Ladies keep your lipstick at home this year. Parade organizers and the military are asking spectators to not run out and kiss soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division as they walk.
It is a longtime tradition during the parade to kiss soldiers and BC Cadets as they pass by it is a tradition that dates to the early 1900s
“Ladies would run out and give us a hug. Most were St. Vincent girls or girlfriends. Then it became the mothers. Now it’s the thing to do,” said the Parade Committee Grand Chairman, Brian Counihan Sr. in an interview with WTOC
This year Fort Stewart and parade organizers are putting an end to that tradition.
“For safety reasons, we ask that parade goers refrain from kissing the 3rd ID soldiers marching in the parade,” the parade’s Twitter account posted on Thursday. “We do, however, encourage you to continue cheering for them!”
“It’s primarily about professionalism,” the 3rd ID account posted in reply. “Soldiers are in uniform and on duty when marching and must look professional and conduct themselves with decorum. We enjoy being in the parade and appreciate the community’s ongoing support of our uniformed men and women.”
Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said security also played a part in the request, but the decision was mainly about professionalism.
“We understand the parade traditions, but our soldiers are on duty and in uniform and, frankly, red lipstick is not part of our uniform.” said Larson
“Treat people right. The military doesn’t want it to happen. We don’t want it to happen. Just do the right thing. You don’t want someone running out there kissing your wife or momma so treat them the same way,” said Counihan Sr.
While spectators are ask not to kiss the 3rd ID soldiers there will be no strict punishment for people who do.