Rating the 2018 Drum Corps Uniforms

Greetings soldiers! The inaugural contest to kick off Drum Corps International’s 2018 season is just days away in Detroit, Michigan. Of course, I’ll be live tweeting the event with my usually colorful commentary. You can follow along at @GeneralFFect Of course, I’ve laid out my battle plans to cover the upcoming season for all my soldiers out there!

Like the rest of you, I’ve been just as antsy as Drum Corps fans everywhere waiting for the season to get started. The corps, those who have been kind enough to share that is, have been teasing us all year thus far with these show announcements and uniform reveals. All that is doing is dangling a carrot in of our hungry noses. That being said, it has started plenty of discussion and helped satisfy our needs for the artistry they are putting together now to quench our thirst. As mentioned, one way they have driven us into a frenzy is with the release of some uniform reveals for the upcoming season.

Drum corps has evolved in every phase of the activity over the last several decades including design, instrumentation (yes including the ever controversial electronics) and even uniform design. 50 years ago, the entire corps took to the field marching and dressing in a attire I swear was ripped right out of my closet. In time, the color guard eventually began to transition away to a more relaxed costuming. Fast forward to the last few years where the entire corps is adorned in more elaborate costuming more befitting their show. Those crybabies you’ll hear in the stands this summer are the same that once complained about all the dancing and electronics that now permeate the activity. Now they’ll be crying due to the eventual disappearance of uniforms resembling a military.

My own personal fashion sense aside, even I can’t deny that the activity has evolved to new heights with show design and performances exploring ideas never possible before. Now, if this years costuming designs revealed are any indication, uniform design has begun to catch up. Some groups have pulled off these more elaborate uniform designs than others. Some have had me scratching my helmet and left me wondering what the hell they were thinking while others have presented some sharp designs and stunning works of art.

To help you soldiers get through these next few days, I figured why not have a little fun and issue a rating for each corps uniforms (for those who have revealed their look)? The maximum rating a corps can get is four stars. The ratings will be based on my first impression of the design itself, the creativity and uniqueness of the uniform and maybe a bit about how I think they will look on the field. You can think of a one star rating as “That was a snoozefest soldier! You can do better than that!” or “That mess just plain hurts my eyes!” Where four stars likely means “HOLY VERSACE BATMAN! That is one sharp look soldier!”

Blue Knights


Blue Stars


Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown 2018Source:@CarolinaCrown

The Cavaliers



34128771_46276896413632Source: @GenesisFenixCam (Instagram)



Spirit of Atlanta




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