How to Dress for Army Graduation Ceremonies

I receive many emails each week from Army wives and Army moms wondering what they should wear to their soldier’s graduation ceremony. First, congratulations to you and your soldier for making it to this point. Graduation from any military course or program is a great accomplishment. Of course, your soldier will appreciate that his family is there to witness his rite of passage as he moves on to more training or to his unit.

When attending any military graduation ceremony, you will see people dressed from one extreme to the other. At my husband’s graduation from OSUT at Ft Benning, Georgia, there were people who were very nicely dressed (overly so in my opinion), those who looked like they just rolled out of bed and headed to graduation, and every thing in between. The lesson? No need to worry about being over or under dressed. No matter how you choose to dress, you will fit in with the others.

For basic graduation, your soldier will be in his dress uniform. My advice is always to wear something you are comfortable in and dress for the weather. Yes, your soldier would love to see you in a cute, short strapless dress. But if its 20 degrees outside, you’ll quickly be regretting that decision. A nice, simple dress or even jeans with a nice top are perfectly acceptable for graduation.

Keep in mind most military graduation ceremonies are outdoors so you’ll be exposed to the weather. You will also most likely be sitting on metal bleachers. Either bring something to sit on or leave the white pants or skirt at home.

Finally, I always give this advice somewhat jokingly and somewhat completely serious. It will have been many weeks by the time you attend graduation since you last saw your soldier. You’ll have a large grassy and sandy field between you and your soldier when they finally announce family is welcome on the field. If you’re wearing high heels, it is going to take much more time to get to him! Always keep that in mind when you’re choosing your shoes for the day.

Congratulations and don’t forget your camera. More Army graduation ceremony tips.

18 thoughts on “How to Dress for Army Graduation Ceremonies”

  1. brittany bowers

    Hi! My boyfriend is graduating at Fort Benning in about two months. I was planning on wearing Sunday dress since it is a big day for him but considering heels probably aren’t the best idea what do you think would be a good outfit to wear since I don’t want to wear jeans. Also would he be allowed to leave base after the ceremony?

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