A uniform is a distinctive outfit as a means of identifying members of a performing group. Often different sections of the corps have different uniforms. Today this is most commonly seen in the contrast between uniform of the color guard/dancers and that of the drum and horn lines.
Over the history of drum corps uniforms of units have been based on military dress uniforms. In the United States, previous to the onset of Drum Corps International in 1972, there was a need to provide for the rules set by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in their respective competitive circuits. Part of these rules provided for an inspection before each competition which judged corps members on deportment and the state of their uniform. When this aspect of competition was dropped in both the DCI junior circuit and the Drum Corps Associates senior circuit, uniforms came to serve General Effect and thus much of the detail that was part of the early corps uniforms was dropped in favour of designs that would be visible from a distance. Today the military origins of corps uniforms are still to be seen.