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Navy Uniform FAQs 

 

Frequently Requested Reference Links:

- NWU Authorized Footwear
- NWU Type II/III Website
- National Capitol Region (NCR) NWU Restricted Wear Area's
- Service Uniform (E6 and below) video (Male)
- Service Uniform (E6 and below) video (Female)
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

- Permanent make-up

Are umbrellas authorized when wearing NWU's?                                                                    The answer to the question is No.  U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations does not authorize the optional use / donning of an umbrella when wearing the Navy Working Uniform (NWU).  Chapter 3 of the Navy Uniform Regulations lists all Basic, Prescribable and Optional components that are authorized for wear with Navy Uniforms.

In Chapter 3, each Basic, Prescribable and Optional uniform components are listed for each uniform.   Optional use of the umbrella is only listed for Service, Service Dress, Full Dress and Dinner Dress Uniforms.

Are the plastic, rubber, cloth, woven, leather or wood wrist bracelets authorized while wearing the Navy uniform?                                                                                                       The plastic, rubber, cloth, woven, leather or wood wrist bracelets are considered conspicuous and detract from a professional appearance and are unauthorized when wearing the Navy Uniform.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 1, Section 5, Para f:

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.

The plastic, rubber, cloth, woven, leather or wood wrist bracelets are conspicuous and detract from a professional appearance and are unauthorized when wearing the Navy uniform.

Are twists and dreadlocks authorized?                                                                                    
The answer to the question is no.

"Twist and Dreadlock" hairstyles are not authorized because they fall outside of the definition of braids and are often considered faddish hairstyles with a non-conservative appearance.  Additionally, braided and non-braided hairstyles that protrude from the head, hang individually or contain widely spaced locks or braids are not authorized.

"Hairstyles shall not be outrageously multicolored or faddish, to include shaved portions of the scalp (other than the neckline), or have designs cut or braided into the hair. Hair coloring must look natural and complement the individual. Haircuts and styles shall present a balanced appearance. Lopsided and extremely asymmetrical styles are not authorized. Ponytails, pigtails, widely spaced individual hanging locks, and braids, which protrude from the head, are not authorized. Multiple braids are authorized. Braided hairstyles shall be conservative and conform to the guidelines listed herein. When a hairstyle of multiple braids is worn, braids shall be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approx. 1/4 inch), and tightly interwoven to present a neat, professional, well-groomed appearance. Foreign material (i.e., beads, decorative items) shall not be braided into the hair. Short hair may be braided in symmetrical fore and aft rows (corn rowing) which minimize scalp exposure. Cornrow ends shall not protrude from the head, and shall be secured only with inconspicuous rubber bands that match the color of the hair. Appropriateness of a hairstyle shall also be judged by its appearance when headgear is worn. All headgear shall fit snugly and comfortably around the largest part of the head without distortion or excessive gaps. Hair shall not show from under the front of the brim of the combination hat, garrison, or command ball caps. Hairstyles which do not allow headgear to be worn in this manner, or which interfere with the proper wear of protective masks or equipment are prohibited. When in uniform, the hair may touch, but not fall below a horizontal line level with the lower edge of the back of the collar. With jumper uniforms, hair may extend a maximum of 1-1/2 inches below the top of the jumper collar. Long hair, including braids, which fall below the lower edge of the collar shall be neatly and inconspicuously fastened, pinned, or secured to the head. No portion of the bulk of the hair as measured from the scalp will exceed approximately 2 inches."

The Marine Corps just mandated the sleeves to be down on their MARPATS (MARADMIN 621/11).  Does the Navy Sailors have to conform with Marine Corps policy when wearing MARPATS?                                                                                                                                  The answer to this question is yes.  Navy sailors will abide by Marine Corps uniform policy when wearing Marine Corps uniforms.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 2101.2:

"Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units who elect to wear and are issued Marine Corps service uniforms at no expense, will abide by grooming standards established for Marines."

Are command t-shirts with logo's authorized as an replacement for the blue t-shirt worn with NWU Type I's?                                                                                                                   The answer to this question is no.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Three, Section 1, Article 3603.3:

Undershirts shall be Navy blue, cotton, quarter-length sleeve, with an elliptical (crew-neck) collar.  Organization issued or personally purchased thermal underwear is authorized to be worn underneath the NWU undershirt and trousers.  Thermal underwear will not be visible when worn underneath the undershirt.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter One, Section 1, Article 1101.1:

"Policy.  The purpose of the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations is to:  (1) Provide descriptions of all authorized U.S. Navy Uniform uniforms and components, and (2) Provide guidance for all Navy activities prescribing uniforms wear in order to present a uniform image world-wide.  It is issued by direction of the Chief of Naval Operations and carries the force of a General Order.  Any procedures or components, regarding uniforms or grooming, not discussed in these regulations are prohibited.

Are socks required to be worn with minimalist footwear?                                                      The answer to this question is yes.  Athletic socks are required for wear with athletic footwear.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Three, section 1, Article 3601.4:

Wear with athletic socks and close all fasteners.

Do I have to wear a belt when wearing the Service Khaki Overblouse?                               The answer to this question is yes.  Whenever Navy trousers or slacks are equipped with belt loops, belts are required to be worn regardless of the other components being worn with it.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Three, Article 3501.72, Service Khaki slacks:

Button all buttons, close all fasteners, and wear a belt through all loops.  Slacks shall hang approximately 2 inches from the floor at the back of the shoe.  Slacks should be tailored to include a 2 inch hem to provide material for adjustments.

What is Navy policy for the proper wear of the Brown Aviation Leather Flight Jacket?      U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Six, Section 8, Article 6803.2.b.(2):

“Close zipper at least 3/4 of the way when worn.” 

This policy applies when the jacket is worn inside or outside.

For detailed information on management and control of the leather flight jackets review OPNAVINST 10126.4C.

Can I wear my personal cell phone on my belt while in uniform?                                          The answer to this question is yes.  In accordance with U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Two, Section 1, Article 2101.3c:

“Communication devices (e.g. cell phones, blackberries, pagers, etc.) are authorized for use and wear while in uniform (to include walking) in the manner prescribed below.”

 “(a) Communication devices shall be conservative in color and design and shall not distract from the appearance of the uniform.  
 
  (b) Only one communication devices is authorized for wear and can oly be worn on the belt of working and service uniforms aft of the elbow.

  (c) Wearing of communication devices on service dress uniforms is not authorized.

  (d) Communication devices will not be visible from the front and worn in such a manner as to impede the normal wear and appearance of the uniform (e.g. sagging, bunching, bulging, protruding, etc.).

  (e)  Whenever there is a concern for operational security, the authorized use of communication devices shall be at the commanding officer's discretion.

  (f)  The use of portable communication devices shall not interfere with the rendering of military courtesies and honors nor violate local, state and federal laws.

  (g)  When not being worn on the uniform and in use, communication devices will be placed at the side of the leg and in appropriate hand when rendering salutes, greetings and other military courtesies/honors.

  (h)  The use of an earpiece, blue tooth technology, headsets or hands-free device while in uniform indoors or outdoors is prohibited unless specifically authorized for the execution of official duties (e.g. NSW, security personnel, detailers, etc.).

  (i)  The use of blue tooth technology, headsets and other hands-free devices are only allowed in uniform in a vehicle when authorized by local, state and federal law.   Regional commanders may further restrict on base use of hands-free devices."

Can women carry their civilian purses while in uniform?                                                       The answer to this question is yes, provided the handbag is in compliance with Navy Uniform Regulations.

Chapter Three, Section 5, Article 3501.25:

“Women may wear civilian handbags while in uniform in the manner prescribed below.  The handbag must be of plain black, brown, white grain leather or synthetic leather, rectangular in shape and designed with a flap (magnetic or zipper).  The color of the handbag will match the color of the shoes worn.  Dimensions must be between 7 1/2 to 14 inches in width, 5 1/2 to 11 inches in height, and 2 to 4 inches deep.  Exotic materials such as eel, alligator, or ostrich skin are not authorized.  The handbag may not have any visible ornamentation, decorative stitching, embossed design, or manufacturer’s logo.  The closure hardware will be brass-plated, silver or gold-colored (no oversized buckles or string ties are allowed).  The strap (single or double) will be of the same material as the purse and may have a gold-colored or black-colored buckle.  Handbags may be procured from commercial sources, provided the above criteria is followed.  Carry over the left shoulder or forearm, placing the top of the handbag at waist level.”

What is the policy for wearing the Knit Cap (Watch Cap)?                                                   When authorized by appropriate authority, it will be worn during cold weather conditions that may result in personal injury if not worn.  Rank/rate insignia is not authorized to be worn on the watch cap.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter One, Section 5, Article 1501.1b and Chapter Three, Section 5, Article 3501.11:

Correct Wear.  The watch cap will be worn with a single fold approximately 3 1/2 inches - 4 inches diagonally from the base of the back of the head, across the ears and on the forehead with the bottom of the fold one fourth of an inch above the eyebrows.  the watch cap will be worn snugly on the head.  Rank/rate insignia is not authorized to be worn on the watch cap.  When authorized by appropriate authority, it will be worn during cold weather conditions that may result in personal injury if not worn.  

What are the embossing guidelines for the Navy Uniform Leather Name Patch?                 U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Five, Section 2, Article 5201.4.b and Chapter Six, Section 8, Article 6803.2.b.(2).(a).(2):

“b.  Velcro Backed Leather Nametag.  Nametags shall be made of plain black leather in 2"x4" dimension.  Name, rank/rate and duty status (USN) shall be embossed in gold for officers/CPOs and in silver for E6 and below with lettering in block letters, 1/4 inch high.  Only one earned breast insignia may be worn.  (Patrol pins not authorized).  The insignia (silver or gold) shall be embossed above the individual's name.”

When placing orders for the leather nametag, only one embossed warfare or qualification insignia is authorized, however, more than one abbreviation is authorized in parenthesis (SW/AW/SS).  In other words no officer's crest/rank insignia, enlisted rank insignia or specialty marks authorized.  

If the leather nametag is worn only on the Aviation Brown Leather Flight Jacket, the billet title (CO, XO, CAG, etc.) is optional.

Are Sailors authorized to wear the Army's Combat Infantryman Badge and Combat Medical Badge on their Navy uniform?                                                                                                    The answer to this question is yes.  In accordance with the Navy Awards Manual, SECNAVINST 1650.1h, Chapter 2, Section 3, Article 230.14 references these badges as follows:

"14. Combat Action Ribbon (CAR)

(d) Current DON personnel who were formerly in the U.S. Army and earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge, upon submission of official military documentation to their commanding officer, may be authorized to wear the CAR."

When is the Green Flight Jacket authorized to be worn?                                                       U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Six, Section 8, Article 6803.2b(1):

"(1) CWU-45/P Winter Flyers Jacket, CWU-36/P Summer Flyers Jacket, Multi-Climate Fleece Jacket, Climate Fleece Vest, Multi-Climate Shell Jacket.  May be worn with flight suits, but are not authorized for wear off base.  Sage Green or tan jackets may be worn with green or tan flight suits.  The vest may only be worn with either the green or tan flight suit.  Sage green jackets may also be worn with Working Khaki, Utilities, and other working uniforms in the immediate area of requirement if issued by the command.  Sage green jackets are not authorized with any service uniform (with ribbons).  The jacket will be worn with the zipper zipped at least 3/4 of the way.  Jacket shall be maintained in a clean and serviceable condition.  If torn, stained, or frayed beyond reasonable repair, it should be exchanged for a new jacket."

Additionally, consult your local uniform prescribing authority's uniform guidelines for the specific uniform guidelines for your area.  The area/regional coordinators, as designated in Section 4 of Standard Navy Distribution List, OPNAV P09B2-105, are the prescribing authorities responsible for issuing and controlling uniform policy within the geographic limits of their assigned region, Table 1-2-1 of the Navy Uniform Regulations refers.  Questions concerning authorized uniform of the day and specific guidance on the wear of organizational clothing should be addressed to the area/regional coordinator.  All Naval personnel shall wear the prescribed uniform of their respective rate or rank as prescribed by the designated uniform prescribing authority.
 

Are Sailors allowed to walk and talk on command issued or personal cell phones while in uniform?                                                                                                                                       The answer to this question is yes provided use of cell phones while in uniform is in compliance with U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Two, Section 1, Article 2101.3.c.(1).(c) through (i): 

“(c) Use of these devices will not interfere with the proper rendering of military courtesies and honors.

  (d)  Communication devices will not be visible from the front and worn in such a manner as to impede the normal wear and appearance of the uniform (e.g. sagging, bunching, bulging, protruding etc.).

  (e)  Whenever there is a concern for operational security, the authorized use of communication devices shall be at the commanding officer's discretion.

   (f)  The use of portable communication devices shall not interfere with the rendering of military courtesies and honors nor violate local, state and federal laws.

   (g)  When not being worn on the uniform and in use, communication devices will be placed at the side of the leg and in the appropriate hand when rendering salutes, greetings and other military courtesies/honors.

  (h)  The use of an earpiece, blue tooth technology, headsets or hands-free device while in uniform indoors or outdoors is prohibited unless specifically authorized for the execution of official duties (e.g. NSW, security personnel, detailers, etc).

   (i)  The use of blue tooth technology, headsets and other hands-free devices are only allowed in uniform in a vehicle when authorized by local, state and federal law.   Regional commanders may further restrict on base use of hands-free devices.”

Talking on a cell phone is not an excuse for failing to salute or rendering greetings and courtesies.  Some Prescribing Authorities have issued local policy restricting the use of the cell phones, for reasons such as safety.  As with all Navy policies, we strongly recommend Sailors to become familiar with local, state and federal cell phone policy. 

The wearing of "blue tooth devices" in or over the ear is not authorized when wearing the Navy uniform.  Navy personnel will present a proud and professional appearance that will reflect positively on the individual, the Navy and the United States.       

I would like to know under what conditions, if any, Navy personnel might wear Under-Armor undershirts?                                                                                                                        Navy Uniform Regulations does not authorize Sailors to wear performance or "Under-Armor" brand shirts as an undershirt with the Navy uniform.

U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Three, Section 5, Article 3501.101.a. and Chapter Six, Section 8, Article 6802.3.e: 

Navy blue, 100% cotton, quarter-length sleeve, with an elliptical (crew-neck) collar.

White t-shirts shall be made of white cotton or poly/cotton.

Brown t-shirts shall be made of cotton, quarter-length sleeve, with an elliptical (crew-neck) collar.

“Undershirts shall be desert brown, cotton, quarter-length sleeve, with an elliptical (crew-neck) collar.  Issued thermal underwear is authorized to be worn underneath the camouflage uniform during cold weather periods.  Navy blue or dark green sweatshirts may be worn under the camouflage shirt during field training if approved by appropriate authority.”

 

 

NAVY PERSONNEL COMMAND: 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington TN 38055-0000 
Comments? Suggestions? Call 866-U-ASK-NPC or Email the Webmaster | Updated:5/14/2014 3:45 PM 


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