ABU boonie hat - health & safety (sun protection)

Started by supertigerCH, November 13, 2019, 01:22:00 am

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Often I have wondered why the (brimmed) boonie hat is not included as authorized for wear with the Civil Air Patrol ABU uniform (and of course the Civil Air Patrol BDU before that). 

With the wide brim this hat clearly protects better from the sun's radiation... which is clearly a health & safety issue -- both short-term (sun burn) and long-term (skin cancer). 

Before anyone decides to joke about this, or think it is trivial (something to laugh at)... take a few minutes to do a quick internet search & read up online about the numbers / yearly rates of skin cancer nation wide (or talk to your doctor about how real of an issue it really is). 

As an organization that so pushes & champions the health & safety of its members... allowing this hat to be worn seems like it would be an obvious & natural safety measure that CAP should take... to protect its members health in every way possible. 

We stress safety in every other way... aircraft, when using machines, in the upkeep & driving of our motor vehicles, etc.  Whenever something new comes to light... and safe practices should be put into place... CAP (rightly) makes it an issue to stress safety standards. 

While all of us realize that there sometimes is a stigma that anyone who wants to wear this hat is trying to be a "commando" of some sort... when it comes to the real health issue of sun exposure... it still seems that this would be nothing but a good decision. 

For people worried about the "commando syndrome" taking over... when to wear it could be left to the discretion of commanders (where the regulations clearly spell out when the commander could authorize the wear -- based on sun / weather conditions.  Other traditional protections such as sun screen... of course should also be reminded & encouraged to members as well. 

This very hat has already been authorized for the CAP corporate BBDU (props to Civil Air Patrol for doing this). 

Anyway just my 2 & 1/2 cents.  As a prior service member who spent many years in the sun (and I'm sure there are many other's in my boat... both inside and outside of the military)... I would have been helped by following these practices more in the past than I did. 

I hope that at some point CAP might think about this more, and realize that health effects of authorizing this hat... far outweighs any of the concerns or drawbacks.


I'm going to shut this off now. This another well-meaning, but essentially useless discussion of a topic that is already much, and often, discussed. Do a search for "boonie" to discover the breadth and depth of prior commentary.
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
50 Year Member
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret