AAMUC.org HOME     |     CONTACT     
Association of American Military Uniform Collectors Association of American Military Uniform Collectors

AAMUC is for collectors that collect uniforms, from head to toe. History of AAMUC...
The Association of American Military Uniform Collectors (A.A.M.U.C.) developed in the mid-1970’s. At the time of its creation, very few militaria collecting societies existed. One of the premiere societies was the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors (known as A.S.M.I.C.). While A.S.M.I.C. served a very valuable function among collectors, its principle focus was on shoulder sleeve and other cloth insignia.

Several A.S.M.I.C. members began discussing the need for a broader scope society and publication that dealt with the uniform as a whole – from head to toe. This means not only the shoulder sleeve insignia, but the visor, jacket, coat, belts, metal insignia, cloth insignia, trousers, shoes, etc.

It was unknown in the initial discussions that there was in fact a great demand for such a club and publication. So, at first, the idea of this new group was only tentatively passed among collectors. Much to everyone’s surprise, the idea quickly gained support.

The group’s first newsletter, then tentatively called FOOTLOCKER, was published on an old-fashioned spirit duplicator (remember purple ink and alcohol odors in school?) in March of 1977. It was only mailed to about 30 people, each of whom had sent in a dollar and an ad.

However, by the end of 1977, well over 60 people were regular subscribers. These enthusiastic subscribers clamored for a larger publication with more ads and articles. Clearly, future membership growth projections and membership desires sent a clear signal that a more formal societal structure was necessary.

As membership numbers grew, the FOOTLOCKER expanded from primarily ads to a quarterly based publication with both ads and articles. At the same time, A.A.M.U.C. itself also matured into a more formal society with regular membership dues, officers, etc. The first A.A.M.U.C. officers included its founder, Gil Sanow, at the helm as the editor and Kurt B. Smith, the editor’s right-hand man, as the original Adjutant (i.e. membership secretary). Soon Bill Henson set up the post of Quartermaster to sell back issues, patches, and other A.A.M.U.C. related memorabilia.

Part of maturing also meant retiring the old spirit duplicator. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, FOOTLOCKER was offset printed in volume. From front to back, the earliest FOOTLOCKER publications were pushing only about seven pages in length. However, by the early 1980’s, hundreds of the now at least 12 page FOOTLOCKER were mailed out each quarter. And, in place of the old line drawings, the FOOTLOCKER began reproducing photographs for illustration.

Within no time, membership numbers soared to 300…

Although members of A.S.M.I.C. originally formed A.A.M.U.C., it is not in competition with A.S.M.I.C. Each group focuses on a different aspect of U.S. militaria collecting. And together the two compliment each other, rather than conflict. For this reason, in 1985, A.A.M.U.C. reunited with its roots, so to speak. That year, A.A.M.U.C. was invited to participate in A.S.M.I.C’s national convention. The convention is held every year in various states of the union. And, ever since 1985, A.A.M.U.C. has been a fixture at this convention.

Today, FOOTLOCKER has expanded to a regular 16 pages. Not only do these pages contain reproductions of photos, but they also include at least 2 with color photos. And articles range from lofty research editorials (such as the evolution of a certain uniform style) to museum and book reviews. Each issue also contains a favorite series called "From My Collection" where a member showcases a key item or items from their collection. And, last but not least, the FOOTLOCKER continues to display member ads.

A.A.M.U.C. is now over thirty-years-old. But with its age, it has not lost site of its purpose. It is truly an organization, which tries to cater to its members and to maintain a friendly “down to earth” atmosphere.

A.A.M.U.C. is informal whenever possible. And, while it has officers, it is only a minimum number (i.e. just enough to get the job done). In short, A.A.M.U.C. likes to think of itself as being inclusive rather than being exclusive.

So, if you enjoy U.S. militaria, A.A.M.U.C. sure hopes you will consider joining us!

  Become a member of A.A.M.U.C...  
  See current officers...  

  Read more...  

  Get your free copy today...