University Libraries
Digital Image Collection

Uniforms of Cadets
at Virginia Military and Agricultural College


In 1910 the uniform for full dress formations consisted of black shakos and white crossed belts worn over coatees. The commissioned officer wore a single white belt over his right shoulder and a red sash around his waist. The enlisted grades wore a convex brass breast plate on his front where two white belts crossed. The black felt shako is a West Point pattern with a gold-plated VPI coat of arms in a wreath, topped by VPI. The shako is topped with black feathered plumes for commissioned officers, and with black pompons for the enlisted grades.

The shako was added in 1910 but the gray coatee was brought back in the fall of 1909 for the dress uniform. Chevrons made of gold bullion lace on black denoted rank on the coatee sleeves. Stripes of 1/8-inch wide gold lace worn at a 45-degree angle (from the front lower end of the sleeve at the front crease, upward to the back crease, passing between the top two sleeve buttons) denoted each full academic year completed at VPI.

The building in the background is "The Grove". Constructed in 1902 as the home of the university president, it continues in that capacity today.

Watercolor by Floyd Richard Vranian.

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Liz Ackermann,
August 2, 1996