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Navy Uniform FAQs

 

Frequently Requested Reference Links

- NWU Type II/III Website

- National Capitol Region (NCR) NWU Restricted Wear Areas
- Service Uniform (E6 and below) video (Male)
- Service Uniform (E6 and below) video (Female)
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

- Permanent make-up
- Navy and Command Ball Cap FAQs
  
Are umbrellas authorized when wearing NWUs?

The answer to the question is yes.  U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations 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.
 
Are the plastic, rubber, cloth, woven, leather or wood wristwatches bracelets authorized while wearing the Navy uniform? 
U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 2101.6 (e) and (f):
“e. Bracelets.  While in uniform, bracelets shall be conservative and in good taste.  Eccentric or faddish bracelets are not authorized. Bracelets may consist of natural metals or fabricated materials (i.e., plastic, wood, silicone) and may be gold, silver, copper, grey, tan, brown, black, white, or light pink in color.  Only one bracelet may be worn while in uniform.  Ankle bracelets in uniform are not authorized.  Bracelets shall not present a safety or FOD hazard.
 
f. Wristwatch.  While in uniform, wristwatches shall be conservative and in good taste.  Eccentric or faddish watches are not authorized.  Only one watch and one bracelet may be worn simultaneously (one on each wrist) while in uniform.”
 
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 Sailors assigned to U.S. Marine Corps units who wear the Marine Corps uniform will abide by Marine Corps grooming standards except for the requirement of a zero fade hairstyle for male Sailors."
 
Are command t-shirts with logos authorized as optional wear with NWU Type I/II/III, Navy coveralls, and Navy flight suits?                                                                                                 
The answer to this question is yes.
U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter Three, Section 1, Article 3603.2:
"The navy blue undershirt is worn with the NWU Type I and optionally worn with coveralls.  The coyote brown undershirt is worn with the NWU Type II, III and optionally (blue or coyote brown) worn with the coveralls.  Organizationally issued or personally purchased thermal underwear is authorized for wear underneath the undershirt and will not be visible when worn."
Note:
 
1.  Optional command logos are authorized on front and back of t-shirts worn with working/utility uniforms (NWU Type I/II/III, Navy coveralls, and Navy flight suits.)

2.  T-shirts worn with command logos are authorized for wear as civilian clothing by Commanding Officer discretion.

3.  Black t-shirts are authorized for wear with flight suits ONLY.
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 3, 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?
U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 3, 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."
EXCEPTION:  Female officers and CPOs are authorized to optionally wear male Service Khaki trousers and female Service Khaki slacks without belt and buckle with the khaki Overblouse only.
  
What is Navy policy for the proper wear of the Brown Aviation Leather Flight Jacket?     
U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 6, 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 2, 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 only 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.
U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 3, 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 leather or synthetic leather, generally rectangular or square in shape with magnetic or zipper closure.  The color of the handbag will match the color of the shoes worn.  Dimensions must be between 5 1/2 to 16 inches in width, 5 1/2 to 14 inches in height, and 2 to 6 inches in depth.  The handbag may have one visible manufacturer's logo that does not exceed 2 inches in height by 2 inches in depth by 2 inches in width.  Exotic materials such as eel, alligator, or ostrich skin are not authorized.  The handbag may not have any visible ornamentation, decorative stitching or embossed designs (excluding authorized logo mentioned above).  Women may wear civilian handbags with or without flaps while in uniform.  The closure hardware will be black, silver or gold-colored (no over-sized buckles or string ties are allowed).  The strap (single or double) will be of the same material as the handbag and may have a silver-colored, gold-colored or black-colored buckle.  Handbags may be procured from commercial sources, provided the above criteria are followed.  Carry over the left shoulder, on the left forearm or in the left hand.  When carried over the shoulder or on the forearm, place the body of the handbag between the natural waist and upper most part of the hip."
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 1, Section 5, Article 1501.1b and Chapter 3, 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 5, Section 2, Article 5201.4.b and Chapter 6, 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 6, 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 2, 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 3, Section 5, Article 3603.2, Article 3501.101 and Chapter 6, Section 8, Article 6802.5.b: 
"Navy blue or coyote brown, plain without lettering or designs, made of 100% cotton, quarter-length sleeve, with an elliptical (crew-neck) collar. White t-shirts shall be made of white cotton or poly/cotton."
“Undershirts shall be brown, 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 Type II undershirt and trousers.  Thermal underwear will not be visible."
 
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