Although they are commonly recognized for their Grenadier Red uniform, members of the First Company Governor's Foot Guard are actually issued a variety of uniforms by the State of Connecticut.   While the traditional Grenadier Red uniform is the uniform most easily recognized, members of the First Company Governor's Foot Guard wear a variety of uniforms including Dress Blue uniforms, "class B" green uniforms, BDU uniforms and a special summer uniform added by the late Governor William A. O'Neill.   Please note that all enlisted person's uniforms and uniform pieces are property of the State of Connecticut, and may not be sold or given away when removed from service.   

Possession of a Foot Guard uniform by a person other than the person to whom the uniform was issued to is illegal.   More information is available HERE.  

 

The Grenadier red uniform pictured to the left on Private First Class Chuck Dortenzio is substantially the same as it was in 1771.  Tradition holds that this uniform was patterned after the uniform worn at that time by the Coldstream Guards.   The Coldstream Guards were the elite guards for the Queen of England and so it was perhaps generally felt that a military unit formed to protect the Governor and the General Assembly should aspire to emulate such a unit.

This uniform features a coat of quilted scarlet wool with buff facings, a wool vest and breeches and a bear skin "busby" cover with the state coat of arms on its front plate.  The plume and brush found on the "busby" are trimmed in red, as were the plume and brush on the hats of the Coldstream Guards.   The white cross straps found on enlisted infantry uniforms hold the cartridge cases and are held together with a nickel buckle with "1771" in its center.   All buttons have a "shiny" finish, and are of the "flat livery" type.  Larger buttons are worn on the chest, while smaller buttons are worn at the collar and cuffs.   Black velvet leggings or "gaiters" are worn on the calf in accordance with the style of the late 18th century.

On the uniform of enlisted personnel, rank insignia is worn on the sleeve with the chevrons in a 19th century size, but in the modern U.S. Army orientation and type.   Rank insignia for officers is worn on the shoulder, on "brush" style epaulets and is of the current U.S. Army type.   Unlike the custom of the U.S. Army in the 19th century, the insignia on the epaulets denotes the rank, rather than the size and style of the epaulets.   This is different than what would have been used in 1771, for at that time, all rank insignias would have been patterned after those worn in the British Army.  Noticeable differences would include a lack of sleeve insignia for most enlisted ranks, and minimal insignia on the officer's shoulder epaulets.

 

 

The summer uniform seen on 2LT Frank Castro was authorized for wear by the late Governor William A. O'Neill. This uniform was added to fill the need for a lighter uniform during summer months.  While it was originally authorized as a summer uniform, it is also sometimes worn as a dress uniform by enlisted personnel, and it serves as the concert attire for members of the Foot Guard Band.

This uniform is patterned after the current uniform of the Coldstream Guards and features a scarlet coat or tunic, a white belt and black pants with a scarlet stripe.   Just as on current British Brigade of Guards uniforms, the epaulets, collar and turnbacks are trimmed in black and the buttons are plain silver.   Unlike the Brigade of Guards uniform that it is patterned after, rank is worn on the shoulder epaulets as is the unit crest.   The traditional Foot Guard "Busby" cover is worn with this uniform.   In a further divergence from the Brigade of Guards uniform and our  Grenadier Red uniform, this uniform is the same for officers and enlisted members.

 

The dress blue uniform differs slightly between officers and enlisted personnel.  The uniform pictured on Major Loren Schave features an "old" army-style dress blue jacket, a white shirt and blue pants with a red stripe.  This differs from the U.S. Army version of the same uniform, where all pant stripes are gold.   This uniform further differs from the U.S. Army version in that only red shoulder straps are used on the officer's uniform, and the Connecticut state arms is featured all of the gold Waterbury buttons rather than the U.S. Army crest.   The state arms also appears prominently on the enamel breast badge.

The enlisted version of this uniform differs primarily from Major Schave's uniform in that the epaulets are of the traditional style as opposed to the officer's strap style as pictured, and the soutache, or flat ribbon at the cuff is 1/8" rather than 1/4".  Also, an enlisted person's rank insignia is worn on the sleeve.   This differs from the "modern" U.S. Army enlisted uniform, which features extensive use of gold soutache on the epaulets, and large service stripes on both sleeves that run from seam to seam.

The modern U.S. Army "Blue Class B" uniform is not yet authorized for wear by the First Company.

 

 

In addition to these uniforms, Foot Guard members are also issued green "class B" uniforms such as the one seen on PFC Russ Scull.  This uniform consists of a light green shirt, olive green pants and an "overseas" cap.   In winter months, a black wool sweater is worn over the shirt.  An embroidered Connecticut State Seal is worn on the left pocket of the shirt, but not on the wool sweater.  Rank insignia for all ranks above Private First Class is worn on slides called "shoulder marks", which attach to the epaulets for both officers and NCOs, while privates wear their chevrons on the collar.  This uniform is substantially the same as the U.S. Army "Green Class B" uniform that is currently being phased out in favor of the new "Blue Class B" uniform.

A green "Class 'A'" coat is authorized to go along with this uniform but is not issued by the state as it is not required for most duties.   Certain members of the Foot Guard have elected to purchase this uniform coat including select members of the Band who wear this coat when performing at funeral details.  The coat features the same enamel breast badge of the state seal and the same gold state seal buttons as the dress blue jacket.  

In addition to the uniforms pictured above, all Foot Guard members are issued a camouflage uniform commonly called a "BDU".  PVT Jeanne Blanchette, on the left, is wearing a web duty belt with her BDU uniform   The BDU cap or cover that is worn with this uniform is more clearly visible on CPL Barbara Berg.

This uniform is typically worn at weekly drills, on work details, for certain types of training and at summer encampment.  It is substantially the same as those worn by members of the United States Army except that the Foot Guard members do not wear the black wool beret.   

Rank insignia for both officers and enlisted personnel is of the current U.S. Army "subdued" variety, and is worn on the collar.   While rank insignia on this uniform may be of the pinned-on or sewn-on variety, the sewn-on type is preferred by riflemen in the rifle platoon.

 

Other Foot Guard uniforms not seen here include the "dress mess" uniform worn by officers at black tie events and a caped greatcoat worn at Inaugural parades.

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