In the novel, uniforms are at times presented as a symbol of discipline, respectability, and belonging—and at other times as a sign of excessive authority and danger. As someone who served in ROTC, the military, and the police force, David is the character most closely associated with uniforms and is the one who most strongly believes in the value of having a uniform. He sees wearing a uniform as a source of pride and a sign that someone is part of something bigger than themselves, that they are disciplined, and that they serve others. Rashad, however, feels more ambivalent about uniforms. He wears his ROTC uniform reluctantly, finding it somewhat embarrassing to have attention drawn to the fact that he is a cadet. He also notices a discrepancy in the feelings his father has about uniforms. While David praises people who wear a police or military uniform, he is disdainful of Spoony’s “brown uniform”—the uniform of UPS workers. This difference highlights David’s attachment to a very narrow and perhaps mistaken understanding of discipline, morality, and achievement.
Uniforms Quotes in All American Boys
I felt like such an ass. I'd quickly convinced myself I had no idea who that kid with Paul was that night. And yeah, there were like a thousand kids in each grade at school, or whatever, but I did know him. Or know of him, really. I'd seen him––Rashad––in that uniform, and it'd made me think of my dad wearing his own at college. How my dad had looked proud in all those pictures.
Pictures of me throwing up the peace sign, some––the ones Spoony feared––of me flipping off the camera. Carlos and the fellas had been cropped out. These images would have nasty comments under them from people saying stuff like, Looks like he'd rob a store, and If he'd pull his pants up, maybe he would've gotten away with the crime! Lol, and Is that a gang sign? Other pictures were of me in my ROTC uniform. Of course, those had loads of comments like, Does this look like a thug? and If he were white with this uniform on, would you still question him?