective.

On the larger issue....I am trying to spark some discussion into how and why we set the standards we do.

Clean and pressed uniforms with well maintained foot ware helps present a professional image.  It shows that you care enough about your uniform that you MAY care about your training and your execution of your mission.

Maintaining your grooming standards may show that you care about yourself, your gear and your training.

But beards or no beards.....as opposed to a nasty dirty birds nest  under your mouth and a nicely groomed beard....there is a big difference....it is a specturm of options not a one or the other.

Now on to my original point....if we give waivers due to religious considerations....why not personal preference?

Given the basic parameters of meeting the mission goals, safety and basic professionalism.....If we let the good dentist wear his beard why not Joe Blow the infantry man?...or the dental technican working for the Dentist?

Why do religious considerations trump what ever the military's goals are for grooming standards?
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« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2010, 02:49:12 AM »

Remember that all agencies are out there competing for the tax dollar.  The USCG and USAF rescue duties may eventually be farmed out to for profit corporations.  This trend is already occurring with some of our NATO allies.  If you are rescued in certain parts of the world, your employer or you are gonna' have to come up with big bucks. 
  Certain parts of the world does not mean in the US.  This is really not a country that will watch a person die on the side of a mountain just because they can't pay for the rescue or let a 5 year old child disappear into the woods because the parents can't afford to pay for an expensive search.

You can not compare the cost of CAP to the USCG or the USAF.  We are so cheap there is no way a private for profit company can do it cheaper.  Just ask the company that was doing the Surrogate Predator missions.
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« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2010, 03:22:02 AM »

Well..............
we need to be making the point to the governments.....local, state & fed.  Part of the problem is that there is no mandatory gateway for SAR nor Disaster work.  Also, the Federal gov is encouraging development of for profit corporations involvement in SAR.  These corporations come to the table with the right aircraft, personnel, political connections all at a fixed cost.  I've seen some of the outfits in some state ops, mostly using foreign registered aircraft, and if I were younger, I'd get into the business in a heart-beat.

The cost problem of CAP lies with the fairly large amount of aircraft inventoried and the cost of acquisition and maintenance with the cost of training and pilot pro.  CAP is not really encouraging participation of members who have their own aircraft.  I'm not going to go into great detail since that issue is a different discussion for a different day. 

We the members have to do the right things to make certain when those agencies look us over.......they see good reasons to use the CAP


73s
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« Reply #57 on: March 26, 2010, 06:26:26 AM »

Please answer three questions:
1.  Which federal agency is encouraging for profit corporations to become involved in SAR?
2.  What corporations have submitted proposals?
3.  Which outfits have been involved in which state ops - should be easy since you have seen them.
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« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2010, 06:56:08 AM »

Please answer three questions:
1.  Which federal agency is encouraging for profit corporations to become involved in SAR?
2.  What corporations have submitted proposals?
3.  Which outfits have been involved in which state ops - should be easy since you have seen them.

Hey, gang, how did we get from talking our barbate buddies to the quoted post?
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« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2010, 07:07:49 AM »

Hey, gang, how did we get from talking our barbate buddies to the quoted post?

Still looking for a definition of "barbate".  However, the premise was that our fuzzy compatriots were so unprofessional looking that we would end up being replaced.  In fact, the government was looking for "for profit" companies to replace us in the SAR mission already because they could do it much cheaper than we can.   
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Wilson #2640
raivo
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« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2010, 07:12:04 AM »

barbate [ˈbɑːbeɪt]
adj
(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biology) Chiefly biology having tufts of long hairs; bearded
[from Latin barba - a beard]
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« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2010, 01:06:51 PM »

It always amazes me whenever the grooming topic comes up, someone always jumps to ponytails and ZZ-top beards.  While I'm sure that someone in CAP may have that, I have never seen it.  Of the CAP people I have met, while I have met a few whose hair wasn't within AF standards, all were pretty close, certainly not ponytail length.  And for facial hair, all the beards were pretty well trimmed, all less than a couple of inches in length.  So, while the possibility exists since CAP doesn't disallow it, the reality is that it doesn't really happen.

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« Reply #62 on: March 26, 2010, 01:45:04 PM »

I've seen a CAP member with a ponytail.  He is a dedicated and accomplished CAP member.  He properly wears uniforms that are permitted with his grooming choices.  By all accounts he does a great job for CAP.  Anyone who has a problem with that really ought to ensure their problem doesn't become everyone elses problem.

I recall the first time I met a law enforcement park ranger with a ponytail.  Uniform, badge, gun, smokey hat, red and blue flashy lights and a ponytail.  While I remember being surprised, there was no reason to dismiss or minimize him.  I was there to work a crime scene and kept my thoughts to myself.  Over time it became apparent this guy really had his act together.

We aren't talking about vagrants you can smell a mile away.  Publicly pre-judging a person's value to CAP, or most any other organization, based solely on their choice of long hair or beard is without merit.
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« Reply #63 on: March 26, 2010, 05:26:00 PM »

While I was in the Navy, I had a beard(I know,old guy). There were grooming standards for the wearing of gas masks, so the mask could fit over your beard.
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« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2010, 09:13:33 PM »

While I was in the Navy, I had a beard(I know,old guy). There were grooming standards for the wearing of gas masks, so the mask could fit over your beard.

And it still didn't seal properly. I, too, had various iterations of beards WIWOAD, and every time I did training on some sort of facial mask (OBA, gas mask, respirator, etc.) they failed to seal completely, regardless of beard configuration. The goatee did the best, but still failed the test.
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