Children wear military uniforms for myriad reasons. Halloween, costume parties and other recreational activities may inspire kids to don a military uniform, or children may wish to pay homage to a military parent, family member or friend. Children who attend military schools may be required to wear military-style uniforms under school regulations. Military uniforms can be purchased through online retailers, at Clothing and Sales stores on military installations, and through military surplus stores.
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Parents can dress a child like a miniature service member for parties, during dress-up games and on special holidays. Military parents may choose to dress their children in military gear for service members' homecoming events or to show support for a particular unit on organizational days. Some children wish to wear military uniforms on a daily basis to emulate a family member or friend.
Students at military preparatory academies are generally required to wear uniforms during daily activities. These include physical fitness uniforms and daily service uniforms, and their wear is governed by school policies. Wearing uniforms while attending a military preparatory academy can help instil discipline in children, as well as preventing students from competing with one another over who has the best, most expensive or most fashionable clothing.
Types of Uniforms
Each branch of the U.S. military wears its own specific uniform. Additionally, each preparatory academy has its own style and accoutrements. The Army's current uniform is the Army Combat Uniform, commonly referred to as the ACU. The Marine Corps wears what's commonly known as the Utility Uniform, while the Navy wears the Navy Working Uniform. The U.S. Coast Guard wears the Operational Dress Uniform, and the Air Force wears the Airman Battle Uniform. The name of each uniform is shortened to an acronym for everyday conversation. For example, the Marines wear UUs, the Navy's are known as NWUs, the Coast Guard wears ODUs, and airmen wear ABUs.
Civilians and military service members who have access to a military installation may purchase child-sized uniforms sold as novelties at military Clothing and Sales stores. Most military surplus stores carry child-sized military uniforms, as do many online retailers. Often sold as costumes, the tiny uniforms may not be completely accurate reflections of genuine military uniforms. The parents of students at military preparatory academies are often directed to a central location to purchase uniforms or the uniforms are issued to students upon their arrival at the school.
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