Army Men Will Keep Their Military--and Wet--Image

Associated Press

Army men have been forbidden to carry umbrellas while in uniform since 1775, and that's not going to change, the service's top brass decreed today.

Army Secretary John O. Marsh Jr. and Gen. John A. Wickham Jr., the Army's chief of staff, "have disapproved the use of umbrellas," Lt. Col. Miguel E. Monteverde, a spokesman, announced.

"The decision has been made" Monteverde said, adding that it will be Army policy "as long as they remain in office."

Monteverde would not discuss the reasoning behind the decision, but a source who demanded anonymity would. "It's very simple," he said. "They feel the image of male Army officers walking around with umbrellas is somehow intrinsically unmilitary."

The decision means that male soldiers can still put covers on their hats, but if rain or snow falls down their neck, they'll just have to get wet.

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