Charlie Snauffer ’72 Writes About Boots And White Socks

Howe Uniforms 1957

Left to right: cadet officer full dress; garrison coat, overcoat, raincoat, heavy knitted wool sweater, fatigues (coveralls). For everyday wear in spring and fall a blue cotton shirt with cotton pants, in winter a wool shirt and pants. The pants had a black stripe down each outer leg and no side pockets. The wool shirt had the Army ROTC patch on the left shoulder and a Howe company or battalion staff patch on the right shoulder. In later years cadets of both genders wore Army BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform) to classes and meals.

One of my lasting memories is those overcoats they were heavy and didn’t do anything to keep you warm. You had on your wool field uniform, wool shirt and pants, then the over coat. I’m going to tell you standing in formation for first mess in the dark with wind blowing and sometimes snowing was not fun. The march from the Lower School barracks to Mess Hall seemed like it was a hundred miles long in the winter. Now fast forward to my 7th Grade year somebody came up with the brilliant idea to get us these rubber boots that were felt lined. You couldn’t march/walk in those things because they fit so loose on your feet. We sounded like a bunch of horses with loose shoes when we marched. Plus, with the felt linings and our black uniform socks after a day they stunk beyond explanation. I asked my parents when they came to visit one weekend that I needed white athletic socks. They couldn’t understand until I had them smell my boots. That did the trick and off to Sturgis we went to the Sportsarama store and I got 12 pairs of white socks. The next day I was in my room, boots off so they air out, when the company X.O. [Executive Officer] walked by and saw me in my uniform with white socks on…got put on report for being out of uniform. So I had to explain to MAJ Cowles (our T.O. at the time) [Tactical Officer–adult in charge of a barracks] why I was wearing white socks. He agreed with me and removed the report.

WHWE studio in 2007, left end of the audio control board and the script for the station ID