Do Retiring Generals (or Other Retiring Military) Need Fashion Tips?

Home Forums Miscellaneous Do Retiring Generals (or Other Retiring Military) Need Fashion Tips?

This topic contains 18 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Sperry 8 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #109580


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    I read a GovExec article this morning about an ACE procurement for a course that teaches retiring generals how to dress.

    So it made me wonder: if you are used to wearing a uniform for 20+ years and never really had to worry about civilian attire, this kind of quick course is probably useful.
    What do you think?
  • #109616

    Peter Sperry

    Sounds more like a complete waste of government money. The military leadership is not a bunch of cloistered warrior monks. They live (and dress) in the real world, wear suits when needed as well as blue jeans and business casual if appropriate. Even the haircuts are not all that different from contemporary fashions. Bottom line, if someone can rise to general officer rank without acquiring basic clothes shopping skills, DOD is more trouble than we thought.

  • #109614

    Melissa Templeton

    It seems like a no-brainer but shopping for a business wardrobe with DH after he retired from 20 USMC years was certainly a trial. Maybe the spouses need a course. 🙂

  • #109612

    Marco Morales

    All U.S. citizens, regardless of what sector of society they came from, have the option to join the military and serve for 20 years (all things considered, e.g., prerequisites for enlisting or becoming a commissioned officer). In the interim, they remain somewhat connected to civillian attire since duty status could change from “on duty” to “off duty” often enough. Unless one becomes institutionalized to the point of becoming very drawn to wearing a military uniform — even to social occasions where they may have a choice — I believe everyone in uniform looks forward to being able to don their “glad rags” (as they are often referred to) to more easily blend into our society as a whole. Wearing a military uniform, with all of its ribbons and medals, has a time and place of its own.

  • #109610

    Ha! Interesting idea, Melissa…

  • #109608

    Jenyfer Johnson

    I have to agree with Peter Sperry…a waste of government money! Someone should call Fraud, Waste and Abuse on this one! What do these people think…that generals ran around naked in their off-hours?…or did they just wear their uniforms 24-7?

    Please, people…this is why some people in America (and other countries) think that our government is stupid, bloated and wasteful. Because when we do things like this…WE ARE!

  • #109606

    Stephen Peteritas

    Whatever happened to men in uniform… isn’t that a big thing for women and seriously most everyone could use this class. Fashion is one of those things like golf only a few people actually know how to do it well.

  • #109604

    Jenyfer Johnson

    But should the government have to pay for it?

  • #109602

    How about for young guys retiring or young, unmarried soldiers who sustained disabilities and have to enter the workforce sooner than expected?

  • #109600

    Having worked alongside General Andrew J. Goodpaster, USA (Ret.) and Gen. Carl W. Reddel, USAF (Ret.) among many others – I can safely say all the Generals I’ve known have never had an issue with clothing or attire.

    My two cents.

    Donna O’Que.

  • #109598


    On the surface it does seem like a waste of money, however it’s worth considering:

    1. If the course isn’t based so much as to having fashion sense, but more about matching and pairing articles of clothing for a professional appearance (I think everyone can safely handle a shirt and jeans, but that sleeveless tee worn to work is probably unappropriate – depending on your field of cours!
    2. There are individuals (especailly men) who are color blind. I was once talking with a co-worker whose spouse is, and she described how he has adjusted things to dress appropriately (labeling clothes tags, etc.) for his banking job – before he had her assistance
    3. I once talked with a gentleman (CPA) who told me that he knows nothing about clothing (he was in his early 40’s), as that he was unmarried, he relied on visiting his sister annually to go shopping because he did not know how to dress.
    4. Better to help people transition more smoothly and land their next job quickly, vs. draining their state’s unemployment insurance because they wore brown socks with their black pants and pink shirt to each interview right? Part of interviewing is one’s appearance. Probably costs less to pay for the training/course I would think….

  • #109596

    Henry Brown

    Would suggest that this kind of training could be useful for anyone changing jobs.

    The problem(s) that I have: who should pay for it: If I wanted to improve my chances for employment, it would be my responsibility to pay for professional dressing tips. Why should it be any different for someone who is retiring after 20 years of service?

    who should it be offered to: a general who interacts with the community on a somewhat regular basis probably doesn’t need this type of training but a general who has limited exposure to other environments probably wouldn’t hurt to be given a “refresher course”, a work at home employee who has regular physical contact with other employees and other people in a professional environment might not but a Geek who works at home and has only minimal professional contact probably ought to have some sort of refresher training

  • #109594

    Jenyfer Johnson

    Henry makes an excellent point…why should the government pay for the class? It should be the responsibility of the person who is retiring or looking for a job (through whatever circumstances) option to take the class and bear the burden of the cost.

    It is not the government’s responsibility to make sure you know how to “dress for success” after 20 years in a uniform, or 3 years in a uniform, or 15 years behind a desk or whatever. The burden is your’s to seek out the information or classes and find out how to dress for an interview or new job.

    We need to stop looking toward the federal government as a big huge “babysitter” that is going to molly-coddle us all and take care of every little need for everything all the time. Where is our own responsibility?

  • #109592


    One could also argue – If you are in a profession requiring licensing, certifications, etc. – why should the employer pay for these fees for employees to keep current when they come due? If you want to work in that profession, shouldn’t you be responsible for keeping your credentials current? This includes costs associated with them. If not, when it lapses, then you are no longer qualified for the position. I’ve seen numerous employers (gov’t included) that will go ahead and pay these fees for their employees. Then, there’s plenty of those occasions where employees leave for another job opportunity – now the employer has just taken on the cost and gotten no benefit! Much like Jenyfer’s comment about it should be the resonsiblity of the person who has the option to take the calls and bear the burden of the cost – couldn’t you say that the person wanting to keep their job has the burden of the cost associated with staying up-to-date if they want to continue to be gainfully employeed in their job/profession?

  • #109590

    Jamith Peterson

    Yes they our Retiring Generals needs fashion tips, more than 20 years they spend with same uniform so now they should know the civilian attire, else it they will look very odd in front of civilian. They have done so much for us and our country so we need to give them free fashion tips.

  • #109588


    I separated from the USMC a few years back and we received a class on proper business attire.

  • #109586

    Maria Gonzalez

    I think debriefing and re-education should be first. Many soldiers have trouble finding work in civilian life because their knowledge, skills and experience in the military is undervalued in our society. I think the military needs to expand their training to prepare them for real jobs in the real world. Secondly, I have never met a military slob, so fashion is probably the least of their worries in this economy.

  • #109584

    Carol Davison

    As a veteran and a training officer I believe we should invest our scant training resources where they could do the most good. Last time I looked it was illegal to pay for certifications from training funds. From what other budget would they be paid?

    We all have a responsibility to accept responsiblity for our own career development. I’ve invested about $10,000 and a months leave in my own development over the past five years because I am worth it. How much is your career worth?

    A discharged 22 year old, let alone someone savvy enough to make general, know to go to Sears-Nordstroms to purchase appropriate clothing. They don’t lock these people up on the fort and probhit tv. This question is somewhat insulting. I can’t imagine how the course received approval.

  • #109582

    Mark Hammer

    I work a few blocks from our military headquarters here in Ottawa. As a cost-savings measure some years back, members of the Canadian Forces were issued two uniforms (formal and battle) instead of 3 (formal, office, battle). As a result, every day I see all these military staff who work at desk jobs in camouflage gearm, like they were ready to hit Normandy Beach.

    General schmeneral. It’s a frickin’ JOB, and if you’re not in that job anymore, you’re no different to me than anybody else waiting in line in front of me for their fries! Put on a shirt and a pair of pants and be done with it.

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