Can you believe those glasses! Vintage 1966, though come to
think about it, they're kinda popular today!
Once I arrived and then assigned a barracks, I fell into bed and tried to sleep, only to be awakened by the blaring noise of a bugle sounding off. I'm trying to remember if it was 4:45 am, giving us fifteen minutes to brush our teeth, go to the bathroom and rush back in to our rooms to throw on clothes that some of us had traveled in the previous day or if it was 5:00 am and we were given fifteen minutes and then be out front in a line, prepared to march to breakfast. Whichever it was, one thing is for sure it was very early in the day, dark and cold. As I stood there in line, watching my breath as I breathed out, I wondered if I had made the right decision. At least I was in good company. No makeup, except for those wise enough to put it on the night before, and there were one or two. We only had a chance to run a brush through our hair, and for some of us, that gesture wasn't enough!
As the group marched along, there wasn't any conversation, except for the Sargent, known as our TI (training instructor). If I remember correctly, we had a female house noncom (none commissioned officer), that stayed in the barracks with us, while our TI was a male. His uniforms were pressed and stiff. His khakis, I bet, had a crease down the front of the pants that could have been used as a knife. He was a black man, who stood about 5' 11" with not an ounce of fat anywhere on his body. And when he yelled out an order, I listened.
The first few days were spent going to classes to learn the ranks of the officers, those we had to salute and say "Yes, sir or ma'am" and those we didn't. We were led around to be measured and be given our uniforms. Some of our classes covered how to walk like a lady in uniform, how to apply make up and fix our hair. The way to walk was "one foot in front of the other foot, heel to toe, and with your hands slightly curled and facing the pants leg".
I was given several different types of uniforms, the dress blues, the summer dress, fatigues, which were navy blue khakis, with light blue shirts with the collar trimmed in the same color of blue. A green fatigue jacket for winter use, thankfully, I now had something warm to wear. Another uniform was a light blue skirt that had to be starched so stiff it could stand up by itself! I wonder whatever happened to that outfit?