Uniform Trivia


Basic Uniform Components.  Uniform items required as part of the basic uniform.

These are the minimum items which must be worn unless the prescribing authority

directs otherwise.

Prescribable Items.  Uniform items which may be directed or authorized with the

basic uniform. Prescribable items may be worn with the basic uniform at the

individual’s discretion unless otherwise directed.

Optional Item.  Uniform items purchased at the wearer’s expense, which may be

worn with the basic uniform, but which are not prescribable.  Optional items may

be worn with the basic uniform at the individual’s discretion unless otherwise


Conspicuous.  Obvious to the eye, attracting attention, striking, bright in

color.  Should blend with, not stand out from, a professional appearance in

uniform.  What is conspicuous on one person my not be noticeable on another.  If

attention is naturally drawn to or distracted from the professional appearance,

it is conspicuous.

Conservative.  Not conspicuous or detracting from the professional appearance

while in uniform.

Faddish.  A style followed for a short period of time with exaggerated zeal.

Styles are enduring; fads are generally short in duration and frequently started

by an individual or event in the civilian community.  Fads are generally

conspicuous and detract from a professional appearance.

Compliments Skin Tone.  A conservative color which contributes to the wearer’s

natural skin tone.  Conservative colors are generally inconspicuous and do not

detract from a professional appearance in uniform.

–Military creases in shirts are optional and cannot be required.

–The standardized women’s purse has brass closures for Officers, CPOs and E-6

and below.

–UIM’s are not authorized on E-6 and below women’s Service Dress Blue uniforms.

–Wear of the post tour Command Master Chief/Senior Enlisted Advisor badge is

authorized for collateral duty assignments.

–Service Khaki (with ribbons) is made of 100% polyester Certified Navy Twill

(CNT), and 75/25 poly/wool. Working Khaki (without ribbons) is made of 65/35

poly/cotton ONLY.

–A sword is not worn with the all-weather coat.

–The only “other services” insignia authorized for wear on the Navy uniform is

Basic Parachutist and the Marine Combat Aircrew Insignia.

–Only the Chief of Naval Operations can authorize ceremonial uniforms other

than those listed in Chapter 11, Section 2 of Uniform Regulations.

–Leather flight jackets may be worn only with Summer Khaki, Working Khaki,

Winter Blue, Winter Working Blue, Aviation Working Green, Utilities, and flight


–Multiple braided hair is authorized for women in uniform, and woven

natural/synthetic hair is authorized if it presents a natural appearance.

–Personnel having diagnosed skin conditions are required to shave/cut/remove

facial hair based on the severity of the condition.  For mild or moderate

cases–every 2-3 days required, for severe cases–daily with barber clippers


–Officers, CPOs and women’s Service Dress Blue Coats (including authorized

sweater and jacket replacements) may be removed in the immediate office space


–Contact lenses must be a natural color–blue, green, brown, etc.

–Handbags are carried over the left shoulder or forearm, placing the top of the

handbag at the waist level.

–Decorated belt buckles may be worn, except for ceremonies or inspections, with

appropriate naval insignia, designs, or devices, to which the wearer is

entitled, or the current command.  If the current command does not have a buckle,

a previous sea command may be worn.

–Umbrellas will be carried in the left hand to permit saluting.

–CPO Combination Cover chinstraps will be worn with the grommet on the left.

(Over the heart)

–Women’s Berets are worn toward the front of the head, approx. 3/4″ from the

forehead hairline, and tilted slightly to the right. Align miniature sized

insignia above the left eye.

–Only scarlet rating badges are authorized on Peacoats (E4/5/6)

–No gold crows–No service stripes.

–Specialty marks are not authorized on utility crows.

–Women wearing slacks and service shoes must wear socks. (No hosiery)

–E-6/5/4 personnel wearing collar devices have the eagle face toward the front.


–Jackets when worn must be zipped at least 3/4 up-Coats completely buttoned up.

(If it’s not cold enough to zip or button it – Remove it!)

–Non-prescription sunglasses are not authorized for wear indoors unless there

is a medical reason for doing so.

–Crew neck/sleeved T-shirts are required on board ships for all personnel.

–No person in the naval service shall have any article of wearing apparel

belonging to any other person in the naval service without permission from

proper authority.

–Only one warfare device or breast insignia is authorized on sweater nametags.

No Officers crests or rating devices allowed.

–After childbirth, if a woman is unable to reach her normal body fat or

clothing size because of valid medical reasons, Commanding Officers can extend

maternity clothing wear for up to six months from the date of delivery.

–Bulk of hair for both males and females shall not exceed 2 inches.  Bulk is

defined as the distance that the mass of the hair protrudes form the scalp.

–Women’s hosiery is made of nylon and is worn in the individuals skin tone

color, undecorated, and seamless. (Hosiery may be panty/hose combination.)

–Seabag inspections are required for all E-1/2/3 personnel prior to transfer to

another ship or station.

–Fingernails for men shall not extend beyond the end of the finger; and

fingernails for women shall not exceed 1/4 inch beyond the end of the finger.

–The Black V-Neck sweater is authorized for wear with Summer White.

–For Officers and CPOs wearing the Black V-Neck sweater in lieu of the Service

Dress Blue coat—the blue windbreaker (with lay down collar) is not authorized

for wear.  Only the navy black jacket with stand up knit collar and cuffs may be


–Hems on trousers/slacks should hang approx. 2 inches from the floor at the

back of the shoe.  Hems on skirts may range from 1-1/2 inch above to 1-1/2 inch

below the crease behind the knee.  (This skirt hem length does not apply to

formal skirts.)

–For Officers and Chief Petty Officers visiting the Washington National Capital

Area– Winter Blues are not authorized for wear, and Service Khaki is authorized

year round.

–The White Jumper uniform is a seabag requirement for E1-6 women effective 1

October 1993.

–Stars on ribbons or medals are worn with two rays pointing down.

–Slacks are a prescribable item with women’s uniforms.

–For E-6 and below women, the Service Dress White Jumper should fall

approximately 2 inches below the bottom of the welt pocket on the white belted

skirt; and one inch above the bottom of the side pocket opening on the jumper


–Unless a medically documented condition exists, white socks are authorized

ONLY with Summer/Service Dress Whites with slacks for Officer and CPOs.

–The cap or hat may be removed when riding a bicycle on or off base.  Personnel

may remove their cap or hat when traveling inside a private automobile off base.

Wearing a cover is mandatory when entering or within a military reservation

unless impractical or hazardous.

–Name/Identification tags, if worn, must be uniform throughout the command.

–Short sleeved utility shirts are an optional item.

–Blue cardigan sweaters (with button front) are authorized for wear in the

immediate office space only.

–Berets are an optional item for women.

–Earrings for women are an optional item, and are not required for wear.  When

worn the earring shall be a 4-6mm ball (gold for officers/CPOs, and silver for

E-6 and below), plain with brushed, matte finish, shinny, screw-on or post type.

Pearl earrings may be worn with Dinner Dress or Formal uniforms.

–Recommendations to be considered by the Navy Uniform Board must be forwarded

via the chain of command and Type Commander with appropriate comments and


–For Officers and CPOs there is no minimum number of uniforms required to be in

their possession; however sufficient quantities of uniform items shall be

procured and maintained in order to insure the highest possible standards of

personal hygiene and appearance.  (Rule of thumb for OFF/CPOs– if it’s a

required basic component or a prescribable item–you are expected to have it.

–Only one bracelet and one wristwatch may be worn while in uniform. Ankle

bracelets/chains are not authorized.

–Any procedure or components, regarding uniforms or grooming, not discussed in

Uniform Regulations are prohibited.  (If Uniform Regulations does not

specifically say it’s allowed–IT’S NOT AUTHORIZED)

–All E4-6 personnel wear silver miniature collar devices on collar tips of blue

windbreaker, blue all-weather coat and black dress jacket.

–Men are authorized to have one (cut, clipped or shaved) natural, narrow, fore

and aft part in their hair.  Hair cut or parted at an unnatural angle is faddish

and is not authorized.

–Polishing or plating of medals is prohibited.

–Personnel with “Shaving Waivers” signed by the Commanding Officer shall not

allow the hair to exceed 1/4″ in length. Hair will not be trimmed or manicured

to any style. (Shave it all-or none of it!)

–Boatswain’s Pipe and Lanyards may be worn only while carrying out official

ceremonial duties and military watches.

–Retired personnel wearing the uniform must comply with current grooming

standards set forth in Uniform Regulations.

–E1/2/3 do not wear collar devices on uniforms, unless they are assigned to

Marine Corps commands and have been prescribed i.e. medical personnel.

–Personnel who have earned gold service stripes for 12 years of consecutive

good service must remove the gold badge and service stripes if they are

convicted by court martial or at Captains Mast.  The privilege to again wear the

gold service stripes may only be earned by again fulfilling the requirements.

–For medals and ribbons–wear either the three senior ribbons, or all ribbons,

if you have earned more than three.  For miniature medals wear either the senior

five or all.

–Pregnant women in the Navy may wear outergarments (raincoat, overcoat,

peacoat, reefer, and sweater) unbuttoned when they no longer fit properly


–When sewing on service stripes–the stripe is used as the point of reference

for measurement not the background material.

–Uniform components acquired from other than Navy approved sources (Navy

Uniform Stores/Navy Exchanges) must conform to all military specifications

regarding fabric, style, and appearance.

–Rating devices (GM/BM/etc.) and Warfare Insignia are not authorized to be worn

on Navy/Command ball caps.

–When wearing the Navy issued blue jersey style sweater under a

dungaree/utility shirt–long sleeves are required.

–The gold metal frame worn on various ribbons is decorated with stalks of wheat

forming a “V”, open at the top and joining at the bottom.

–Navy/Command ball caps are made of standard navy blue (black in appearance)

wool or synthetic fabric or a blend.

–Service Aiguillettes, when authorized, may be worn with Aviation Working

Green, Service Uniforms, overcoat, reefer, pullover sweaters and black/khaki


–Knee length socks are required with Tropical uniforms.

–Women’s underpants/brassieres shall be white or skin color when wearing

Whites, otherwise color is optional.  White undershorts/ boxers are required for

men when wearing Whites.

–Uniform headgear need not be worn when ships are at sea outside harbor limits,

except on specific watches specified by the commanding officer, or on ceremonial

occasions specified by the commanding officer or higher authority.

–Petty Officers entitled to wear gold rating badges wear gold chevrons, vice

silver, on their cap devices.

–No transfer or exchange of an enlisted person’s uniform clothing shall be made

without the commanding officer’s authorization.  When such transfers or exchanges

are authorized, or when clothing belonging to deserters is sold, the name of the

former owner shall be obliterated with a red D.C. stamp. Purchaser’s name shall

be placed above, below, or next to it.

–Brown shoes are an optional uniform item for all personnel with Service Khaki.

— If “required” for FOD or safety reasons, glasses retainer straps are

authorized. When worn they shall be plain, black, and worn snugly against the

back of the head.

–Personnel assigned to duties, which prematurely destroy uniform items, should

be issued coveralls or protective outer garments.  Uniform items, which are

destroyed due to lack of adequate protective garments, should be replaced by the

command. For additional information refer to NAVSUP Manual P485

–Uniforms may be tailored to provide a well-fitting, professional military

bearing.  They shall not be altered to the extent of detracting from a military

appearance, nor shall they be tailored to the point of presenting a tight form


Last Updated: Friday, Apr 1, 2005