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Enlistedman's Mess Dress Uniform


QED4

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I picked up this uniform a few days ago and did not think it was unusual until I looked it up in Emerson's Encyclopedia of US Army Insignia and Uniforms and found there was no Mess Dress Uniform for enlistedmen authorized before 1981 and this is not it. The uniform according to the 1981 Regulations has a modified tre-foil on the sleeve with a pin rank insignia in it. This one has the sleeves set up like the EM Dress Blue Uniform. I checked

the 1981 Regulations and it talks about the earlier officers uniform and how it can be made to comply with the 1981 Regulations but there is no mention of an earlier EM uniform. I don't have a copy of any of the earlier regulations so don't know what they say. Also it was made in Korea if that means anything and has no date, the pants are standard blue with yellow stripe. The dark blue lapels and no shoulder straps comply with the 1981 regulations but the sleeves do not. Was this uniform worn before 1981 with out authorization or was it some sort of special purpose uniform. Any input will be appreciated.

 

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...made in Korea if that means anything...Was this uniform worn before 1981 with out authorization or was it some sort of special purpose uniform....

Point 1: Korean tailors could and would make any uniform ordered, authorized or not (and they probably still do).

 

Point 2: My WAG is that this was a pre-1981 uniform made to order by the unknown sergeant who wanted a mess jacket for some unknowable personal reason. Alternatively, it might have been a shop sample created by an enterprising Korean tailor, jumping the gun in anticipation of the 1981 design. After all, his cost of putting this pastiche together using stock on-hand would have been minimal: The basic jacket was the standard officer mess jacket design, which was a popular purchase item for officers stationed in Korea, whereas the enlisted insignia were of standard design for the enlisted Army Blue uniform, which were also popular items for optional purchase.

 

For context, here is a page from the JUSMAG-K 1976 photo annual, depicting a social function of the JUSMAG-K Purple Chevrons Association. Note that USAF NCOs are the only enlisted participants shown here who are wearing a service mess uniform.

 

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Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:


"To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,


For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods."

 

 

 

 

 

 


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VolunteerArmoury

That is our current mess uniform. I'm actually planning on getting sized for mine tomorrow at MCSS for the Birthday Ball. I do not know when they changed from the version with the trefoil and pin on rank but that was the previous one. We also have the White Mess Dress jacket authorized to us but the White Dress uniforms are gone long gone already with our transition to the Army Service Uniform.

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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Thanks, but I really feel dumb now, I guess it is just the collector in me that wanted it to be older rather than newer. I went back and did some more checking and this style appears in the 1992 regulations. I guess that is what happens when you get excited and don't do a through job of researching, rookie mistake on my part.

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...My WAG is that this was a pre-1981 uniform...

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away........

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

post-24355-0-52548100-1420800713.png

 

 

Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:


"To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,


For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods."

 

 

 

 

 

 


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VolunteerArmoury
Thanks, but I really feel dumb now, I guess it is just the collector in me that wanted it to be older rather than newer. I went back and did some more checking and this style appears in the 1992 regulations. I guess that is what happens when you get excited and don't do a through job of researching, rookie mistake on my part.

 

 

If you want to get rid of it-pending on the size-I would be interested in buying it from you if it'd fit me instead of waiting for one to get tailored for me.

Be well,

 

Chad C. Rogers

Retired Army

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  • 11 years later...

There was a mess jacket for NCOs in the pre-WWII Army.  This is a photo of a cavalry sergeant's jacket, dated 1938.  Note the small service stripes and that the miniature medals are worn on the jacket, not on the lapel (as they are today).  Notice also that the stripe on the trousers (and the color of the sergeant's stripes and the service stripes are tied to the sergeant's branch (yellow for cavalry).  Artillery NCOs would have had a scarlet stripe on the trousers / scarlet chevrons / scarlet service stripes. Infantry would have been infantry blue. Signal Corps would have been orange. QM would have been buff. Notice that the lapels are simply an extension of the fabric of the coat itself, with no silk/satin facing.

 

The Army didn't adopt a yellow-gold color for trouser stripes / chevrons / service stripes for everyone, regardless of branch, until 1953.

 

The pre-WWII NCO's mess jacket is cut just like the modern equivalent (second photo), and looks the same except for the silk/satin facing on the lapels and the wide service stripes.

Enlisted mess jacket 1938.jpg

Enlisted mess jacket (1997-2004).jpg

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