The 8th & I Reunion Association
An organization of Marines
who served at
8th & I Streets, S.E.,
The Perfect Uniform - And How to Wear It
In the Mid-1950's, CGC's Jim Balderson became the "8th & I Uniform Model." Originally assigned as a
Pfc. to the Third Plt.,
his ceremonial demeanor and bearing soon caused Capt. Bob Lyons to name him as the CGC Guidon bearer
and promote him to Corporal. He is shown here in a 1957 Friday Parade.
The Problem, as Viewed by Col. Chapman
As Col. Chapman was settling into his new duties as Barracks CO, he noticed the "saltiness"
of the ceremonial troops - the grommets in their "gourds" bent down in front and expanded so as to have
a "saddle" in them, and wearing the trousers so short that the cuffs were above the tops of the shoes
(this saved a lot of time from removing dark shoe polish from the legs of the trousers).
This "saltiness" is very apparent in this photo of the 3rd plt. drill team shown here practicing
rifle exchanges in 1956:
The Remedy, as conceived by Col. Chapman
Col. Chapman, ever inventive and a true believer in killing multiple ducks with
one stone, saw an opportunity: first, the Barracks was due to supply the Guidebook for Marines
with update materials on uniforms and proper wearing of equipment; and second, to cure the "saltiness"
around the Barracks. The first opportunity was supplying photos of 1st Lt. Frank H. Mitchell
(plt. leader of the Third Plt.) showing proper execution of the sword manual; and the following photos
of Cpl. Balderson in "non-salty" appearance with loosened grommets in the gourd and trousers cut to
the top oF the heels, with a 1/4" break over the shoe laces.