Can my chain of command tell me which CSIB to wear? | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can my chain of command tell me which CSIB to wear?

My Brigade CSM put out that Soldiers are not authorized to wear any other combat patch except that of my current unit. AR 670-1 says that the Soldier may choose which combat patch to wear. My 1SG told me that there is a way for the CSM to enforce his order, kind of like an exception to policy. My question is, can the CSM enforce that order or does AR 670-1 over-rule him? Thank you.

Glad to see you did your research! While AR 670-1 does specifically state it is your choice, there is an ALARACT message that may be the source of confusion. Please see the file I’ve attached to the bottom of this post.

Let’s say you are absolutely 100% correct. Are you sure you want to become the martyr for this issue within your Brigade? This may be one of those issues where it is smart to pick your battles. It appears your command is not going to be receptive to a change. I would encourage you not to fight this battle as the last stand, as I do not see any benefit to it. Sometimes in the service it is just better to shut up and color.

Now with that said there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to understand the basis for a decision. Usually command teams don’t just make things up because they want to. In this case perhaps they are following other guidance. There is a chance that the command team just decided that’s what they wanted for uniformity and morale purposes. Typically in these situations the command will issue a uniform supplement to AR 670-1 and then unit personnel are required to follow it. Usually these supplements are in writing.

Trust me, I  like to know the why’s of things–especially when I disagree with them… but it is not always the smart move when you have a career to consider. Pick your battles and win the battles you pick.



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posted on 12/01/2011 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Someone...not important...

    Ha! Sounds like the poor guy is in my Division…they went out of their way to TRY to make sure we did not receive permission from the units under which we fell while deployed to EVER wear their CSIB, but were wholly unsuccessful…fortunately.

    More power to this soldier for standing up for what’s right. Sick of people that already have five or six different CSIBs from prior deployments telling the rest of us we can only wear the one we wore on our left shoulder — that’s stupid. I was controlled by an active duty unit, followed THEIR rules, THEIR SOP, THEIR protocol — I should damn sure have the right to wear THEIR PATCH. Ridiculous.

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