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Uniforms Of The United States

UNIFORMS OF THE UNITED STATES The uniforms, though recent changes have largely deprived them of their character, still in some respects follow the French fashion upon which they were originally modelled. The helmet, worn until 1899, indeed showed no trace of French influence it was simply a mere sho'wy parade head-dress. The French k<5pi, worn during and after the Civil War, has been abolished and replaced by a cap which, like the full-dress cap now worn, bears some resemblance to the Japanese cap. But the long-skirted blue tunic, the general's " chapeau," the sergeant's and corporal's long pointed chevrons still survive to recall the old uniforms, and one or two of the innovations, the rank badges on the sleeve, are also French.

Infantry Officers. Full dress: universal pattern tunic (dark blue, double-breasted with thick gold shoulder cord) with light blue, gold-laced collar, light blue trousers with white stripe, badges of rank and branch on sleeve. Universal pattern full-dress peaked cap (stiff blue cloth, gold-edged band, and eagle badge, with light blue band)- Undress: universal pattern frock (dark blue, single-breasted, braided black and hooked; across the shoulder, flat loops edged with gold lace and bearing rank badges) ; shoulder loop light blue; plain collar with U.S. and branch badge in gold; trousers as in full dress. Sword belt under the frock, slings brown leather. Cap, of the same shape as full-dress cap but with plain black braid band. A white undress of similar pattern is worn in not climates. Service dress (olive drab or light khaki). Coat, single-breasted, four pockets, stand and fall collar, bronze buttons and ornaments. Brown waistbelt and braces, somewhat similar to British " Sam Browne," but with sword slings. Peaked cap, plain olive drab or khaki, with bronze eagle badge. Slouch hat, grey, with gold and black twisted cord.

Evening dress and mess dress: blue, with shoulder cords and rank-marks as in full dress, blue trousers. Greatcoat, universal pattern, khaki with horn buttons; rank-marks in black braid on the sleeve, branch badge in bronze:

Cavalry officers as infantry, but with yellow collar, cap-band and trousers stripes as full dress and branch badge.

Artillery officers as infantry, but with red collar, cap-band and trousers stripes, and branch badge.

Engineer officers as infantry, but branch badge, red ground with white edges on full-dress collar and cap. Full-dress trousers, dark blue with red, white-edged stripe; undress, light blue with red stripe. In full dress engineer officers have the special distinction of wearing red skirt-flaps with white line and gold edge. Signal Corps, as infantry, but with branch badge and salmon collar, capband, etc. Signal officers, alone in the army, wear a pouch-belt: this is of black leather crimson leather for the chief of the corps with gold appointments. Ordnance Corps, as infantry, but dark blue red-edged trousers stripes, etc., and branch badge. Medical, as infantry, but with magenta stripes, etc., and branch badge.

Generals and Staff Officers. Major-generals (and with a third star lieutenant-generals), dark blue double-breasted tunic with buttons in threes, and cuffs and collar of black velvet ornamented with oak-leaf gold embroidery, above the cuffs two silver stars; gold epaulettes and aiguillette, wide yellow waist-sash; dark blue trousers with two gold stripes: slings, and waist-belt if worn, crimson leather with gold stripes. " Chapeau " or cocked hat (French pattern) black felt with black feather edging and gold ornament; full-dress cap, universal pattern, with black velvet band, embroidered on band and peak as on full-dress cuffs. Undress: blue frock, double-breasted, with buttons in threes, ." stand and fall " collar with U.S. in gold; rank marks on shoulder loops; plain dark blue trousers, universal pattern undress caps with oakleaves on the peak only. White undress uniform is similar. Brigadier-generals, as major-generals with the following distinctions: one star on the sleeve or shoulder-loop, narrow yellow sash, buttons in pairs, plain black strap instead of crimson waist-belt (with, however, crimson and gold slings). Service dress and overcoats (all general officers) universal pattern: on the slouch hat a gold cord instead of black and gold. Evening and mess dress, universal pattern, with cuffs, collar and epaulettes as in full dress. Certain general officers who are chiefs of departments wear some of the distinctions of their branch; thus the adjutant-general, the quartermaster-general, etc., wear the branch badge below the stars, the chief of engineers the scarlet engineer skirt nap, the chief of artillery a crimson waist-sash instead of yellow. In undress these officers have a ground of their branch colour instead of dark blue on the shoulder loops. Staff officers are in the main uniformed in the same way as those of infantry, but wear dark blue trousers (in full dress a gold stripe), black and gold belts and slings, branch badge on sleeve, and full-dress collars, full-dress cap-bands and undress shoulder loops of the branch colour.

Branch and Line Badges. General staff, a silver star, decorated with eagle device; inspector-general's department, sword and " fasces " crossed in wreath, gold ;adjutant-general'sdepartment, gold shield with U.S. arms; quartermaster-general's department, sword and key crossed, surmounted by eagle, over a wheel, gold ; ordnance, grenade; commissary or subsistence, silver crescent; infantry, gold crossed rifles; cavalry, gold crossed swords; artillery, gold crossed guns; engineers, silver castle; signal corps, crossed flags and torch; medical, winged Aesculapius staff. Aides-de-camp wear a shield like the adjutant-general's but in red, white and blue enamel and surmounted by an eagle; adjutants, quartermasters, commissaries, etc., of the combatant arms wear a shield, sword and key, crescent, etc., under the guns, swords, etc., of the regiment or corps.

Branch and Arm Colours. Infantry, light blue; cavalry, yellow; artillery, red; engineers, red with white edge; signal corps, salmon with white edge; quartermaster's department, yellow ochre; ordnance, blue with crimson edge; other staffs and departments, light blue; medical, magenta ; general staff, dark blue.

Badges of Rank. Officers: general, lieutenant-general, majorgeneral, brigadier-general, stars 4, 3, 2, and I respectively, in all orders of dress. Other officers, in undress, silver on a shoulder loop of coloured cloth according to branch; colonel, spread eagle; lieutenant-colonel, pair of oak-leaf sprigs; major as lieutenantcolonel but in gold; captain, two pairs of bars; 1st lieutenant, one pair of bars ; 2nd lieutenant, no badge : in full dress, evening dress and greatcoat, colonel fivefold, lieutenant-colonel fourfold, major threefold, captain twofold, 1st lieutenant single Austrian knot of narrow gold braid, 2nd lieutenant no Austrian knot. Field officers have black leather waist-belt and slings completely covered with gold braid, and also oak-leaf embroidery on the peak of the full-dress cap. Captains and lieutenants have similar belts, but with four gold_ braids only; in the infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers the intervening spaces (" lights ) are coloured light blue, yellow, etc., while in other cases the black leather is allowed to appear.

Enlisted men are dressed similarly to officers, with the following differences: tunic with dark blue cuffs, collar and shoulder-straps. The collar is edged top and bottom, the shoulder-straps all round and the cuffs along the top edge wth yellow for cavalry, light blue for infantry, etc. The badge of the branch in brass is on the collar. Lines are worn (aiguillette fashion) as an additional decoration; these are of the branch colours. The trousers are light blue, with, in full dress, stripes of branch colours. The white undress, service dress and greatcoat are similar to those for officers, with certain distinctions in detail. The full-dress cap is of the officers' pattern, but the band is dark blue, edged with the branch or arm colour above and below, and the badge is brass in a white metal wreath. The slouch hat has a cord of the branch colours. Rank marks of non-commissioned officers are long, graceful chevrons (inherited from France) pointing upwards, I, 2 ana 3 for lance-corporals, corporals and sergeants, 3 with diamond star, etc., for " first sergeants " and corresponding ranks, 3 with the lower ends connected by bars or arcs of the chevron material for sergeant-majors and staff-sergeants. In full dress these chevrons are of the colour of the branch facings, in service dress of khaki embroidery.

Naval Uniforms. The full-dress coat of British naval officers is a dark blue double-breasted swallow-tailed coat with gold buttons, lace and epaulettes, a white gold-edged slashed-flap on the sleeve with rings of lace showing rank. Dark blue trousers with gold stripes, and black silk cocked hat. The undress coats are frock coat, which may be worn with epaulettes, and double-breasted jumper, both having plain cuffs with rings of gold lace. The undress cap is a peaked cap with gold badge. Certain petty officers wear blue jumpers, the rest and the sailors wear sailors dress (Plate IV., line 3, No. 7). White is worn in the tropics, with white pith helmets in the case of officers and broad-brimmed straw hats in that of the sailors. Royal Marine Artillery and Royal Marine Light Infantry are dressed as artillery and infantry of the army, with certain distinctions; they may always be recognized by the badge of a globe within a laurel wreath. (Plate IV., line 3, No. I.)

Officers' Rank Marks. (a) On the epaulette: Batons in laurel wreath and crown, admiral of the fleet; crown, sword and baton crossed, and I, 2, 3 stars, rear-admiral, vice-admiral, admiral; anchor and crown, with o, I, 2, stars, commander, junior captain, senior captain; anchor and star, senior lieutenant; anchor, junior lieutenant; anchor on fringeless epaulette, sub-lieutenant. (&) On the sleeve (in all orders of dress except white, and greatcoat) : flag officers, broad gold ring with I, 2, 3, 4 narrow rings (the uppermost with a curl) for rear-admiral, vice-admiral, etc. ; other officers, I, 2, 2 with narrower ring between, 3 and 4 for sub-lieutenant, junior lieutenant, senior lieutenant, commander and captain, (c) Shoulder straps in greatcoat and white undress, blue strap with bars and curl as on sleeve in other orders, except flag officers, who have gold-laced shoulder-strap with rank marks as on epaulette. Non-combatant branches have not the " curl," and between the gold bars or rings there are " lights " or stripes of various colours according to branch. The Royal Naval Reserve officers have similar rank mark, but, instead of bars of plain lace, a thin twist of gold embroidery, and an oval badge surrounding the anchor on the epaulettes.

The uniforms of other navies are very similar to those of the British. The old-fashioned jacket worn over the sailor blouse, and the conspicuous white lapels of the full-dress coat, are the principal peculiarities of the German navy. The Spanish naval officer has red lapels. A very marked peculiarity of the Austrian navy is that the officers, dressed in all other respects similarly to the naval officers of other countries, have the military tunic. The marines, where they exist, conform to the infantry of the respective land forces in most respects; the German marines, however, wear the Jager shako, and navy-blue uniforms with white collars and cuffs. (Plate IV., line 3, No. 3.)

See Colonel C. Walton, British Army; and British regimental histories; Ottenfeld and Teuber, Oesterreichs Armee; Richard Knotel, Uniformen-Kunde; R. Nevill, British Military Prints; Lienhardt and Humbert, Les Uniformes de f Armee Franfaise; British Dress Regulations, 1822, 1834, 1846, 1855-64, 1874, 1883, 1891 and 1904; Lavisse, Sac au Dos, and Moritz Ruhl's handbooks of the German, Austrian, Russian, Italian and French army uniforms of the present day. The particulars given of the United States army uniforms have been obtained, by the kind permission of the United States Embassy, from official plates. (C. F. A.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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