Confused about bulling boots

#1
Just a query, A couple of guys in the platoon im doing phase 1 in had bulled thier boots up to a semi decent standard only to be told when we had drill that bulling your boots can get you a charge as theres no requirement to do it?

I was issued 2 pairs from my unit and was told by one of our cpl's to use a pair for "work" and bull the others for "best"


I can understand the not bulling your "work" boots, we were advised a good brush polish was sufficient. Obviously using your spare boots as best makes sense too, but some of the guys with us have only got 1 pair!

So whats the hard and fast, can any RTC staff advise?
 
H

Hedphelym

Guest
#2
Bulling your boots can get you a charge? I call bollocks on that, ignore it mate.

I've always been told that yes, you have two boots, but even your "work" boots need to be bulled/polished when the situation arises - and especially during phase one it should be something they look for.
When I did phase one we were right dressed every morning and made sure boots were clean and polished/bulled, even if we were getting wet and muddy later on.

There certainly should be nothing to stop you bulling your boots. I always have my boots highly polished and with highly bulled toe caps (not gay, but I find bulling/polishing quite a relaxing thing to do at the end of they day!) and I've never been told about getting a charge for it.
 
#3
God there not still having this discusion. I left 20 years ago and they were saying boots must not be bulled but highly polished. I think the reason being that bulling rots the boots. Well it doesn't because I still have a pair of best boots from 20 years ago and they haven't rotted, mind you they are so hard that I can bang nails in with them.

If someone picks you up on it, just say they are not bulled just more highly polished than your work boots.
 
#4
Been in since 1984 . I have one pair of work boots, brush polished as necessary , but very rarely worn as i invested in a pair of alt bergs years ago due to damage done by issue boots to my delicate trotters . My parade boots are bulled reasonably well, kept in a plastic bag ( to stop them getting dusty - dust ruins the shine ) , which come out once a year for remeberance parade . You will certainly NOT end up on a charge for bulling your boots . But if you want to , and it is very therapeutic , go right ahead . Have a discreet look at your corporals boots next time you're in . Thats the standard you are aiming for .
 
#5
Just occured tome ... I'd love to see your very busy officer commanding's face if you were marched in on a charge of polishing your boots to an unnecessarily high standard . In time your bullsh1tometer will start to develop and you will work out what is real and what is ego trip .
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#6
Matt007 said:
Just a query, A couple of guys in the platoon im doing phase 1 in had bulled thier boots up to a semi decent standard only to be told when we had drill that bulling your boots can get you a charge as theres no requirement to do it?

I was issued 2 pairs from my unit and was told by one of our cpl's to use a pair for "work" and bull the others for "best"


I can understand the not bulling your "work" boots, we were advised a good brush polish was sufficient. Obviously using your spare boots as best makes sense too, but some of the guys with us have only got 1 pair!

So whats the hard and fast, can any RTC staff advise?
There is only one correct answer - the one that your DS gives you. If he says bull, then bull. If he says not to, then don't - no matter how theraputic you find it.

If you don't want to do this, just say "but someone on the internet told me that I am allowed to bull my boots, and you are talking rubbish".

Enjoy.
 
#7
Shiny boots = Shiny mind. Bull 'em up and to hell with the consequences!
 
#8
Going back to way back when...

Those who turned up at the Recruits' Cadre with bulled boots were told to wear them then were crawled around the training area to remove the shine.

The reason for this was that recruits had not yet been instructed on how to bull boots so when the lesson was given on the following day, all recruits started from the same level.

Of course, boots that have previously been bulled take a lot less effort to get them back to their shiny state.

The issue about being charged relates not precisely to bulling the boots, but to burning them. Boots, DMS (and ammo) were made of kip leather (very pimply). To flatten the pimples, a variety of methods were used, most, though not all, involving heat.

A non-heat method was to get a bone with a knobbly bit and rub it hard and slowly over the surface of the boot. This was known as "boning." It was effective, but very slow.

A faster method was to cover the boots with polish, heat the handle of an issue spoon to near red hot and iron the pimples flat. Because the stitching was indented into the leather, it didn't get damaged, but if the spoon was too hot, it could dry the leather and cause it to split. The warning sign was that the leather turned blue.

A dodgy method was to blowtorch the leather, which often caused the stitching to break down.

A quick method was to thickly cover the boots with polish, pour lighter fluid over them, then apply a match. The polish melted to fill the spaces between the pimples. After running under a cold tap, the polish could be smoothed. This method didn't flatten the pimples and wasn't particularly durable, but it could save a bit of time preparing for a show parade when you've just been issued new boots. It was a bit risky with regard to the stitching near the eyelets, though.

So, if you'd ruined your boots by using any of the heat methods, you could indeed be pulled up on a charge.
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#9
Don't bother bulling your boots and when someone asks where your best boots are just reply "There's no favouritism in my locker" :)
 
#10
We dont get our SUTs to bull their boots, not enough time in the day to faff around bulling toecaps.

So long as the boots are brushed polished we're happy.
 
#11
Thanks for the replies, it was an RLC L/Cpl that told us about it who was just helping out with drill, ill check what our platoon cmdr's view is on it!
 
#12
Matt007 said:
Just a query, A couple of guys in the platoon im doing phase 1 in had bulled thier boots up to a semi decent standard only to be told when we had drill that bulling your boots can get you a charge as theres no requirement to do it?

I was issued 2 pairs from my unit and was told by one of our cpl's to use a pair for "work" and bull the others for "best"


I can understand the not bulling your "work" boots, we were advised a good brush polish was sufficient. Obviously using your spare boots as best makes sense too, but some of the guys with us have only got 1 pair!

So whats the hard and fast, can any RTC staff advise?
Which RTC did you get told this?
 
#13
are you at PWOG perchance?
 
#14
theblindking said:
are you at PWOG perchance?

Nope QEB strensall. Like i said ill ask the DS next time im there, i didnt speak up at the time as a Sgt was present and didnt disagree and i didnt see the point in questioning what he had said with an SNCO at the time as i assumed that was whats required. Only in hindsight did i realise that it was a bit strange
 
#15
Matt007 said:
Just a query, A couple of guys in the platoon im doing phase 1 in had bulled thier boots up to a semi decent standard only to be told when we had drill that bulling your boots can get you a charge as theres no requirement to do it?

I was issued 2 pairs from my unit and was told by one of our cpl's to use a pair for "work" and bull the others for "best"


I can understand the not bulling your "work" boots, we were advised a good brush polish was sufficient. Obviously using your spare boots as best makes sense too, but some of the guys with us have only got 1 pair!

So whats the hard and fast, can any RTC staff advise?
Oh Strensall, I'm there now. It wasn't L/Cpl W**b was it?
 
#16
Thank God we had Ammo Boots and those 13 studs in each boot, even they had to be polished . . in fact the bottom of the boots had to be polished too . .

O happy days and ALL those nights chasing your boots out of the windows, when the room L/Cpl threw them out on a kit inspection, followed by the rest of the contents of your locker. This before they then placed you in said locker and rolled that down the stairs . . . .

Made MEN out of boys . . .
 
#18
A lad from my unit won a MM and was to receive it from the queen herself, he was duly told to bull his boots so that the reflection from the sun would blind passers by. Unfortunately, he had a biff chit for a gucci pair of Lowa's and proceded to bull them up to a magnificent standard. Needless to say, there were quite a few embarrased faces all around when he marched up haha.
Id say if you get told to bull them, then do so, otherwise just have them highly polished.
 
#19
did my 1b 2 years ago at grantham....bulled my boots and was asked who told us to do it!

told the Ds we were practicing...so after that i didnt bother just as some of the guys said highly polished!

regards

ron
 
#20
My 2p on this is that as with all "courses" you go by what your DS tell you, for the duration of the course. Only gets tricky when you have a difference of opinion within the DS on a single course!

I'm TA R Signals, and I fully bull my drill night/barracks boots as in my position I dont want any of my soldiers to have better boots than me when I am inspecting them. If I was lazy I might order my soldiers not to bull their boots so they didnt "show me up", and I think this is often at the heart of "no bull" orders....

However I dont insist on bulled from them, I only insist on clean (highly polished).

Some do contend that bulling is against QRs/dress regs as you are only supposed to highly polish, but "highly polish" does not specify only using a brush not a cloth so it is totally un-enforcable. Some also say that bull ruins boots. I can certainly see that a hard glass like bull will stop the leather breathing, so dont bull field boots (unless they make you!).

The Cons of bulling are:

MAY "damage boots"
You should have something more important to do / learn in your limited time.
People may think you are a "parade ground soldier" useless in the field, or "brown noseing" the DS.

And the Pros:

Its smart
Its traditional
It shows self discipline and high personal standards.

Combining bulled boots with being of well above average standard in every other area avoids the negative connotations. If you can fly through every test and do it with shiny boots you'll not go far wrong.

BJN
 

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