Ask the Chairman - Can the OA sash be worn with the BSA activity uniform?
Q. Hello Ray,
The OA handbook indicates a member can wear the OA sash at OA functions or serving in an OA capacity at an event with their field uniform. Can a member wear the sash with the activity uniforms at an OA function?
Thank you for your question regarding the proper times for wearing the Order of the Arrow sash. As you know, sash guidance is generally provided on pages 57-58 of the Order of the Arrow Handbook (#34996):
"Only currently registered members of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order may wear the insignia of the Order of the Arrow."
"The Order of the Arrow sash is worn with the official Scout field uniform or Scouting’s official adult professional dress wear (a blue blazer and gray slacks). The sash also may be worn by elangomats who are not in uniform at an Ordeal, youth wearing ceremonial attire, and in such other instances as approved by the Scout executive."
"The sash is worn at Order of the Arrow functions and special Scouting activities, when members need to be identified as Arrowmen rendering special services."
I would suggest a OA troop representative and OA troop adviser only wear their sash on the troop level while actually conducting official OA duties, like making announcements, during elections, at courts of honor when presenting the OA calendar to the parents, etc.
Specifically to your question, if someone is at an OA event, and is wearing the official BSA defined activity uniform, I typically would not wear an OA sash with a T-shirt primarily because the informality of the T-shirt and the formality of the OA sash seem inconsistent. Except during the exceptions noted above (elangomats who are not in uniform at an Ordeal, youth wearing ceremonial attire, and in such other instances as approved by the Scout executive), the sash should only accompany the field uniform or Scouting's official adult professional dress wear.
Thanks so much for writing and for your continued commitment to Scouting and the Order.
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