Military Costumes

Whether youre looking to show your support for the armed forces or simply find a costume thats not spooky and scary, army-themed Halloween costumes are a great alternative. Theres a variety of options, ranging from the sexy to the serious, and costume companies cover every branch of the military. This versatility means that you can choose prepackaged Halloween costumes that are complete out of the box or mix and match pieces to create your own.

What are the laws regarding impersonation of military personnel?

American federal law makes it illegal to falsely represent yourself as a member of the Army, Marines, or other armed forces, and various pieces of state legislation complicate these rules. An exception is granted to individuals wearing military outfits as a form of theatrical expression. This exempts Halloween costumes and those worn as part of a theatrical production. To avoid confusion and prevent the risk of offending active and former army or military personnel, many people add clearly non-military elements to their Halloween costumes to make clear they arent engaging in impersonation. Buying Halloween costumes through a retailer rather than trying to create an authentic outfit created from items purchased from an army supply store can reduce your risk of crossing the line and ensure a fun and safe Halloween.

What are the branches of the U.S. military?

Over the years, the American military has differentiated five divisions of the armed forces. Each of these branches specializes in a range of skill sets, allowing them to more effectively deploy and pursue the needs of the armed forces. Understanding the differences can help you pick out an army Halloween costume that matches the impact you want to have with your Halloween costumes. These branches are as follows:

  • The United States Army serves as the "boots on the ground" in direct operations. When people think of the uniforms of camouflage and combat gear, theyre usually thinking of army uniforms. Combat boots, camouflage gear, helmets, and heavy backpacks are typical in army costumes.
  • The Marine Corps serves as an elite branch of the armed forces. Marines often deploy in naval operations and perform amphibious operations. Individuals looking to honor the Marines on Halloween often dress similarly to army costumes, with special tactical gear, camouflage, and face paint.
  • The United States Naval Corps is in charge of naval-based military operations, in contrast to the land warfare led by army forces. Costumes can vary wildly, from the traditional all white uniforms fitted with black ties to more modern and serious interpretations.
  • Popularized by movies like "Top Gun," the Air Force is in charge of bombing and air operations. This has made them a popular choice for costumes for Halloween, with typical dress including olive uniforms, often accompanied with sunglasses.
  • The Coast Guard is in charge of maritime law enforcement and rescue missions. Coast Guard costumes are often bright orange or resemble more formal dress.

How do I safely add weaponry to my costume?

Whether youre dressing in an army uniform or a Marine uniform, theres a temptation to add guns to your outfit. Be sure that the weapons you add to your costume are clearly identified as a toy, and never point them at others. Many costume guns come with bright orange tips to designate them as non-threatening.