article from "SAVAGELY YOURS"
by O. C. Rohnke, Lieutenant Commander, USCG
Published by the crew of the USS SAVAGE (DE-386)
Book I - No. 9
30 April, 1944
From the Captain - "Your Uniform"
Pretty soon we will all be wearing our liberty uniforms again. This uniform of the Coast Guard, which you will wear is one you should be proud of. Your appearance in that uniform is a measure of the efficiency of the service you are in. Sloppy, unkempt uniforms means same for the outfit. There are few people if any in this service that do not wish to feel that they are in the best service of them all. Remember your uniform helps to make it the best.
It is surprising how many people ashore notice a man in uniform, even in these days when uniforms are so plentiful. You are on the spot, unshined shoes, dirty braiding, spotted unpressed uniforms, dirty hats, unshaven faces are noticed immediately. Any one of these factors and other smaller ones can spoil the whole appearance of a neat looking outfit. It is true when you leave the ship that you are inspected and in all probability in good looking attire, but that is a small effort compared to what you have to put out to keep yourself looking trim. The minute you get ashore you can scrape your shoes, roll in the street, soil your hat etc., and all efforts aboard ship are nullified. You can plainly see it is up to you.
Be proud of the uniforms you wear, let people admire you in it. If you go home on leave let your folks be proud of you. Also, the better you look, the more they will have to be proud of.
This uniform also represents the job you have been doing. A job that demands long hours of toil with little action, however, contact with an unseen enemy always being imminent. You should all be proud of the mission you have been performing as you have done it well.
[From the archive of Rollins W. Coakley.]