Entitlement to wear uniform after discharge

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Scud, Dec 20, 2004.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I have come across a gentleman who claims it is his right (after being discharged) to wear the beret of his former regiment should he so wish. What are the rules on this, especially concerning whether one has been honourably or dishonourably discharged? The gentleman concerned served 6 years in the TA before being discharged.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. No idea about chapter and verse but I have often seen old & bold sporting berets at regimental gatherings - from riflemen to 4-stars. Guess it must be okay then.
  3. Look in at the Cenotaph or local War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday and ponder whether the rules (if there are any) about berets and regimental badges matter. :roll: Medals are clearly okay and ex service personnel are covered by the same rules that prevent serving members putting up unofficial gongs.

    Ex RN can wear full rig on Naval or Military occasions, encouraged by the First Sea Lord.

    Gongs on civvy clothing discussed here (not talking Elton Bog's KBE)

  4. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    If the beret's the only piece of uniform he's wearing (yeah, and other clothes before you start !) then there's not much that anyone can do about it.

    As long as he's not impersonating a soldier I don't think he's breaking any law.
    But then he was doing that for six years, so maybe he's about to get nicked !

  5. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Which rules govern the ex-service personel ?

    They're civvies, is the provost going to double them to the guardroom ? :D

    There seem to be a number of unofficial gongs on blazers by ex-servicemen these days, not normally by the old & bold, but I've seen a fair few at funerals and Remembrance days.
  6. Have'nt done it myself, have met countless thousands over the years that do and why should'nt they.

    Regimental/Corp and Service pride, stands out above the rest of the Crap being dictated to from Prawn Towers and the Ministry of Diarrhea

    More power to their elbow say I, it has been earned.
  7. Haven't got chapter and verse to hand, but I think everyone is on the right lines.

    ISTR that an offence of wearing unauthorised military uniform was originally created in the 19th century as an anti-vagrancy measure to stop beggars wearing the uniform - my guess is that this was post-Crimea.

    I suspect that the offence still exists (possibly incorporated in the Army Act 1955?), but that prosecutions have been very rare and that action would only be taken against someone wearing complete uniform and actively pretending to be what their uniform indicates. There is no question of prosecuting an ex-soldier for wearing a beret, any more than any chav or civvy would be prosecuted for wearing an army-surplus jacket.

    Again can't supply chapter and verse, but ISTR also that the MOD recognises the right of ex-service people to wear their former uniform at remembrance ceremonies.

    I have not heard of any offence relating specifically to medals. Most people quite rightly follow the same rules as if they were still serving, but there is probably nothing in law to prevent an individual mounting their issued medals with foreign awards or unofficial "souvenirs".
  8. You've got me there Cutaway. I have seen it in DCIs leading up to Remembrance Sundays in the past, to the effect :remind your Service and Regimental Associations of the rules on unofficial and foreign gongs not approved by HM, which I understand devolve from an Act of Parliament on Honours Orders and Decorations rather than straight out of QRs. Toy medals devalue real ones.

    I expect a google or rumaging through old DCIs will turn it up chapter and verse ( but I am not that arrsed).


    Edited to put a 'b' in Remembrance.
  9. Anyone who has served can wear their uniform after discharge. It is against the law to impersonate a soldier (sailor/airman).

    Some may remember pictures of Robert Maxwell MC wearing a Queen's Regiment uniform at a Remembrance Day parade by virtue of his service with one of their forebear regiments (Queen's Royal Regt I think).

    You often see people wearing regimental berets in major towns (particulary London) for no particular reason.

    As to wearing medals you are not entitled to I suspect that most of the public couldn't really care.
  10. If you're ex-services you can do as you please, the RSM is now a nobody, military law is an irrelevance, and I can't see PC Plod slapping the cuffs on someone because they are wearing a beret in Littlewoods.

    Presumably, one wears the beret through pride. If that is the case, carry on...
  11. Didn't Lord Brocket front up on Bad Lad's Army in a Cav uniform? If an ex-con can do it, I can't see it being a problem for others.
  12. Brocket 'got away with it' for the same reason the cast of 'Soldier Soldier', 'The Bill', the utter gash 'Making Waves' etc. don't get locked up. 'Bad Lads Army' for all its documentary pretentions was a soap opera with some real ex soldiers thrown in.
  13. I personally have no problem with old boys wearing Regt headress its the retired officers who run range complexes in Germany who can't let go that I take issue with!
  14. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Crack on, you earned the right to wear what you want on your napper. As for medals you wear what your entitled to- a bit of personal pride, I am sure people arent going to bung on a VC. Apart from Mr Amin of course.

    Like they say, no one else is going to investigate every ex serviceman marching past the Cenotaph, with a UNICOM printout to hand. I've caught out soldiers wearing the wrong medals in the mess, its more of an embarressment to them (Plus the port fine)!
  15. Yes, headdress & capbadge only on such occasions as Remembrance Sunday, D-Day celebrations etc, is accepted on an unofficial basis (with tacit approval from the Royal Family).

    Full Uniform (which includes headdress and cap badges), may be worn on specified official occasions by ex-servicemen, providing the letter 'R' depicting 'Retired' is worn, is provided at individual expense, and agreed in advance,on request, by the relevant MOD department. It is not however a practice which is encouraged; eg. it is not normal for retired officers to wear their old uniform on Remembrance Sunday, or any other occasion, unless the officer was acting in an official or representative capacity. I have seen retired officers wearing mess dress in this way however.

    On such occasions medals would be worn if appropriate to the occasion, but only medals that were authorised to be worn when the individual was serving.

    Authorised medals may be worn on civilian dress (eg miniatures on Dinner Jacket/Black tie) on any suitable official occasion, eg at a mess dinner night or full medals on Remembrance Sunday.

    Direct next of kin may wear the medals of thier deceased, but only on the right breast - but it is stressed this is not sanctioned officially, it is more of a convention.

    It is an criminal offence to impersonate a Policemen, Servicemen or other uniformed service in such a way as to deceive or gain advantage. Wearing of obsolete uniforms for Drama or Documentary and/or Fancy Dress is not normally a problem. Wearing of currant uniform as in 'The Bill' 'Soldier, Soldier' or 'Red Cap' Permission is normally obtained in advance.