Discussion in 'World War 1' started by tbone, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. tbone

    tbone New Member

    Hello,...I recently found this photograph in between the pages of an old book that I purchased. I would very much like to know which Military Branch of Service this is and approximate year, and if anyone may have an idea of who the Officer is that is inspecting the rifle, and the location. Any response will be appreciated. Thanks! Tim IMG_3040.jpg IMG_3041.JPG
  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    This appears to be an inspection of a college officer training unit. The two officers on the left are both regular officers, probably company grade (captains or below). What appear to be two officers in the center are not, the pips on their shoulders would indicate that they are cadet officers of the training unit. The officer on the far right actually doing the inspecting is a regular, field grade type, most likely a lieutenant colonel. Off hand, from the light shaded band around the caps (this would be the branch color), I'd guess the regulars are all infantry. The regular officer's uniforms are the dress blues from the period roughly 1902 to 1926. From the shape of their caps, slightly larger than prescribed in the 1902 regulation, I'd guess that this photo was taken sometime after 1914. Could not begin to tell you which college unit is being inspected, only that is not VMI, VPI, Citadel, Norwich, PMC, or Texas A&M . . . cadet uniforms are not of a type worn at those schools.
  3. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I concur. Note that everyone is wearing wearing white gloves. That indicates officers under inspection. Note the insignia on the peak of "officers two and threes", the cadet officers, appears to be an American eagle, indicating Officers for the USA. The collar insignia of officers appears to be the long musket of Infantry Branch. The ranking officer (LTC?) is inspecting the weapons of the cadets, note the three cadets at port-arms.

    Checking the background: the trees are bare, indicating a winter scene, but no snow on the ground. The buildings seem to be brick construction. Barely visible are a few males in civilian attire. Their soft cap and the starched collar seem to be of a style fitting the 1920s.

    All the officers and cadets seem white meaning pre-1948, or pre-intergration.
  4. tbone

    tbone New Member

    Thank you very much for the responses,...greatly appreciated!
  5. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    Also note that the cadet officers do not have "US" on their collars in front of the branch insignia. Cadets have been known to wear branch insignia. When I was at VMI we could wear branch insignia only on the left collar of our dress whites (even then it was optional, one could wear the "VMI" of the right collar on the left in lieu of branch insignia) and only 2d and 1st classmen could wear branch insignia. Some of us got a little carried away, I wore plain cavalry sabres rather than the armor insignia. By the time I was there, early 1970's, the mess dress uniform had gone away, but there is a plethora of pictures of cadets in mess dress with branch insignia on both lapels. Norwich, I know, at one time allowed branch insignia on collars of their grey blouses, special screw on backs, not pin backs, not sure if they still do or if such was authorized on any other of their uniforms. Texas A&M wears pinks and greens with branch insignia. Citadel pretty much used the same conventions as VMI. All of these, the wearing of branch insignia, I believe are restricted to the upper two classes, i.e., those in the advanced ROTC program.

    Granted, this is somewhat dated info, with a bit more than just a few ROTC cadets with actual deployment time by virtue of membership in national guard units now-days, I haven't a clue what is now authorized and what is not.

    So, branch insignia on cadet uniforms is not unusual, even circa 1914-1926. Further, I'd be willing to bet that a really high-res copy of the original photo would reveal the cadet officers with pips on their shoulders and no "US" on their collars are similarly not wearing US Army cap devices, rather they're wearing a school designed cap device . . . one might note the absence of the stars in the clouds found atop US Army cap devices on their cap devices.

    Tbone - may I suggest you take a look around at nearby colleges, say within about 150-200 miles, and see which ones had officer training programs dating back to around 1910 or earlier and then take a look at pictures of the campus to see if any buildings look familiar.
  6. tbone

    tbone New Member

    I will do that,..and thank you again for all of the information! Tim
  7. Alexander

    Alexander Member

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