Uniforms and Insignia
Standard uniform for all ranks since the late 1920s was the US Army tropical ‘Chino’ khaki cotton shirt and pants, worn with the US M1912 Campaign Hat (aka ‘Montana Peak Hat’) in Olive Drab felt with the triangular Nicaraguan national cap badge. Officers and sometimes NCOs wore in the field breeches and riding boots or the US M1931 cavalry laced boots whereas the other ranks’ had their trousers trucked into US-type canvas (or leather) gaiters and ankle boots. A four-pocket, open-collar beltless tunic modelled after the US M1926 pattern was adopted by Guardia Officers' and worn with a khaki shirt and tie, replaced by a white shirt and black tie on formal occasions; in active and formal service, a brown leather Sam Browne belt (US Officer’s belt, M1921) was frequently worn with the tunic. A tropical white linen dress uniform very similar to the US Navy’s Service Dress White or "chokers", was adopted by the Guardia and naval service officers and Military Academy cadets. Comprising a high-collar tunic, slacks and white shoes plus a matching peaked cap, the tunic was worn with removable exaggerated twisted cord epaulettes on formal occasions whilst enlisted ranks wore exaggerated black bluff chevrons instead. Starting in the mid-1930s, Guardia officers began being issued with the M1937 or M1942 American peaked caps, in either light tropical khaki and Olive Drab wool cloth, which slowly began to replace the campaign hat in service dress. The khaki US M1934 sidecap (AKA 'garrison cap') was also supplied to GN personnel during the 1930-1940s.
Guardia uniforms underwent some changes in the 1950s and 1960s, with officers adopting the US M1942 light khaki service dress, comprising tunic, slacks and a matching peaked cap with brown-japanned chinstrap and peak, or black dress cap with gold chinstrap, black peak with gold leaf embroidery for field and general ranks (the GN Chief Director had additional French-style embroidery on the cap band), and silver triangular national cap badge. For formal occasions, senior officers adopted a black ceremonial version of their M1942 service dress with gold embroidered insignia whilst the other ranks’ retained the old khaki ‘Chino’ uniform as barrack dress or for walking-out, usually worn with the khaki sidecap. The ‘Sam Browne’ belt was discontinued, and brown (black for the other GN branches) leather shoes replaced the earlier breeches and riding boots.
Nicaraguan Air Force (FAGN) officers received a royal blue US Air Force-style M1947 service dress, worn with a light blue shirt and royal blue tie on formal occasions; a short-sleeved shirt and matching royal blue sidecap was worn by officers and other ranks in active service. The Nicaraguan Navy retained both the white dress and khaki uniforms, with officers’ adopting a modified version of the M1942 tunic with removable shoulder boards, which was worn with a light khaki shirt and black tie on service dress.
Nicaraguan National Police (PNGN) officers’ continued to wear as service dress the ‘Chino’ khaki shirt (in long or short sleeve versions) and trousers with shoes or combat boots, whereas female constables were given a khaki short-sleeved shirt and assorted knee-length skirt worn with a flat-top, short snapped-brimmed white hat. Their male counterparts retained the ‘Montana Peak’ Hat as standard headgear, though the latter also began to be replaced by a light khaki M1954-type Visor Cap; Police officers on traffic control duties were given a white-topped version. It never entirely superseded the earlier headgear however, for photos taken in Managua at the time of the 1972 earthquake show local policemen going on patrol still wearing the old ‘Montana’ Hat. While on patrol duties, the M1912 black leather Sam Browne belt with pistol holster and assorted magazine pouches (US GUU-1/P model), handcuff pouch and M1944 baton in its respective carrier was worn.
Around the late 1960s Guardia units began to receive surplus American olive green tropical uniforms, the US Army OG-107 coton sateen utilities and the M1967 Jungle Utility Uniform. Elite formations within the GN received camouflage versions of these same uniforms, first in “Duck Hunter” pattern, soon followed by “Tigerstripe” (ERDL Thai Tadpole type) and “Highland” (ERDL 1948 Leaf pattern, aka “Woodland pattern”). National Police BECAT teams had their own distinct “Tan leaf” pattern, which consisted of puzzle leaf-shapes in medium brown, light brown, and sandy-grey on a tan background. Standard headgear for all-ranks in the Guardia was either the US Army M1943 'Walker cap' or the tropical OG-106 Baseball cap, partially replaced on the field by US Army ‘Boonie hats’ or US Marines’ utility caps in both olive green and ERDL camouflage versions. Specialized units authorized berets wore them pulled to the right, American-fashion, with both US and Israeli patterns being used.
Black leather combat boots were also provided by the Americans who issued both the early US Army M-1962 ‘McNamara’ model and the M-1967 model with ‘ripple’ pattern rubbler sole; the US Army Jungle boot of Vietnam War fame does not appear to have been much favoured by Nicaraguan soldiers and Police officers alike, who preferred to wear the black leather ones even while operating in tropical jungle or marshy ground environments.
Read more about this topic: National Guard (Nicaragua)
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Famous quotes containing the word uniforms:
“I place these numbed wrists to the pane
watching white uniforms whisk over
him in the tube-kept
fear what they will do in experiment”
—Michael S. Harper (b. 1938)