At first Shaw's group was not given the benefit of being issued standard uniforms or equipment. The uniform is a matter of pride to the men; they want to look like the real soldiers that they have become.
Shaw struggled to maintain consistent approaches to discipline with his officers and the men in his regiment. Some of the officers treat the men too cruelly; while others do not push them hard enough. Shaw does not want race to be a factor in how his men are trained and prepared for war.
Even when Shaw feels that his unit is ready to serve and has the ability to aid in the war, his group is overlooked by command. Shaw becomes very frustrated that his men are not given the respect and opportunity to play a more deliberate role in several of the battles.