ROTC Cadet Presents Unique Uniform Show

News Photo 1757
Jan. 22, 2004

Baylor University Air Force ROTC cadet Marc Bradle has had a long abiding love for the military and its trappings. As a child, the Fort Worth senior would dress up on Halloween as Lord Nelson or Capt. James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.

Bradle's interest in military uniforms has continued, and recently he presented a unique "fashion show" at the weekly ROTC leadership laboratory. During the hour-long class, the history major and a group of his friends modeled six uniforms that spanned from the gear of a World War I Army Air Corps pilot to an Air Force dress blue uniform in the 1990s.

"With this past year being the 100th anniversary of manned flight, I saw this as an opportunity to not only show all cadets in ROTC what uniforms the Air Force has worn over the years and how the Air Force uniform has evolved since the First World War, but also to honor all the veterans who have served over the years in the Air Force and Army Air Forces," said Bradle, who will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in May and will train as a navigator at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Bradle bought the uniforms on Ebay and said it took approximately a year to collect all six. The uniforms he purchased were:

• A model 1912 Army Service uniform with officer-style Sam Browne belt and calvary-style breeches and boots. This uniform was worn from 1912 until 1926 by the Army and Army Air Corps and is the only replica of the six uniforms acquired by Bradle.

• The famous "Pinks and Greens" of a World War II Army Air Forces colonel flying a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 8th Air Force in England. This uniform was worn from 1926 until 1950.

• The "Midnight Blues," an all blue uniform, was worn from 1950 until the 1980s. The uniform Bradle bought was that of a lieutenant colonel who flew in the Korean War.

• The "Silver Tans," a khaki uniform, was worn from 1950 to 1965, when the coat was phased out and only the khaki short sleeve shirt and pants were worn. These were phased out in the 1970s. Bradle's uniform is that of a captain who was an astronaut in the early 1960s.

• A Ceremonial White Dress uniform, which was worn from the early 1950s until the early 1970s, when it was phased out only to be brought back in the early 1980s and phased out again in 1993. The uniform belonged to a lieutenant colonel who was a navigator serving at the Pentagon.

• A Ceremonial Blue Dress uniform, which served the same purpose as the White Dress uniform but was worn in the winter. It also was phased out in 1993. The uniform belonged to a major who served at the U.S. Space Command.

Last year, Bradle presented to Baylor's ROTC detachment replicas of the uniforms worn by Baylor two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Jack Lummus and John "Killer" Kane.

"I got interested in collecting uniforms when I created those replicas," Bradle said. "I bought them off Ebay and during my searches, I found some interesting old Air Force uniforms that are no longer worn."

He says he plans to add to his collection and will wear or display the uniforms at Veterans Day or Air Force-related events.

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