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A swagger stick is a short stick or riding crop usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. A swagger stick is shorter than a staff or cane, and is usually made from rattan.
While stressing the need for uniforms to be simple and rugged, with no need for gimmicks and gadgets, General Pate commented:
There is one item of equipment about which I have a definite opinion. It is the swagger stick. It shall remain an optional item of interference. If you feel the need of it, carry it…
However, his successor, David M. Shoup, quickly discouraged their use:
..."the swagger stick symbolized elitist affectation, and it reminded him of some unpleasant experiences he had had in China.” He had seen British officers toss money at Chinese men and then strike them with their swagger sticks as they picked up the coins off the ground. Few Marines carried the swagger stick after that.2
by Vbriel February 22, 2012
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