Correct Wear

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Correct Wear

1. POLICY. The purpose of this document is to provide The George Washington University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps with a single, simple document to address U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Uniform Regulations that Midshipmen will face on a daily basis within the battalion.

2. SELECTED INFORMATION. For this document, select information was taken directly from U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Uniform Regulations. For total information, you can refer to the complete uniform regulations at NAVPERS 15665I and MCO P1020.34G.


a. OVERVIEW. As per U.S Navy Uniform Regulations, “these regulations define the composition of authorized uniforms. Navy and Marine Corps uniforms are distinctive visual evidence of the authority and responsibility vested in their wearer by the United States.

b. UNIFORMS. Uniforms and components shall be worn as described in these regulations. Navy personnel must present a proud and professional appearance that will reflect positively on the individual, the Navy and the United States.


1. General. The cap/hat is an integral part of the uniform.

2. Outdoor Wear. Outdoors, personnel remain covered at all times unless ordered to uncover, or during religious services not associated with a military ceremony. Personnel remain covered during invocations or other religious military ceremonies such as changes of command, ships' commissionings and launchings, and military burials, etc.

3. Indoor Wear. Indoors, personnel shall remain uncovered at all times unless directed otherwise by higher authority for a special situation/event. Those service members in a duty status and wearing side arms or a pistol belt may only remove headgear indoors when entering dining, medical or FOD hazard areas or where religious services are being conducted.

4. Special Circumstances. A military cover may be removed when riding a bicycle on or off base. A safety helmet is recommended. Personnel may remove their cap or hat when traveling inside a private. A cover is mandatory when entering or within a military reservation, unless wearing the cap is impractical or hazardous.

c. ACTIONS IN UNIFORM. It is inappropriate and detracts from military smartness for personnel to have their hands in their pockets. Additionally, when walking from point to point while in uniform, it is inappropriate and detracts from military smartness for personnel to be smoking or using tobacco products or to be eating and/or drinking.


i. Travel

1. For official travel, the Service Dress Blue or Summer White Uniform is authorized for commercial and military transit.


1. General. Commuting is defined as a direct route from place of residence to place of work by means of a private vehicle, to include all travel aboard DOD-owned/controlled aircraft.

2. Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I, II, and III Authorized Brief Stops.

a. NWU wear is authorized for commuting and all normal tasks and associated stops (e.g. stops at child care, gas stations, off-base shopping, banking, DMV, and dining) before, during and after the workday. NWUs are not a liberty uniform. Consumption of alcohol while off-base in NWUs is not permitted.

The area or regional commander may further restrict uniform policies within their geographical limits regarding the wear of NWUs. Within the National Capital Region (NCR) the NWU is authorized for wear at all locations with the exception of inside the pentagon building, national mall area bounded by capitol hill and surrounding senate and house offices, the white house and executive office building, state department and all monuments and memorials. Wear while metro, public transportation and slug lines outside the pentagon is authorized. NWU wear is authorized in office environments at headquarters staffs outside these NCR areas. NWU is authorized for all Navy recruiting command recruiters in the continental United States (CONUS), Hawaii and Guam (e.g. malls, schools, normal recruiting areas).

b. CONUS air travel in NWUs is authorized only on military and government contracted flights between military airfield installations. The NWUs are not authorized for wear during commercial travel (e.g. airlines, railways, or bus, etc.) but are authorized on commuter transportation (e.g. Metrorail, metro bus, commuter bus, VRE, ferries). While OCONUS, personnel who are deploying, executing permanent change of station orders, on rest and relaxation leave status to or from OCONUS area of responsibility (AOR) or transiting in an emergency leave status will travel in appropriate civilian attire.

c. When travelling in NWUs, it shall be clean and present a sharp military appearance. In all cases, at least one set of civilian attire is to be packed in a carry-on luggage for contingency situations. Travel in NWUs is not authorized on any commercial carrier for any reason other than stipulated in this article.


a. STANDARD PHRASEOLOGY. When making official references to the uniforms, insignia, and grooming standards in any official publication, the terms set forth in these regulations shall be used.

i. 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.

ii. Prescribable Items. Uniform items which may be directed or authorized for wear with the basic uniform. Prescribable items may be worn with basic uniform at the individual's discretion unless otherwise directed.

iii. Optional Items. 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 directed.

iv. 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 may not be noticeable on another. If attention is naturally drawn to or distracted from the professional appearance, it is conspicuous.

v. Conservative. Not conspicuous or detracting from the professional appearance while in uniform.

vi. 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.

vii. 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.

b. GENERAL INFORMATION. The primary consideration is to have a neatly groomed appearance while wearing naval uniforms. Grooming standards are based on several elements including neatness, cleanliness, safety, military image and appearance. The standards established here are not intended to be overly restrictive nor are they designed to isolate Navy personnel from society. The limits set forth are reasonable, enforceable, and insure that personal appearance contributes to a favorable military image. The difference between men's and women's grooming policies recognizes the difference between the sexes; sideburns for men, different hairstyles and cosmetics for women. Establishing identical grooming and personal appearance standards for men and women would not be in the Navy's best interest and is not a factor in the assurance of equal opportunity.


i. Image. United States Navy personnel must set and maintain the high standards of smartness in uniform appearance. The military image reflected by attention to detail, while wearing your uniforms, is a key element in the public image of the Navy.

ii. Cleanliness. Uniforms shall be kept scrupulously clean, with lace, devices and insignia bright and free from tarnish and corrosion.

1. Military Creases. Military creases on shirts are an individual option. Sewn‑in creases are not authorized. Military creases are formed by pressing two vertical creases in the front of the shirt, from the shoulder seam through the center of each pocket to the bottom of the shirt, and three evenly spaced vertical creases in the back of the shirt, from the yoke seam to the bottom of the shirt. Shirts which do not have a yoke seam across the back of the shirt as a reference point for placing three evenly spaced creases, start the outboard creases at the shoulder seam and the center crease at the seam where the collar is attached to the shirt, ending all at the bottom of the shirt.

2. Tailoring of Uniforms. 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 fit.

iii. Articles. NO ARTICLES SHALL PROTRUDE FROM OR BE VISIBLE ON THE UNIFORM, including such items as, pencils, pens, watch chains, key chain fobs, pins, jewelry, combs, large wallets, cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or similar items. 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

1. Communication devices shall be conservative in color and design and shall not distract from the appearance of the uniform.

(i) Only one communication device is authorized for wear and can only be worn on the belt of working and service uniforms aft of the elbow.

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

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

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

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

(vi) 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.

(vii) 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.).

2. BLUE TOOTH. 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.

3. Civilian bags (e.g. computer bags/briefcases), this does not include women's handbags/purses, may be worn with the working and service uniforms as prescribed in the manner below:

(i) Backpacks may be worn over either the left shoulder or both shoulders while wearing service and working uniforms. Authorized colors of backpacks include black, navy blue, and the matching NWU Type I pattern. The matching NWU Type I pattern backpack is only authorized for wear with the NWU Type I's. No personal ornamentation shall be attached on or to the backpack.

(ii) Computer bag and brief case: may be worn across the left shoulder of service and working uniforms to facilitate saluting. When wearing a bag, the strap must be worn across the left shoulder (fore and aft) with the bag hanging on the same side of the body. The case or bag will not be worn with the strap and bag on the opposite sides of the body (diagonally).

(iii) All bags/brief cases worn with the uniform must conceal its contents and be either solid black or navy blue in color. There shall be no personal ornamentation attached on or to the bag/brief case.

(iv) While in dress uniform, civilian bags will be hand carried only.

(v) A seabag may be carried on the shoulders.

4. Glasses

(i) Prescription Glasses. No eccentric or faddish glasses are permitted. Retainer straps are authorized for FOD prevention and safety only. If retainer straps are required, they shall be plain, black and worn snugly against the back of the head.

(ii) Sunglasses. Conservative sunglasses are permitted, except in military formations. Retainer straps are authorized for FOD prevention and safety only. If retainer straps are required, they shall be plain, black and worn snugly against the back of the head.

(iii) Contact Lenses. Tinted contact lenses must be a natural color (blue, green, brown, etc).

5. Undergarments. Appropriate undergarments shall be worn to preserve the dignity and appearance of the uniform.


a. PERSONAL APPEARANCE. Because it is impossible to provide examples of every appropriate or unacceptable hairstyle or of “conservative” or “eccentric” grooming and personal appearance, the good judgment of leaders at all levels is key to enforcement of Navy grooming policy. Therefore, hair/grooming/personal appearance while in uniform shall present a neat, professional appearance.


1. Men. Keep hair neat, clean and well groomed. Hair above the ears and around the neck shall be tapered from the lower natural hairline upwards at least 3/4 inch and outward not greater than 3/4 inch to blend with hair­style. Hair on the back of the neck must not touch the collar. Hair shall be no longer than four inches and may not touch the ears, collar, extend below eyebrows when headgear is removed, show under front edge of headgear, or interfere with properly wearing military headgear. The bulk of the hair shall not exceed approximately two inches. Bulk is defined as the distance that the mass of hair protrudes from the scalp. Hair coloring must look natural and complement the individual. Faddish styles and outrageous multicolored hair are not authorized. The unique quality and texture of curled, waved, and straight hair are recognized, and in some cases the 3/4 inch taper at the back of the neck may be difficult to attain. In those cases hair must present a graduated appearance and may combine the taper with a line at the back of the neck. One (cut, clipped or shaved) natural, narrow, fore and aft part is authorized. Varying hairstyles, including afro, are permitted if these styles meet the criteria of maximum length and bulk, tapered neck and sides, and do not interfere with properly wearing military headgear. Plaited or braided hair shall not be worn while in uniform or in a duty status. Keep sideburns neatly trimmed and tailored in the same manner as the haircut. Sideburns shall not extend below a point level with the middle of the ear, shall be of even width (not flared) and shall end with a clean shaven horizontal line.
refers. "Muttonchops", "ship's captain", or similar grooming modes are not authorized.

(i) SHAVING AND MUSTACHES. The face shall be clean shaven unless a shaving waiver is authorized by the Commanding Officer per . Mustaches are authorized but shall be kept neatly and closely trimmed. No portion of the mustache shall extend below the lip line of the upper lip. It shall not go beyond a horizontal line extending across the corners of the mouth and no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth. The length of an individual mustache hair fully extended shall not exceed approximately ½ inch.

refers. Handlebar mustaches, goatees, beards or eccentricities are not permitted. If a shaving waiver is authorized, no facial/neck hair shall be shaved, manicured, styled or outlined nor exceed 1/4 inch in length.

2. Women. This policy applies to female Sailors while wearing the Navy uniform and when wearing civilian clothes in the performance of duty.

(i) Acceptable Hairstyle Criteria. Hairstyles and haircuts shall present a professional and balanced appearance. Appropriateness of a hairstyle shall be evaluated 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. Hairstyles will not interfere with the proper wearing of headgear, protective masks or equipment. When headgear is worn, hair shall not show from under the front of the headgear, with the exception of the Tiara and Beret. Hair (including bun) is not to protrude from the opening in the back of the ball cap.

Lopsided and extremely asymmetrical hairstyles are not authorized. Angled hairstyles will have no more than a 1-1/2 inch difference between the front and the back length of hair. Layered hairstyles are authorized provided layers present a smooth and graduated appearance.

Hair length, when in uniform, 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, shall be neatly fastened, pinned, or secured to the head. When bangs are worn, they shall not extend below the eyebrows. Hair length shall be sufficient to prevent the scalp from being readily visible (with the exception of documented medical conditions).

Hair bulk (minus the bun) as measured from the scalp will not exceed 2 inches.

refers. The bulk of the bun shall not exceed 3 inches when measured from the scalp and the diameter of the bun will not exceed 4 inches. Loose ends must be tucked in and secured.

Hair, wigs, or hair extensions/pieces must be of a natural hair color (i.e. blonde, brunette, brown, red, gray, or black). Hair extensions/pieces must match the current color of hair. Wigs, hairpieces and extensions shall be of such quality and fit so as to present a natural appearance and conform to the grooming guidelines listed herein. Tints and highlights shall result in natural hair colors and be similar to the current base color of the hair.

(ii) Hairstyles. Hairstyles shall not detract from a professional appearance in uniform. Styles with shaved portions of the scalp (other than the neckline), those with designs cut, braided, or parted into the hair, as well as dyed using unnatural colors are not authorized. The unique quality and texture of curled, waved and straight hair are recognized. All hairstyles must minimize scalp exposure. While this list shall not be considered all inclusive, the following hairstyles are authorized.

(a) Three strand braids and two strand braids (also referred to as twists) are authorized. Braided hairstyles shall be conservative and conform to the guidelines listed herein.

(b) Multiple braids. Multiple braids consist of more than 2 braids and encompass the whole head. When a hairstyle of multiple braids is worn, each braid shall be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (no more than 1/4 inch), and tightly interwoven to present a neat, professional, well groomed appearance. Foreign material (e.g., beads, decorative items) shall not be braided into the hair. Multiple braids may be worn loose, or may be pulled straight back into a bun, within the guidelines herein.

(c) Two individual braids. One braid worn on each side of the head, uniform in dimension and no more than one inch in diameter. Each braid extends from the front to back of the head near the lower portion of the hair line (i.e., braids are closer to the top of the ear than the top of the head to prevent interference with wearing of headgear). A single French braid may be worn starting near the top of the head and be braided to the end of the hair. The end of the braid must be secured to the head and braid placement shall be down the middle of the back of the head.

(d) Corn rows. Must be in symmetrical fore and aft rows, and must be close to the head, leaving no hair unbraided. They must be no larger than 1/4 inch in diameter and show no more than approximately 1/8 inch of scalp between rows. Corn row ends shall not protrude from the head. Rows must end at the nape of the neck and shall be secured with rubber bands that match the color of the hair. Corn rows may end in a bun conforming to the guidelines listed herein, if hair length permits.

(e) Rolls. Two individual rolls, one on each side of the head, must be near the lower portion of the hair line (i.e., rolls are closer to the top of the ear than the top of the head and will not interfere with wearing of headgear). Rolls must be of uniform dimension and no more than one inch in diameter.

(iii) Hair Accessories. When hair accessories are worn, they must be consistent with the hair color. A maximum of two small barrettes, similar to hair color, may be used to secure the hair to the head. Bun accessories (used to form the bun), are authorized if completely concealed. Additional hairpins, bobby pins, small rubber bands, or small thin fabric elastic bands may be used to hold hair in place, if necessary. The intent is for pinned-up hair to be styled in a manner that prevents loose ends from extending upward or outward from the head. For example, when using barrettes or hairpins, hair will not extend loosely from the head; when hair is in a bun, all loose ends must be tucked in and secured. Hair accessories shall not present a safety or foreign object damage (FOD) hazard. Hair nets shall not be worn unless authorized for a specific type of duty. Headbands, scrunchies, combs, claws and butterfly clips, are examples of accessories that are not authorized; this list is not to be considered all inclusive.

(iv) Unauthorized Hairstyles. While this list shall not be considered all inclusive, the following hairstyles are not authorized: ponytails; pigtails; braids that are widely spaced and/or protrude from the head; and locks. Locks, also called dreads, are fused or coiled strands of hair that cannot easily be combed out.

(v) Grooming Standards Exception. During group Command/Unit physical training, Commanding Officers are authorized to standardize unit policy for the relaxation of female hair grooming standards with regard to having hair secured to head (e.g., ponytails). Hair restraining devices, if worn, will be consistent with the current hair color.

2. HAIRPIECES. Wigs or hairpieces shall be of good quality and fit, present a natural appearance and conform to the grooming standards set forth in these regulations. They shall not interfere with the proper performance of duty nor present a safety or FOD (Foreign Object Damage) hazard.

a. Men. Wigs or hairpieces may be worn by active duty personnel while in uniform or duty status only for cosmetic reasons to cover natural baldness or physical disfigurement. Wigs may be worn by Naval Reserve personnel engaged in inactive duty for training.

b. Women. Wigs or hairpieces meeting women's grooming standards are authorized for wear by personnel while in uniform or duty status.

3. COSMETICS (Women). Cosmetics may be applied in good taste so that colors blend with natural skin tone and enhance natural features. Exaggerated or faddish cosmetic styles are not authorized with the uniform and shall not be worn. Care should be taken to avoid an artificial appearance. Lipstick colors shall be conservative and complement the individual. Long false eyelashes shall not be worn when in uniform.


a. Men. Fingernails shall not extend past fingertips. They shall be kept clean.

b. Women. Fingernails shall not exceed 1/4 inch measured from the fingertip. They shall be kept clean. Nail polish may be worn, but colors shall be conservative and complement the skin tone.

5. JEWELRY. Conservative jewelry is authorized for all personnel and shall be in good taste while in uniform. Eccentricities or faddishness are not permitted. Jewelry shall not present a safety or FOD (Foreign Object Damage) hazard. Jewelry shall be worn within the following guidelines:

a. Rings. While in uniform, only one ring per hand is authorized, plus a wedding/engagement ring set. Rings are not authorized for wear on thumbs.

b. Earrings

(1) Men. Not authorized while in uniform. Additionally, earrings are not authorized in civilian attire when in a duty status or while in/aboard any ship, craft, aircraft, or in any military vehicle or within any base or other place under military jurisdiction, or while participating in any organized military recreational activities. When considered appropriate by the prescribing authority under article 7201.2, earrings may be prohibited while in foreign countries.

(2) Women. One earring per ear (centered on earlobe) may be worn while in uniform. Earrings shall be 4mm - 6mm ball (approximately 1/8 - 1/4 inch), plain with shiny or brushed matte finish, screw on or with posts. Gold for officers/CPOs, and silver for enlisted personnel. Small single pearl earrings are authorized for wear with Dinner and Formal Dress uniforms.

c. Body Piercing. Not authorized while in uniform. No articles, other than earrings for women specified above, shall be attached to or through the ear, nose, or any other body part. Additionally, body piercing is not authorized in civilian attire when in a duty status or while in/aboard any ship, craft, aircraft, or in any military vehicle or within any base or other place under military jurisdiction, or while participating in any organized military recreational activities. When considered appropriate by the prescribing authority under

, body piercing may be prohibited while in foreign countries.

d. Necklaces/Choker. While in uniform, only one necklace may be worn and it shall not be visible.

e. Wristwatch/Bracelets. While in uniform, only one of each may be worn. Ankle bracelets are not authorized while in uniform.

6. TATTOOS/BODY ART/BRANDS. Four Criteria will be used to determine whether tattoos/body art/brands are permitted for Navy personnel: content, location, size and cosmetic. Failure to comply with established acceptable tattoo criteria as stated, is a violation of uniform policy and subject to disciplinary action to include involuntary separation.

a. Content: Tattoos/body art/brands located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited. For example, tattoos/body art/brands that are obscene, sexually explicit, and or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnic, sexual orientation or national origin are prohibited. In addition, tattoos/body art/brands that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.

b. Location: No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face (to include ear) and scalp. One tattoo is authorized on the neck and should not exceed one inch in measurement in any direction. Tattoos/body art/brands meeting these requirements are acceptable behind the ear. Permissible tattoos/body art/brands on the torso area of the body shall not be visible through white uniform clothing.

c. Size: The size restriction for visible tattoos/body art/brands is limited to the area of the neck and behind the ear only. As a result of this change leg and arm tattoos can be of any size. Tattoos/body art/brands on the neck or behind the ear will not exceed one inch in measurement in any dimension (height/width).

d. Cosmetic: Cosmetic tattoo is authorized to correct medical conditions requiring such treatment. For the purpose of this regulation, cosmetic tattooing refers to medical or surgical procedures conducted by licensed, qualified medical personnel.


a. Uniform Requirements: Officers are responsible for buying and maintaining uniforms appropriate to their assigned duties and as required by their prescribing authority. Each Midshipman upon entering the unit is issued a full set of usable uniforms. There is no minimum number of uniforms required to be in their possession. Sufficient quantities of uniform items shall be procured and maintained to ensure high standards of personal hygiene and appearance. Because of high visibility in leadership positions, high standards of neatness and cleanliness are expected and must be maintained.


Service Dress Blue

1. Coat, Service Dress Blue

Correct Wear: Button all buttons. Coat may be removed in immediate office space.

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