Take a look at these soldiers
They are members of the Spanish Legion, and while you or I may think they look a little funny they are proud of their uniforms. Uniforms you ask? Yes, those are their dress uniforms.
The thing about the Spanish Legion that is part of the pride of their unit is that they do not consider that they have ever stood down from active duty. They are part of Spain’s “Rapid Reaction Force” and as such deemed themselves to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
The power of uniforms
Over the years I’ve seen a number of a approaches to uniforms in SAR. When I first joined my own team we were far to poor to even buy team jackets. As time went on, we managed to scrape together funds to outfit team members in a more or less uniform manner, something that I questioned as perhaps a fickle use of funds. But then something strange happened that made me change my mind.
Our morale went up. Way up.
When together in a group, we were dressed as a group, and we looked more like a unit. We looked and felt more professional, and we began to act that way as well.
Over the years we’ve seen a few sad moments in our community – when a well respected member dies, and we need to attend a funeral. It’s always been at those times that I wished that we had something like a dress uniform. But then I heard about the Spanish Legion, and I reconsidered.
My Search and Rescue dress uniform is my field active gear – mountaineering pants and jackets, and mountain boots. Wool or synthetic base layer. Toque or baseball hat.
The defining factor for a SAR team is rapid response and the ability to quickly get into the field. Everything we do is toward that goal.
Next time there’s a special event and you see us in our rescue clothing you’ll know the reason why.