Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In Memorium: The Navy Tiara

Each new Navy birthday brings with it a sense of accomplishment and pride in that this great institution has stood the watch and fulfilled its duty around the world for another year.  To commemorate this accomplishment, thousands of current and former members of the naval service, as well as their friends and loved ones, will adorn themselves in their finest for the annual Navy Ball.  Most members of the armed services who attend will wear their respective services' mess dress uniform, usually worn only for "black tie" events.

With each new birthday, however, some old things pass away, and the fanciest Navy uniform has not escaped unscathed.  Amidst the truly historic Navy personnel news of late we have this item concerning the demise of a relatively obscure uniform item.  As of October 1, 2016, in accordance with Article 3501.86 of Navy Uniform Regulations, the Navy Tiara is no longer authorized for uniform wear.
The Navy tiara of Captain Ruth Moeller, USN (Ret), part of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum collection. (HRNM-2015.008.003. Photograph by M.C. Farrington
This H. Charles McBarron Jr. illustration of the service dress mess (also called dinner dress blue jacket) uniforms of 1967 shows the Navy tiara as it would have been worn by a female Navy lieutenant, junior grade. (Hampton Roads Naval Museum Collection)
The uniform change was mandated last year, along with the elimination of boat cloaks for male officers and chief petty officers and navy blue capes for females.  Both were worn for most of the twentieth century, although the navy blue cape, like the tiara, was part of the dress mess ensemble. 

No comments: