According to Department of the Army regulations, suspenders are authorized for wear with the Service, Mess Dress, and Evening Mess Dress uniforms. There are no rules regarding the color of the suspenders, perhaps because adherence to another regulation—that suspenders may not be visible when worn—make it something of a moot point, at least in public. Nonetheless, suspenders designed for wear with Army uniforms are manufactured according to the branch colors outlined in DA 670-1; in case such as the Ordnance Corps, where a branch has two colors, the first-named color is used for both the suspenders and the branch scarf.

Suspenders may be worn only by males, which is one reason they are considered an optional purchase item. The only other rule regarding suspenders is that they be of “commercial design.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Before the introduction of large-scale aerial bombing in World War II, the issue of unexploded bombs (UXBs) or unexploded ordnance (UXO) was at most a peripheral issue for the United States Army and the Ordnance Corps. Despite the fact that around 20 percent of the estimated 1.5 million artillery shells fired by Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War failed to detonate, finding and disarming them was not seen as a pressing matter, in part because there were surprisingly few fatalities caused by unexploded munitions in the decades following the conflict.

But the German bombing campaign during the Battle of Britain brought an entirely new perspective to UXBs and UXOs. For the first time in history, massive numbers of high-powered bombs were intentionally dropped on heavily populated cities. Unlike unexploded munitions on a battlefield, these UXBs were often in the hearts of crowded residential areas where people worked and lived, and the only way they could avoid them would be to move away. The only feasible solution was to disarm them.

In response, the British Army established company-sized bomb-disposal units that not only located and disarmed UXBs, but also trained Civilians how to do the same. The United States Army observed the British program with keen interest, and shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the U.S. Army Ordnance Department created its Bomb Disposal School at Aberdeen Proving Ground in January,1942; like the British program, the School would train both military and civilian personnel.

Because the British UXB program had been developed in response to a very specific type of ordnance deployment—large-scale airborne bombing—its curriculum and training were tailored to address the detection of disarmament of only enemy ordnance. But members of the Ordnance Corps Bomb Disposal Squads, however, often found themselves having to clear areas of American and Allied UXBs and UXOs because of the American tactic of heavy naval or aerial bombardment to soften up defenses before sending in ground forces.

The Corps’ Bomb Disposal Squads (BDSs) differed in other ways from their British counterparts. For instance, the British units tended to perform bomb-disposal work only for those units to which they were assigned, while BDSs would provide assistance to any friendly unit in need. Another difference is that rather than reconnoitering in search of UXBs and UXOs, the head of a BDS would visit a village or town and ask the civilian authorities to have the citizenry note the location of any suspected unexploded munitions, effectively turning the population of a town or village into a reconnaissance unit.

Related Ordnance Corps Items

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.