Wearing Uniform in Public

As I know how poor the system can be for disseminating information, I will share the latest Army Information Note (AIN) with you:

• With the exception of Northern Ireland , personnel may wear uniform whilst off duty in public unless otherwise directed by the chain of command. This is no change to the current policy, which is based on the principle of personal choice.

• In circumstances where personnel wish to preserve their anonymity or the anonymity of their family and home address they will not be compelled to wear uniform in public unless on duty.

• Commanders and COs are empowered to modify regulations, but are required to inform their regional chain of command when they make such modifications.

• Whilst public visibility of officers and soldiers in uniform raises the profile of the Army, the wearing of uniform in public also brings with it a responsibility to maintain the highest standards of both dress and behaviour.

Bold text emphasises that which I think is most important.

There are a couple of footnotes, one of which is particularly relevant to NI, and you should read AIN 133/07 when it eventually arrives on your notice board.

Good , and every man/woman I see in uniform I will firmly shake them by the hand and thank them, I just hope there are many decent folk still about who will follow suit. ( any thing in the AIN about taking them for pint ?? )

If you can't wait for the AIN to reach your Notice Board it is on ArmyNet.

Be good to see correctly dressed Squaddies out and about and raise our public profile.


War Hero
Not sure if it is in the AIN (no access at the moment) but Routines Orders in my last 3 postings have specifically precluded drinking (alcohol) in a public place while wearing uniform. Much as I think that it is important to maintain a visible profile I have to agree that the bar/pub is not the right place. Even if you drink modestly and maintain dignity there will always be some drunken prat who wants to try it on.
Ned_Seagoon , you are correct about always one wanting to try it on , my remark "( any thing in the AIN about taking them for pint ?? )
" was meant in a jockular vein. Thing is it would be nice do do a little more than shake a hand and say thanks, something more tangable, but what ?


War Hero
Suppose wearing it on the piss in downtown Basra on a Saturday night is probably not a good Idea then


War Hero
Hoorah for that.

The public can rarely show their appreciation for the troops and I think a large number of squaddies would soon realise just how highly the public regard them if they were recognised as such on our streets.

If I see squaddies walking around in uniform, I'll be the first to offer them a beer or two.
I'm not going to propose and offer a diamond ring , I have standards dont cha know.
If someone from my local area saw me in uniform, they would probably faint, as only 3 people in my area know i am in the military and i have lived there 13 years.

I too regret the move away from wearing of uniform in public.

It is high time for proper public respect for and recognition of these people's great contribution.

The visibility afforded by uniform should help people to understand that it is our own young men and women, our own kith and kin, neighbours and friends who are making huge sacrifices every day.

The uniforms of our armed services should always worn with real and justifiable pride.
theflyinghandbag said:
If you can't wait for the AIN to reach your Notice Board it is on ArmyNet.

Be good to see correctly dressed Squaddies out and about and raise our public profile.

And there it was gone!

It was published yesterday & it was on the ArmyNet Homepage, (As theflyinghandbag has pointed out.) I notice now that they have had a shuffle about & its not there anymore. (Strange as it's a new A.I.N.)

Anyway anyone trying to look for it now, do the following:

Go to: Quick links (Right hand side of Homepage.)

Click: Recently released information.

Click: Publications.

Click: Army Information Notes.

Click: A.I.N. 2007

Click: I33/07: Wearing uniform in public

I cannot understand why they have done this, newly published DINS, AINS, DIBS etc are usually left on the Homepage for a while for all to see

No doubt by the time I post this they'll probably put it back on the Homepage.
When the extant policy was first published (late 1999?) I took it that the CoC had inserted the 'principle of choice' on the cowardly basis that - in the unlikely event that PIRA should kill another uniformed soldier on the streets of UK or BAOR - there should be no chance of the CoC being blamed for 'making them a target'.

I counted it as a defeat, of the Army, by the Provos.

I still hold to those views.

Avid readers of SOLDIER mag may recall a Vox Pop piece, inside the back cover, wherein various members of - get this - 5 AB Bde, had expressed their fears that 'bein' seen in uniform might lead to trouble'!

Gutless fecks.

I donned my combats, and took a lunchtime hike round Woking - only a hop-skip-jump from Pribright, and watched as amazed civvies walked into lampposts, and fell off kerbs at the sight of my rig. I expected to be sued for causing whiplash injury, so many heads were turning.

I wrote to SOLDIER expressing my views about the gutlessness of (a) the CoC and (b) troops unwilling to be seen in their full glory, in public.

They gave me a silver bookmark for 'Letter of the Month'

Troops in public should be fully rigged, smart as carrots and in your civvie face: looking the part, fearing no man, and dam' proud of it.

Nowadays, in the rare event of seeing a soldier in uniform outside barracks, chances are they are at least hatless, and/or wearing a trackie top or similar. Godammit, I've seen Regular Army SNCOs in Amesbury and Aldershot dressed like second rate ACF cadets.

I bet Martin McGuinness loves what he did to the pride of the British Army.


War Hero
Crabs can be seen in Lincoln shopping after work etc, in uniform but no sign of a beret. ;)

Obviously not fashionable enough!
So does this include the train ride home from oxford (Or service station stops) after landing in from an Op Theatre.

Having recently done this and turned a few heads (Not to mention got asked "Did you get a few of them?" about 140 times). I'm sure the smell wasn't much fun and any serving or ex serving lads would have looked on in shame (Fair enough i was too tired to give a shoit) as the scruffy mess sat falling asleep on the northern line with patched up trousers and nuddy boots.

Maybe it needs policing in some way to stop the likes of my case from putting out a negative image. If i'd have had civvies they'd have been on in a flash!
Whilst I applaud the sentiment, accosting random toms who have just popped into town for five minutes, pumping their hand like a maniac and trying to drag them into the pub for a bevvy, could be just a little embarrassing.
Probably best to tone your enthusiasm down a notch or two.
Long time ago I and two mates visited a drinking establishment just outside Saighton Camp one afternoon, all resplendent in combat kit.

Mine host came over and somewhat apologetically explained that he didn't really like ppl in uniform in his pub.

I naturally apologised for having upset him and his customers, said that we would leave immediately and offered to arrange that his establishment be put OOB to all squaddies.

Had a funny feeling that this was not really what he wanted.

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