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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Saw a guy in an Army type uniform at the mall the other night. Desert digital camo. Red white and blue US flag patch. A bit fat. His boots looked weird too.

When I was in the USAF you weren't supposed to wear camo in public unless you were going to work or heading home. Have things changed?

I wanted to get in his face but I got out 24 years ago and haven't kept up with the latest military fashions and rules.

Wish I had taken a pic. I'm pretty sure he was playing G.I. Joe.
 

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Mall comando I bet, seen a few around here too....
 
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Anyone can buy camo I bet it was either a Mall Ninja.
 
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Army doesn't have desert digital. Marines do, I can't say if the navy has them but they wear the green cammies similar to the Marines. Regardless, you are discouraged from wearing your uniform off post unless you are running out during the duty day or on your way home and making a quick stop.

He was most likely a mall ninja like everyone else is saying.
 

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The Navy has a blue digital camo that you see occasionally in public.
 

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On camo uniforms, you wear the subdued patches. if he had a full color flag on each shoulder, he was definitely a mall ninja.
 

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He could have been ROTC from a local school. Did he have his cover on or off inside? That would be a good tell.
 
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We have an organizer who takes advantage of the homeless. He suits them up in camo from the local surplus store and sends them to the street corners and malls to beg for money. If you talk to the guy's, 80% were never in the service. The others are homeless vet's trying to get through another day.
It could be what you're seeing out there.

The other thing is, a lot of stores give military discounts. He could have been scamming.
 

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Mall ninja or even worse, one of those people that make up a fake military history to get preferential treatment. I have heard cases of people doing that to get free coffee and to cut line in the check out. Sick and disrespectful!

Creek
 

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It's difficult to say without photos. However to answer the original question; restrictions on "where" BDU's can be worn have been relaxed considerably in most branches of the service.
 

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Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Camo is the uniform of the day off and on base, shopping and medical in town, eating in civilian eateries , gun shops, mall, everywhere. The only variation I see is the Aviators, they were flight suits everywhere.
 
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We have an organizer who takes advantage of the homeless. He suits them up in camo from the local surplus store and sends them to the street corners and malls to beg for money. If you talk to the guy's, 80% were never in the service. The others are homeless vet's trying to get through another day.
It could be what you're seeing out there.

The other thing is, a lot of stores give military discounts. He could have been scamming.
I had a "homeless" guy in camo approach me while I was pumping gas once. Claimed to be a Vietnam Veteran. I took one look at him and knew he couldn't possibly be old enough. In fact, I bet he hadn't even been born before that war was over. I gave him a brief history lesson, suggested he pick another war with his next mark, and sent him on his way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You know. He had to be a fake because he didn't have a cover on him that I could tell. Plus that flag patch just didn't seem right. I don't see the attraction of doing that sort of thing but to each his own.
 

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Color patches on a duty uniform should probably be a give away. Plus, on a uniform, the stars will always be leading, which means different patch on each shoulder. Also, I can not remember flag patches on both shoulders, but I have been out since 2006.
 
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