Dress Advice For Young Officers


........... and moving on we have Col Barry Jenkins RA to thank for this jaunty reminder on dress and turnout. Let's face it, we're all getting a bit slack. I'm disappointed he didn't allude to hats though. Hats and when and where to wear them can be something of a sartorial minefield for the young officer although I would guess that the requirement for a young officer to have a trilby in his locker is much diminished since my day. Actually, not many of us had one even then and then we only wore them for the Gunner Point to Point............ Anyway, bat on Barry; it's splendid stuff,


"Please pass to all RA Staff at RMAS – Ty

Adjutants, Thank you for supporting Officer Recruiting events this term and, specifically, for sending your Young Officers to host the RMAS Officer Cadets at next week's Expression of Interest Evening and Ex ARTY OBSERVER.

I am taking this opportunity to remind you of the importance of your subalterns presenting the correct image of the Royal Artillery at these events. The individual officers have already received their instructions which include specific details on dress; however, I do expect the regiments to take responsibility for ensuring that these instructions are adhered to.

Dress Guidance

Please find below some sartorial pointers for your subalterns on hosting duties and indeed all your officers (M&F) who may wish to consider the more general dress points found below:

  • (M)A good, clean well pressed suit with a Gunner Zigzag tie for the men and (F) suits with the Gunner brooch (worn on the left lapel) for the ladies.
  • Only the middle button of a 3 button (M) suit is fastened. It is a coat not a tunic. If your suit has a belt, so be it, but a slim elegant leather suit belt and not a Harley Davidson Buckle Belt is to accompany it.
  • (M) Long socks that do not show your flaky, spindly hairy twiglet like shin and absolutely not a selection of ghastly cartoon characters. There is nothing evenly remotely funny about having Poundland crackers fight for your custom as your tailor.
  • Black (after 7 pm) brogue/Oxford type shoes, polished and in good repair or a good quality slip on loafer are fine, but anything resembling 4WD with a heavy tread and a big fat square toe won’t do justice to your well cut suit…you wouldn’t put ketchup on a Dover sole. As a rough rule of thumb, if your footwear is in anyway similar to that seen on a Balkans’ coffee shop waiter then Q4 applies.
  • The shirt must be pressed and if wearing a suit (or blazer) then it shouldn’t have a pocket and MUST fit correctly at the neck. Pockets carry Cross pens as used by NASA scientists and whilst we are a technical/combat arm we aren’t there yet. Black, red or other dark ‘Emo’ colours are to be swiftly and safely consigned to the Camp Esperanca deep hole recycling facility.
  • Double cuff shirts are not mandatory; however, the quality of the shirt is the main factor. If you must wear a silvery/grey Gary Lineker number then make sure it is a really good one and wear it with confidence. If however, it looks like a nylon prop from the OPTAG dressing up box then recycle it (safely) and go traditional with a Jermyn Street number.
  • The tie should be correctly tied, close to the collar and checked regularly. The knot must not be big fat Grange Hill special or be seen adorning the neck of a semi finalist on the Apprentice (M&F). The tie should just reach over the waist belt, not 6 inches above or below.
  • You are to be freshly shaved when attending any evening function and enough has been said about sideburns. Make up (F) should not be over excessive and most importantly, hair should be tidy and presentable. The whole ‘train crash survivor’ clambering up the embankment look. is unattractive and inelegant.
  • Oh yes, diving watches/laptop/GPS type watches furiously scrunched up against your shirt cuff look awful. Try and use a thin elegant dress watch – even Sekonda has some relatively pleasant ones.. The same type of gShock watch is cracking for CS95 but should not be worn with SD, black tie or mess dress.

These are elements of dress guidance and they are not hard and fast, Edwardian or even particularly contemporary but they just set a rough line on where our YOs should be heading. We are a broad church and we should not exclusively ape the armed wing of Boden, Primark, Fat Face or New and Lingwood, but I am constantly amazed by what some think is acceptable dress. It is not just the quality but the untidy scruffy manner in which it is worn –this must sharpen up. I would rather discover a Gunner officer through his witty, polite and engaging conversation than clocking his cloning through his dress, but please disseminate this lick of polish onto our fantastic, brave and impressive cohort of young officers.

Whilst light hearted pse pass on these tips– if in doubt follow TRHs Princes William and Harry for civilian clothing direction (all apart from that one off tea cosy incident)."


Colonel Barry has probably done more for Gunner officer recruitment with that memo since Montgomery enlightened the rest of the world on how cool Gunners are!