17 Days of Green – The Green & Grey of the NPS

Once upon a time, I wore the green & grey uniform of a US National Park Service Ranger.

Embroidered emblem of the National Park Service.

Official NPS Arrowhead embroidered shoulder patch on official NPS green fleece ranger jacket.

The Park Service's official Arrowhead tie tac on the official NPS green tie.

I enjoyed wearing the NPS Ranger uniform. Life is far simpler with fewer clothing options.

NPS regulations specify that the name plate be pinned 1/4" above the right breast pocket, thusly.

When I left the Park Service, I had to relinquish my 2 official NPS Ranger badges.

However, I earned this Junior Ranger badge fair & square, so it’s mine for keeps:

Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!

And, I still have my National Park Service “Smokey Bear” flat hat:

The USNPS embossed brown leather headband on the felt Park Ranger Hat is an iconic symbol, instantly recognizable.

Nothing says 'Park Ranger' quite like the grey felt ranger hat!

When Andy & I left Denali National Park, we were given a joint Arrowhead plaque:

Meditate, Live purely, Be quiet. Do your work with Mastery. Like the Moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. - 'The Enlightened One'

This custom Buddha quote is not standard issue for NPS plaques.

Additionally, I received a Star Award recognizing my “professionalism, dedication and hard work on behalf of Denali National Park“:

NPS Star Award presented to Carrie Cahill Mulligan, 2004.

I'm still proud of my work as a Park Ranger in Denali National Park and Preserve.

The NPS uniform, although simple, is actually quite amazing. It lends authority and credibility, transforming even the scruffiest group of young hippies:

25 Interpretive Park Rangers bundle up against the spring chill at Polychrome Pass in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Denali National Park Service Interpretive Ranger Training, Polychrome Pass, Alaska, May 1998.

In the end, my time in Denali National Park transformed me as well.

No matter what I do, I’ll always consider myself an NPS Park Ranger on the inside.

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