1. Definition
  2. Types of uniforms
  3. Mindset possibilities
  4. Assembling a uniform
  5. Ranks
  6. Resources for learning more
  7. Legal concerns in the U.S.
  8. "Respect" concerns
  9. Credits

  1. Definition

  3. Types of uniforms

  5. Mindset possibilities

  7. Assembling a uniform

  9. Ranks
  10. Ranks can often be found by going to the Web site for the organization one is interested in, for example:    

  11. Resources for learning more

  13. Legal concerns in the U.S.
  14. Carrying a deadly weapon
    • "Deadly weapon" is a legal term whose definition can vary by jurisdiction. In essence, though, it can be distilled to an instrument likely to produce great bodily injury. Often there are permit requirements for carrying deadly weapons. To avoid problems, don't carry something that might fall under the definition unless you have a permit.
    • Police gear that might be included in a local definition:
      • guns
      • PR24 nightsticks
      • large flashlights
    • There may well be local prohibitions on bringing deadly weapons into establishments that sell liquor. Be aware of this if you want to go to a convenience store or bar.
  15. In many jurisdictions handcuffs, leg irons, SAP gloves (leather gloves with lead lined along the knuckles of the gloves) and blackjacks are illegal for civilians to possess and use.    

  16. "Respect" concerns
  17. [When I first began working on this presentation, I turned to gl-asb at http://groups.queernet.org/index.fcgi/info/gl-asb for input and feedback. One of the members provided this viewpoint of which uniform afficionados should be aware. Robert's note is reprinted below with his kind permission.]

    Dear Wes,

    I used to to be somewhat of a stickler about uniforms. I did not believe anyone (with the exception of maybe Halloween) should wear a uniform that he or she had not earned. Law enforcement, soldier, fireman, sailor or Boy Scout. Each rank, each qualification, each medal and award on a uniform meant someone had to make the extraordinary effort-- in the case of medals of valor, perhaps even at great risk-- to earn the right to wear that emblem. I was quite adamant that a uniform was NOT to be considered costume, and to do so was to dilute and insult the very authority and authenticity that we find exciting about uniforms in the first place.

    I have (not according to my friends) mellowed over the years. The dividing line: If one wants to put the research and the respect into wearing a uniform with authenticity. Don't "mix-n-match" whatever you want to. A uniform is the very opposite of free-form creative expression. Don't buy so many ribbons that you look like a double order of fruit salad. Wear only the appropriate awards for the service, the rank and the era of the uniform. If you want to wear a uniform, lose the ponytail and beard if they are not allowed by the authority issuing the uniform. To do less is the equivalent of skag drag, and don't be surprised if you deeply offend someone who actually earned those symbols. Do you really want to piss off people with hand-to-hand combat, artillery, weapons and demolitions skills? And that would just be the lesbians. . . .

    Having spent six years in uniform, their sensual powers have somewhat waned for me. I find that most people who are excited by uniforms, like those who get off on prison fantasies, have never been in any service or in prison. As the Carthagian General Hanibal said, "No great expectation is to be place[d] on young soldier's eagerness for battle. War is agreeable only to those who are strangers to it."

    I hope that you would present at least a few of these cautionary notes in your program.

    Robert Davolt


    [When TrooperKurt read the above, he understood. But he also wanted to make sure that I included fun in my presentation. His comments are reprinted with his kind permission.]

    Robert Davolt is clearly passionate about his uniform collecting and wearing. I am as well. I enjoy all of my uniforms, but clearly feel differently about possibly widening the circle of prospective enthusiasts. A segment of the uniform fetish community seems bent on excluding someone who has an interest in collecting and wearing uniforms, but is intimidated by the thought of being scrutinized, inspected and criticized for mistakes in one's uniform appearance.

    As uniform enthusiasts I feel we have a duty to assist those who come to us for help in assembling and collecting uniforms. We run the risk of closing off and killing a truly great and fulfilling hobby if we continue traveling down this path. I am someone who has done the research and has tried to assemble uniforms correct to form as they would be worn by someone who wears that uniform as part of daily life. But it is a long and expensive process. I am not in a position to criticize or judge someone who wears a police shirt and levis or someone in a dress blues blouse and leather breeches. That one article of uniform clothing might be that guy's first step into the world of uniforms and could lead to a deeper interest of collecting and researching aspects of the history and significance of the uniform and it's decorations. I for one do not want to kill that interest by pointing out flaws and inaccuracies in his appearance. If anything I want to encourage someone to dig deeper and expand on that piece of initial curiosity which lead him to this place so far.

    My overwhelming message is that uniforms are fun. I love the look and thrill I get when looking at and wearing uniforms. Please keep fun in mind in everything you do in uniform.



  18. Credits
  19. My thanks to:
    • paksen the boy for the wealth of resource tips (Army, Marines, Navy, ranks) he offered. (Attaboy!)
    • TrooperKurt for his thoughtful feedback and extensive resource suggestions.
    • chris for the Texas Penal Code help.



© 2000-2017 by Officer Wes