552

New Fort Irwin Dress Code Irks Spouses

A new dress code for off-duty servicemembers and family at Fort Irwin, an isolated California Army post, has raised the ire of military spouses who wonder if the military really has the right to tell them how to dress.

The dress code, which is illustrated on the poster below and has been placed on buildings around Fort Irwin, bans things like ripped jeans, backward hats, pajama pants, very short shirts and shorts and sagging pants.

dress-code-irwin

“While one could certainly make the argument that some of these are common sense, I could just as easily argue that backwards ball caps and tank tops, not to mention ripped jeans which are very much a style right now and I continue to wear mine around post, are pretty benign,” spouse Ame Esterline commented on the Fort Irwin Facebook page. “The fact that so many of you continue to accept these small lapses in personal freedoms is not evidence of your positivity, but instead shows how willingly we are as a society to give control over to another simply because a given issue does not affect us.”

The Facebook post included a long message of explanation, which has been attributed to the post’s senior enlisted official, Command Sgt. Major Dale Perez.

“When it comes to off-duty attire, what might be offensive to you may be just normal clothing to some. It takes discipline to be a professional, and to be a professional it’s a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week way of life,” he said. “Bottom line – this was the right decision to make.”

He wrote that they hadn’t made the decision because of any one incident.

Fort Irwin, which houses the National Training Center, is home to about 9,000 people and is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Units use the training area there for predeployment dress rehearsals.

Because the post is so isolated – about 40 miles from the nearest real town – most families feel they don’t have any option but to live on post. If you’ve ever been to Fort Irwin, or even to Barstow, you know how in the middle of nowhere it is.

The new policy gives programs and facilities on Irwin, such as the commissary, the right to deny service to anyone not meeting the dress code.

Some characterized the new policy as being unfair or discriminatory. A few were especially annoyed by the “house shoes” and “pajama pants” prohibition.

“So would you tell an eight-month pregnant woman to take off her pajama pants? Just wondering. I never wore pajamas around post until I was pregnant,” wrote Crystal Knapp. “The concern being that if you allow it for a pregnant woman (and you should), you can’t really tell everyone else not to … Personally, I’d rather spouses be forced to color their offensive looking clown-colored hair. That’s a lousy example for children, too.”

“The rest I agree on, but PJs and house shoes?!!! I take care of myself, but if I have to run to the commissary in its opening hours, I’m not getting dolled up,” wrote Rose Natividad. “House shoes and PJs are okay with me.”

Of course, not everyone commented that this was a bad policy. Spouse Heather Ann wrote that she is “sick of seeing butt cheeks hanging out, men’s underwear from sagging pants, girls wearing shirts that are semi see-through with no bra, and, my favorite, bikini top with a open front shirt over it and thong hanging out!”

But even some who were OK with the policy are not OK with the poster displaying it. They said the graphic images posted all around Fort Irwin were more offensive than the people wearing the banned clothes.

“I don’t see why this poster has to be on every building. The only time my young boys see a girl in a thong or “booty shorts” is when go ANYWHERE on post and they see this poster,” wrote Megan Studdard. “I personally could care less how people dress; it’s their choice and honestly I have not seen anyone walking around Fort Irwin wearing a thong or bikini. Did ‘The Commander’ proof this poster before it was plastered up on every building around post?”

Fort Irwin is far from the only installation, Army or otherwise, to have a dress code. Navy bases in Japan enforce a strict dress code that prohibits active wear, such as running shorts, from being worn in the commissary and elsewhere, among other things. And the US Army bases on Hawaii prohibit items such as see-through clothing.

What do you think? Should every base have a policy like this one? Should pajama pants be banned from public places on every installation?

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

Comments

  1. the first mel says:
  2. Lisa McP says:
  3. BobSacamano says:
  4. the first mel says:
  5. sabrinacking says:
  6. MommaSquid says:
  7. Petra says:
  8. Goldy says:
  9. Erika says:
  10. Diane says:
  11. cabrams says:
  12. Renee says:
  13. Lisa says:
  14. Sarah says:
  15. D Lambers says:
  16. Wilda says:
  17. Mac says:
  18. jpUSMC says:
  19. Dena says:
  20. Kevin says:
  21. DevilDog says:
  22. DevilDog says:
  23. Danny says:
  24. Danny says:
  25. voodkokk says:
  26. voodkokk says:
  27. Guest says:
  28. Bob says:
  29. oldbrokendownretiree says:
  30. Rosalee says:
  31. Gene says:
  32. Lee says:
  33. ayh says:
  34. ronald45 says:
  35. voodkokk says:
  36. Robert Everhart says:
  37. Theresa says:
  38. Mar says:
  39. Sarah S says:
  40. CDI71052 says:
  41. Adrian says:
  42. nags11 says:
  43. William says:
  44. Eq says:
  45. TSgtTPetty says:
  46. Cortney (Vet) says:
  47. SGMBob says:
  48. John D. says:
  49. Vietnam Sailor says:
  50. Tony says:
  51. Mary V says:
  52. Kevin says:
  53. BRASS says:
  54. GMS says:
  55. artymgysgt says:
  56. artymgysgt says:
  57. GobbledyGook says:
  58. Wraith says:
  59. George W. McCormic says:
  60. Guest says:
  61. Laura says:
  62. Kathryn says:
  63. Kathryn says:
  64. Linda says:
  65. GySgt Turn says:
  66. Dianna Zerbe says:
  67. mongolberry says:
  68. mongolberry says:
  69. mongolberry says:
  70. mongolberry says:
  71. mongolberry says:
  72. MSGT Steve says:
  73. Heather says:
  74. X-man21 says:
  75. Brian says:
  76. teufelhunden says:
  77. teufelhunden says:
  78. Guest says:
  79. teufelhunden says:
  80. Lodni Kranazon says:
  81. Sgt. G says:
  82. Chris says:
  83. Renee says:
  84. Perry says:
  85. Chief Bob Ret says:
  86. IronV says:
  87. Gail says:
  88. Reason says:
  89. JustThom says:
  90. joan says:
  91. Mamma's says:
  92. Phil says:
  93. 123modeerf says:
  94. C.G. says:
  95. NLeighton says:
  96. RalphKramden says:
  97. r.higgins says:
  98. Wjohnston says:
  99. jenn says:
  100. Nikki says:
  101. Cappy says:
  102. JOlson says:
  103. Sterling says:
  104. Gary M. Smith says:
  105. Darryl says:
  106. tjskr says:
  107. Roxy says:
  108. Cat says:
  109. J. Straw says:
  110. Catherine says:
  111. Shannon says:
  112. Pat says:
  113. john says:
  114. ALPHA OMEGA says:
  115. Shane says:
  116. Marcela says:
  117. Brandy says:
  118. Ross says:
  119. Cris says:
  120. Lacey says:
  121. Bill says:
  122. Aracely says:
  123. JHeart says:
  124. GUNNY Ret says:
  125. Squid says:
  126. evel says:
  127. evel says:
  128. Robert House says:
  129. John Moore says:
  130. RSE - Navy Veteran says:
  131. DW ALLEN says:
  132. David says:
  133. IcomancheI says:
  134. CaptainDoc says:
  135. 30 yr Army Retired says:
  136. Cheryl says:
  137. Mike11C says:
  138. CWO4USNRRET says:
  139. Guest says:
  140. Drew says:
  141. ETJ 36 says:
  142. Canton Hall says:
  143. Michael Kelly says:
  144. BLG says:
  145. Ule Notknow says:
  146. Mark Gilbert says:
  147. Rock says:
  148. BB says:
  149. BB says:
  150. TopElm says:
  151. Mrshowell51 says:
  152. PS1RETIRED says:
  153. 64DWhiteFamily says:
  154. sabrinacking says:
  155. Jim says:
  156. Shane Leiser says:
  157. RETIREDAFNURSE says:
  158. Overloaded says:
  159. Old Dragoon says:
  160. Don says:
  161. sean says:
  162. george says:
  163. Valerie says:
  164. Christy says:
  165. Otto_Pilot says:
  166. jojo613 says:
  167. Johnm says:
  168. Carla says:
  169. Jodi Marie says:
  170. jojo613 says:
  171. RICHARD says:
  172. Leon says:
  173. Carolyn says:
  174. Before Your Tine says:
  175. Mike says:
  176. MSgtK says:
  177. Cindy says:
  178. NavyNamVet says:
  179. NavyNamVet says:
  180. Jill says:
  181. David says:
  182. Walt Harrison says:
  183. dennis says:
  184. sharpshooterjim says:
  185. Dan R. USN Ret says:
  186. Bob Theisman says:
  187. Kim says:
  188. Eric Moeller says:
  189. Rebecca says:
  190. Jim murff says:
  191. TomG says:
  192. djmcca304 says:
  193. SGM Frank says:
  194. Paul says:
  195. Robin says:
  196. Ron C. says:
  197. jrjetton says:
  198. Kim says:
  199. Eldog says:
  200. SGM SMITH (RET) says:
  201. LTCSTAN says:
  202. Ken says:
  203. Louie Nut says:
  204. Catlo 68-70 says:
  205. D.C says:
  206. Veteran says:
  207. Fred says:
  208. Dawn says:
  209. Luci says:
  210. guest says:
  211. Veteran says:
  212. scott says:
  213. Melanie says: