Consideration of Color Bearer Height and Waist Level is Mandatory

DrillMasterColor Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard Training, JROTC Leave a Comment

It boggles my mind that harness socket height is rarely considered. It’s time members of a color guard were made aware of the requirement. Marine Corps Order 5060.20 states that colors are carried at the same level. If the same level is not possible, the national colors can be minimally higher but never lower. Training Circular 3-21.5 states colors are carried at the same level/height.

Notice the color bearers of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at top are very similar in height, but their waistlines are different by several inches.

You must, must consider bearer height and waistline level. If you don’t, you run the risk of putting the national colors in a position of dishonor as shown.

The image at right is of a State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College colors guard. Here, the color bearers should have switched places. This never should have happened.

Below are photos shared through various social media accounts.

The color bearer socket level issue is a hazard of some uniform combinations (the male shirt and female blouse tucked into the trousers). Team members wear web or ceremonial belts over, not above, their uniform belts and wear the colors harness under the belt. That means the socket frame is just under the belt or you’re risking #HarnessSocketCrotchSyndrome where the harness socket rest directly on the crotch – it’s not a good look. Speaking of Harness Crotch Syndrome.

What is extremely interesting about this issue is that, in some cases, bearer height plays a minor role, and waist level height takes precedence. In the photo above, notice that the organizational bearer is just slightly shorter than the national bearer and yet his waist level is higher.

Also interesting is that the military requires each member to wear the uniform correctly and not how each individual prefers to wear it. That preference leads to wearing the trousers on the hip bones making the uniform look horrendous. Your waist level is above your hip bones, females have a higher waistline while the male waistline is lower.

Good Socket Alignment!

Below is the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard at the monument for President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

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