Genesis of Sea Scout uniforms
William H. Sills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 09 Jun 1997 15:30:20 -0500
Our traditional uniforms did not "appear out of the blue". The
first ones were nautically tailored khaki ones. In the 20's Commander
Keane developed our present uniforms.
The traditional uniform for petty officers and ship's crew was EITHER
the white or navy crackerjack uniform for dress with either the "Donald
Duck" or the "Fighting Bob Evans" hat and the pea coat. The traditional
working uniform was the dungaree trousers, Sea Scout tee shirt, optional
blue sweater, working blue jacket, and either the blue ball cap or the
dixie cup. Black dress shoes and socks and gym shoes for work were
available from BSA supply. Petty officers, bosns, bosns mates and
coxswains carried bosns pipes with matching blue or white lanyard.
Officers wore the USN blue uniform coat with four, rather than six
buttons, silver sleeve stripes and plain, oval rope or diamond rope 1st
class anchor device, the horrible blue tie and either white, blue or
khaki trousers with barracks cap and matching combination cover.
Commander Keane basically used the USN uniform for petty officers
and crew and the Yacht Club/US Navy uniform for commissioned officers.
The yacht club uniform remains the same today. Although there's a
white uniform coat in the traditional regulations, almost no yachtsmen
own one today. The white uniform coat is almost exclusively the province
of International Judges on tropical/Caribbean juries. The black/navy
uniform coat is the most common. Even it is seldom seen except in
old-line yacht clubs worn by officers, judges and Race Committee
members. Black, white or khaki trousers and a white shirt are worn with
the black coat. Either white or black covers are worn on the combination
cap. There's a matching black (white) stripe with trefoil for Member-non
0wners, with a stripe added for owners, officers wear the Owner's
stripes with the gold device of their office in the upper (center) loop
of the trefoil. There's another (3rd) stripe for Rear Commodores with a
gold star in the upper loop, a 4th stripe with two stars, one in each
side loop, for Vice Commodores and a total of five stripes with a gold
star in each loop for commodores. Past officers retain their stripes
without the gold insignia.
The traditional gold yachtsman's cap insignia of two crossed
fouled anchors with a life preserver superimposed upon them and the club
burgee in a disc in its center (rank is denoted by insignia on the cap
device) is paralleled by the Sea Scout officer's silver crossed anchors
and life preserver with the 1st Class Anchor in the center. Yachtsmen
and Quartermasters use a black hurricane strap while Sea Scout officers
wear a silver one. Yachtsmen wear black buttons with the black cap and
gilt ones withnthe white cover. Sea Scout officers wear silver casp
buttons. The black Quartermaster buttons are no longer available. My
squadron substitutes black yachtsman's cap buttons for Quartermasters.
Another parallel is the fact that, traditionally, yachtsmen wear
their Club's tie instead of the USN's black one and Sea Scouters wear
our horrible blue tie.
How's that for historical trivia?
Knowing the basis for our traditional uniforms may help us all to