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Thread: Wearing military uniform to oral interview board?

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    Default Wearing military uniform to oral interview board?

    Ok so I spent 5 years active duty US Army, and am now a currently drilling Army Reservist for the last year and a half or so. I also have my very first oral interview board for a fire department coming up in just a couple weeks.

    My father (himself retired after 30 years in the Army and Army National Guard) keeps telling me that I should wear my Army Service Uniform (the new Class A uniform)

    So what to you guys think? Would it be appropriate to wear my uniform? Would it help or hinder me? Better off wearing a normal suit?

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    No
    No
    No
    No
    No

    Sorry min ten letter post

    Wear suit tie, they should already know you have been in the military

    Might even count against you, like wearing another depts uniform to interview

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    Don't do it.

    Let your resume, interview, and interpersonal skills speak for themselves.

    Wear a dark suit and look presentable.
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    Yeah just wear a suit. Having that you are a veteran on your resume and you are still serving in the reserves will be enough.

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    Another vote for "no".

    Seriously, don't take this the wrong way, but showing up in a uniform will make you look kinda silly.

    Wear a suit. If you don't have a decent suit you could wear some nice slacks with a button down shirt, tucked in. Just avoid jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
    Another vote for "no".

    Seriously, don't take this the wrong way, but showing up in a uniform will make you look kinda silly.

    Wear a suit. If you don't have a decent suit you could wear some nice slacks with a button down shirt, tucked in. Just avoid jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts.

    Can you say goodwill

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    Seems fairly conclusive at "no" lol

    I was leaning that way myself already, but my dad was enthusiastic enough at the idea of wearing a uniform that I figured I'd ask.

    I've got a pretty good suit so that's not the problem. However I do have an American flag pin on the lapel and a pair of miniature airborne wings above the left breast pocket. So my next question is: is that too much flare?

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    Horrible idea. I get the theory behind it but just......don't.
    MAAAAYBE an american flag. That would be the very most. If it were me, conservative suit, tie and shoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim37F View Post
    Seems fairly conclusive at "no" lol

    I was leaning that way myself already, but my dad was enthusiastic enough at the idea of wearing a uniform that I figured I'd ask.

    I've got a pretty good suit so that's not the problem. However I do have an American flag pin on the lapel and a pair of miniature airborne wings above the left breast pocket. So my next question is: is that too much flare?
    yep yep yep maybe keep the flag

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    Agreed with the others, keep the American flag, but that's all I would do.

    That being said, it's very understandable to be proud of your service (as you should be), but in the process and/or interview, conservative goes a long way.
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    I did this once. Only because I was in the reserves at the time and had to leave for drill right after my interview as I was also the first one they interviewed that morning.
    Didn't get the job.
    Don't do it.
    But I think we covered that already. :P

    No pins. No flair.
    Not even the American flag is my feeling. Appears too brown nosey IMO.
    Same with the Airborne wings (kinda jealous of those though).
    Who knows who is going to be sitting your board? A former leg, grunt, Marine, AF, Navy, etc? That could literally backfire on you.
    Prior service will go a long way, but let it come out in the interview itself.
    Sell yourself. Sell your training. Sell your experience.

    Save the special designators for your department Class A's when you get them if they're allowed.
    That's where I wear mine.
    bam(SS)

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    Last edited by ffbam24; 10-01-2013 at 04:08 PM.

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    Are you looking for special consideration due to your service?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Thank you for your service to the country, but Do Not wear the class A uniform. Wear a nice suit and tie, like others have stated. Your interview skills, preparation and past accomplishments should speak for themselves.

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    no for class a (thats been hit on enough)

    no on flag and wings, makes it seem like youre trying to get points. remember the board may have military vets and other interviewees more than likely will be vets as well.

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    It's a shame that someone, especially a vet is being told not to wear a flag lapel pin! I agree that the service dress is inappropriate, and possibly against your services uniform regs, and airborne wings, ranger tabs, dive bubbles, eod crabs etc are over the top. But to not wear a lapel pin? I am a vet and wore a single American Flag and Marine Colors pin to my interview, guess what I still got the job! Be proud of your service! Also be aware that many others, firefighters and applicants are vets too, so you're not the only one. Your service to our nation is part of who you are!

    Quote Originally Posted by legos.8ty7 View Post
    no for class a (thats been hit on enough)

    no on flag and wings, makes it seem like youre trying to get points. remember the board may have military vets and other interviewees more than likely will be vets as well.
    Last edited by frozennorth; 10-02-2013 at 08:57 PM.
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    im just giving my opinion on the subject. is it a deal breaker? no, never said that, i also dont think the color of your suit makes a difference (some guys swear by only wear a dark/navy suit). my point was your 2nd to last sentence. to me, its not needed to make a statement of service unless it has some type of value (i.e i always wear an old fire helmet tie tac when we wear our class a or a suit because it was my grandfather's passed to my father, so its a 3x generation).

    there is no right or wrong, its just my opinion/advise. its like the guys wear their ambo/firefighter shirts or uniform "because i have to go to work right after" to take a test and stick out, i just wouldnt do it.

    from, a vet

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    Am I reading your post correct? Wearing an American Flag lapel pin, to an interview, is the same as wearing your volley gear to a test? Wow. I have a little more faith in vets, even ones in the Air Guard, that the pride of service and character of service is greater than wearing your volunteer gear to a test. Further I would encourage all patriotic americans to wear a flag lapel pin, regardless service to the military.
    Last edited by frozennorth; 10-02-2013 at 10:37 PM.

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    I had my interview, went with the suit with no flare. I let them ask me about my time in the Army. Overall I think I did pretty well, but I'll see in a couple weeks when they put out the ranking list
    ffbam24 likes this.

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    Best of luck to you, keep us posted.
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    Well played on letting them ask you about the Army!

    Obviously there are a lot of “No’s” already out there and you have already had your interview, but I haven’t seen any WHY’S… to answer your question. My answers/experiences are from growing up in a FF household and seeing the “culture”, talking to current FFs that were previous Vets, and talking with interview coaches (yes, the one in particular)

    Having done the same and learned the hard way… I would say it’s not a good idea BECAUSE- it comes off too strong and intimidating. Wearing the uniform looks like your trying to “one up them”, and this is definitely one occupation that does not like to be “one up’d”. It also makes you look too “squared away”, and in my experience of testing being too squeaky clean can be a disadvantage. Thirdly wearing a uniform makes it look like the military is all you know and that you are not a well-rounded candidate.

    All in all, I think it’s a shame, as Vet’s we shouldn’t be afraid to wear our uniforms, but that is the nature of this beast. And as for even a lapel pin being too much, that is just ridiculous….

    I would also say this to reservists and guardsmen. Don’t elaborate on your drilling requirements. Say you are a Vet and leave it at that! Telling a panel that you are going to need to take at least one weekend a month off and two weeks a year for drill, or that you can potentially be activated for a year, will definitely not go well for you. In their defense though, you can’t blame them, they want an individual who will be completely committed to THEM! With the tight budgets departments are having to deal with now days they can’t take the risk of investing in someone that has commitments elsewhere or could possibly be gone for a while.

    A little off subject, but something else I’ve learned the hard way, when it comes to answering interview questions don’t answer every question with military related experiences. A panel wants to see that you have been exposed to a diverse background and different types of experiences. Obvious to me now… But my biggest mistake when I started testing again after my deployment was I would answer every question with Army Army Army and I didn’t realize that I was coming off as a one trick pony…

    Good luck and keep us informed on how things turn out for you
    And as a whole to all of us Vets trying to get into this occupation- Good luck to all of us!

    DUSTOFF

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    Hi Jim,
    I have been away from the boards for a while so I apologize I did not get to weigh in before your interview. After reading all of the posts, I really liked the one from Blackhawk driver. I so much agree with educating a person on why you do or do not do something in the fire service. A simple yes or no is not always the best method, particularly for someone who is just learning about the fire service.

    As has been pointed out above - THANK YOU for your service. We will see this on your application and resume. Coming into the interview wearing your uniform is a bit weird. More importantly, it makes me question your availability to work for my department. We are hiring NOW because we have openings. A Fire Chief may be reluctant to hire someone who has a previous military commitment. Yes, I realize there are laws regarding this, however, you bring it to the forefront by wearing your uniform (I hope this makes sense).

    I was never in the military. I, however, really respect those who served. I find former military men and women do extremely well in the fire service. Best of luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    I passed the oral interview with an 83%, ranked 102 on the eligibility list.

    Unfortunately the dept is only looking for ~16 new FFs and only the top 50 are moving on right now, so I guess it's wait and see how many pass the PAT and background

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