Comment by SOBE, on June 25, 2010
Here's something that I thought I would share with you. When we first read it, my son's girlfriend was sad, but as it turns out, it was very cool to watch all these sailors acting like gentlemen!
Public Display of Affection
In the Navy physical forms of affection such as hugs, kisses, and holding hands while in uniform are known as a "public display of affection" (PDA) and are forbidden.
There is one exception: families saying goodbye to a sailor before a deployment or greeting a sailor returning from deployment or long separation. Boot camp counts under this exception, with limits. One enthusiastic hug of greeting and a quick kiss are acceptable. French or extended kisses are not, nor are extended hugs, hanging off your sailor, etc.
Hand-holding at any time is forbidden. There is a compromise, and I consider it to be a fairly romantic one. A sailor may offer his arm to his girlfriend/wife/mother; she lays her hand in the crook of his LEFT elbow in a formal escort-type pose. Likewise, a female sailor can take the RIGHT arm of her husband/boyfriend/father with her left hand. In a truly romantic gesture, men may lay their right hand over their lady's
hand (to keep it warm, or for skin-to-skin contact). The sailor must always have his right arm free to salute an officer or properly displayed flag.
Also, just because you aren't on base, don't assume they aren't
looking. RDCs and other boot camp personnel also go to the mall, out to restaurants, to Chicago, etc, and they will be looking for new sailors breaking the rules. Some may actually be assigned this job in popular venues. Even if they run into the recruit by chance and are just out with their own family, they will report the new graduate. You won't likely see them because they will not be in uniform, but they will see
And no, they won't punish YOU. They will punish your sailor when s/he returns to barracks. The most common punishment is to have their liberty revoked the next day, or if the behavior is observed on the final day of liberty, new sailors can be retained for an extra week of boot camp. These are not idle threats. They actually do it. If you want to "mug it" with your sailor, get a room!
Your sailors will be wearing their dress blues if it's winter and dress whites if it late spring and summer at PIR and that whole day after you drive off with them.
Be sure to bring a lint brush or sticky roll for your recruit to "clean up" his or her blues. The blues are wool and pick up just about anything. If you are bringing a pet, bring one of those sticky-tape rollers to de-fur your sailor. Bring a towel from the hotel or from home for them to sit on in the car or when you are out and about!
Be careful with whites, they show everything. On Saturday and Sunday they will be wearing their service uniforms, aka "peanut butters," which is a khaki shirt and black slacks or skirt. In the winter they may be cold in the short sleeves, so make a stop at the Navy Exchange so they can get a uniform sweater and a name tag (but have them check with their RDCs first to make sure it's okay).