Hatband & Straps
Law Enforcement Insignia
Tie Ornaments & Pins
of the NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Possibly because the coat was usually worn buttoned
up with the uniform, belts do not appear as an article covered by the
regulations until 1936. Earlier photographs confirm the prior absence of
any standard belt or buckle. Probably the only thing covering belts was
the stipulation that all leather would be cordovan color.
Ranger force at Sequoia
National Park, c.late 1920s. Prior to the 1936 regulations,
belts of all descriptions were worn by rangers. Also note the variety of
ties. Davis & Brooks are wearing unauthorized footwear.
Left to Right: Packard, Lew Davis, Kerr, Williams, Brooks, Cook,
Peck, Dorr, Fry, Alles, Smith, Sprigelmyre, Gibson.
In Office Order No 324, National Park Service Uniform
Regulations, April 13, 1936, a web belt was stipulated. In 1938, Office
Order No. 350 added a leather belt. The order states:
Forestry green, web-waist belt, 1-1/8 inches wide,
with buckle approved by the Director, is prescribed for wear when
breeches are worn with or with out coat.
A-2 LEATHER BELT
Forestry green, 1-1/4 inches wide, with nickel-plated
buckle approved by the Director, is prescribed for wear only when coat
Apparently the original order did not contain the
above description of the leather belt, because on November 10, 1938,
Office Order 350 was amended to include a description and a sketch of
the leather belt. The drawing shows a plain belt with a line tooled all
around, approximately 1/8-inch from the edge. It has two retaining
loops, or cinches, for the end of the belt. The buckle was a simple
open-frame, single-loop style. The web belt probably utilized the
standard military type of slip-lock buckle.
Office Order 350 was again revised on April 19, 1939.
This time the web waist belt was eliminated and the color of the leather
belt changed to the standard cordovan color of Park Service leather
goods. The width was also increased to 1-1/2 inches.
Plain leather belt,
1938. Belt was 1-1/4" wide, forestry green in color. Belt
width was increased to 1-1/2" in 1939 and the color changed to cordovan.
NPSA/HFC RG Y55-Office Order 350 (1938) & Office Order 350
Embossed leather belt,
1940. 1-1/2" wide, cordovan color. NPSA/HFC RG Y55-1940
The 1940 uniform regulations brought with them two
additional optional belts. Besides the standard belt, ranger could now
wear a 1/8-inch-thick by 1-1/2-inch-wide belt embossed with a design
similar to the hat band. This belt was of the "billeted" or "western gun
holster" style, which has a secondary narrow belt sewn on top of the
wider main belt. The narrow belt was used to secure the larger one. In
addition, Service employees required to wear side arms could wear a belt
with a strap over the shoulder to support the weight of the weapon if
they desired. This style belt, known as a Sam Browne, was copied from
the British military and used by the U.S. Army as well as law
enforcement agencies. Both of these belts were to be cordovan.
The 1961 uniform regulations changed the embossed
belt. It remained 1-1/2 inches wide, but now the buckle was the full
width of the belt and the "USNPS" was eliminated. This became the
standard belt for the National Park Service and continues to this
Embossed leather belt,
1961. Color, cordovan. NPSA/HFC RG Y55-1961 Uniform
A number of NPS buckles have been suggested or made
over the years, but they are all unofficial and usually not allowed to
be worn with the uniform.