SHAKO: Asian Ceremonial Uniforms

October 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Hagel in Asia

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is winding up a week-long trip to Asia and meetings with leaders in Japan and South Korea. One of the duties of a high level visit like this is for the secretary of defense to review an honor guard of the host nation’s military.

We’ve run photos in the past when previous SecDefs Robert Gates and Leon Panetta have gone overseas. But so far we haven’t done so with Hagel. Since there are some snappy uniforms in both countries, we thought we’d share a few Defense Department photos with you.

Japan …

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Here we see Hagel escorted Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera for a pass and review during an honors arrival in Tokyo on Thursday, October 3. Hagel met with the his opposite number to discuss several topics but the main goal of the visit was to take part in so-called two-plus-two” consultations between U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers. Secretary of State John Kerry joined Hagel in the talks.

South Korea …

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also visited South Korea this past week where they met with Korea’s minister of defense, and participated in a U.S. Forces Korea change of command ceremony. And in case you’re wondering, No, these are not typical Korean military uniforms.

The sailors and Marines in the photo below are more typical at least when it comes to dress uniforms. The sailors may look like their wearing skirts, but if you click on the photo below to enlarge it, you will see their actually wearing very baggy, short trousers — kind of like what pirates wore in the 18th century. Note the white gaiters or leggings (or leggins) the sailors are wearing over their boots. Like the French and several other militaries around the word, the Korean Marines sport white laces on their black boots. Kinda looks like they’re wearing old time hockey skates.

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

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Entry filed under: Asia-Pacific, National Security and Defense, Photos, SHAKO, Traditions. Tags: , , , , , .

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