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1917 recruiting poster for the United States Navy, featuring a woman wearing the most widely recognized uniform, the enlisted dress blues. (The insignia is that of a Quartermaster 1st Class)

Uniforms of the United States Navy are a distinction of the service and still follow many traditional patterns, for example, the changes in uniforms since World War II have been primarily in materials. This article examines dress uniforms, daily service uniforms, working uniforms, special situations, and the history of Navy uniforms. For simplicity in this article, "Officers" refers to both commissioned officers and warrant officers.


Dress Uniforms

29th Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead wearing the service dress blue uniform.
Quartermaster Dick Libby, USN, wearing the service dress blue uniform of c.1834

The United States Navy has three categories of dress uniforms, from least to most formal: service, full, and dinner dress.


Service Dress

Service dress uniforms, Service Dress Blue and Service Dress White, are worn for official functions not rising to the level of full or dinner dress. It is also commonly worn when traveling in official capacity, or when reporting to a command. They are seasonal, with the white uniform worn in summer and the blue in winter. Service Dress Blue may be worn year round for travel ONLY. The civilian equivalent is a business suit.

Officers & Chief Petty Officers

The Service Dress Blue uniform consists of a navy blue suit coat, trousers, white shirt, and four-in-hand necktie (women substitute a neck tab). The material is generally wool or a wool blend, depending on the vendor. The men's jacket is double breasted with six gold-colored buttons, and the women's jacket has a single row of four gold-colored buttons. Rank insignia is the gold sleeve stripes for officers, while rating badges and service stripes are worn on the left sleeve by CPOs. The prescribed headgear is the white combination cap, although a navy blue garrison cap is optional, unless stated otherwise by the prescribing authority in some situations when the jacket is not worn.

The Service Dress White uniform is very different for the men's and women's variations. Men wear a high stand-collared white tunic, with black shoulder boards for officers or the metal anchor collar devices for CPOs, white trousers, and white shoes. This uniform is informally called "chokers" due to the standing collar. The material is a weave of polyester known as "Certified Navy Twill," or CNT. Women wear a uniform similar to the service dress blue but with a white coat and skirt or trousers. The white combination cap is the prescribed headgear. A noticeable difference between the male uniforms and the female uniforms is the placement of the women officer's rank insignia on the sleeves (in the same manner as that on the blue uniform) and the placement of women CPO rank insignia (the fouled anchor with USN monogram and five-pointed cocked "line" stars) on the lapels of the jacket. Uniquely, the shoes worn with this uniform are white.

The rarely seen but authorized Dress Blue Yankee uniform replaces the dark trousers and black shoes of the service dress blue with white trousers and shoes from the white uniform. This variation is colloquially referred to as 'salt and pepper' (Service Dress Blue Yankee for male and for female officers.). The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform and has decided that the Dress Blue Yankee uniform will be phased out of service. The specific date is yet to be promulgated, but it will likely be December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete.

Ribbons are worn over the left breast pocket in all variations of the service dress uniform. Either the All-Weather Coat, Overcoat, or Reefer may be worn with Service Dress uniforms in cold or inclement weather.

The new proposed "throwback" uniforms and updated Crackerjack.

A new khaki uniform, also announced in 2006, will serve as both service and dress uniform for officers and CPOs. [1]. The uniform will reintroduce a khaki service coat worn with a black necktie and the shoulder boards. Mostly seen during World War II, this uniform was dropped by then-CNO Admiral Elmo Zumwalt in order to reduce the number of items in the officer's seabag, but was reintroduced by Admiral Mullen based on a desire to distinguish officers and CPOs from their enlisted counterparts. Some commentators, including the periodical Navy Times, have spoken of this uniform as having a "throwback" look.[1]

Admiral Mullen wears the new Service Dress Khaki


The service dress uniforms for enlisted personnel are based on the standard Navy jumper, colloquially referred to as "crackerjacks" because of the Navy-uniformed figure that has donned the Cracker Jack snack box. They consist of navy blue wool or white Certified Navy Twill as above. Service Dress White consists of white straight-leg or bell-bottom trousers with a fly front, black leather shoes, a white jumper with plain "tar flap" collar, a black polyester neckerchief and a white "Dixie Cup" cover for males or combination cover for females with a silver eagle emblem and the letters "USN." The Service Dress Blue uniform is similar to the white uniform, but navy blue in color, with three rows of white piping on the collar and cuffs. The trousers for the blue uniform are flared toward the cuff and are sometimes erroneously called "bell bottoms" (bell bottoms were an unauthorized modification sometimes seen in the early to mid-20th Century in which the the legs were tailored tightly and the cuff end of the trousers were flared to an extreme). The trousers have a broadfall style flap opening with thirteen buttons (which, contrary to popular belief, does not represent the original Thirteen Colonies of the early United States). Female enlisted Sailors' Service Dress Blue is similar to the Chief Petty Officer Service Dress Blue with the exception that silver-colored buttons, rather than gold, are worn on the jacket. Ribbons are worn with these uniforms over the top left pocket opening (the jumper pockets do not have flaps), along with warfare insignia. If these uniforms are to be assigned as the Uniform of the Day, a Plan of the Day/Plan of the Week will state either "Service Dress White" or "Service Dress Blue." Either the All-Weather Coat or Peacoat may be worn with this uniform in cold or inclement weather. The color of the enlisted rank insignia is either gold or red based upon the U.S. Navy Good Conduct Variation.

Full Dress

Full Dress uniforms are worn for ceremonies such as changes of command, retirements, commissionings and decommissionings, funerals, weddings, or when otherwise appropriate. Full Dress is similar to Service Dress, but the "Yankee" variation is omitted and ribbons are replaced with full-size medals above the left breast pocket, with ribbons worn on the opposite side for decorations without corresponding medals. Swords are authorized for wear by officers, and required for O-4 and above. For the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in Washington, DC, the enlisted (E6 and below) Full Dress uniforms are further modified with the wearing of a white pistol belt, ascot, and dress aiguilette (the latter two are white for winter and navy blue for summer), and white canvas leggings. Other honor guards are only authorized leggings and white pistol belt.

Full Dress Whites worn at a Change of Command Ceremony

Dinner Dress

The dinner dress uniforms of the United States Navy are the most formal and have the most variations. For officers, there are Dinner Dress Blue and Dinner Dress White, Dinner Dress Blue Jacket and Dinner Dress White Jacket, Formal Dress, and Tropical Dinner Dress. Although trousers are authorized, women frequently wear the appropriate color skirt. Dinner Dress Blue and White are identical to their Service Dress versions, but worn with miniature medals and badges with no ribbons. Dinner Dress Blue is additionally worn with a dress shirt and black bow tie. These variants are commonly worn by many junior officers and enlisted personnel as substitutes for the more formal Dinner Dress Jacket variant which is only prescribable for officers O-4 and above. The Dinner Dress Blue/White Jacket uniforms feature a short jacket with three buttons on either side, worn open with a black bow tie and cummerbund (women substitute a neck tab for the bow tie). Male officers show rank stripes on the sleeves of the jacket for the blue version and on shoulder boards for the white version, while women officers only wear sleeve stripes. This uniform is equivalent to black tie in usage.

The Formal Dress variation is the most formal, and is identical to the Dinner Dress Blue Jacket uniform but worn with a white waistcoat with gold buttons in place of the cummerbund, a white bow tie, and matching mother-of-pearl studs and cuff links. Though rarely used, men can also substitute a tailcoat for the standard dinner dress jacket with this uniform. The female version is substantially the same as Dinner Dress Blue Jacket, but substitutes the mother-of-pearl studs and cuff links for gold. This uniform is equivalent to white tie in usage. Additionally, this uniform is only prescribed for chiefs and officers.

The rarely seen Tropical Dress uniforms consist of dark trousers, a wraparound gold cummerbund, and the Summer White shirt, worn with shoulder boards or just the rating badge.

Headgear is not required for dinner dress uniforms unless an outer jacket is worn.

Those holding the rank of Lieutenant (O-3) and below have the option of using the Dinner Dress uniform when Dinner Dress Jacket is prescribed. The enlisted sailors who are E-7 (Chief Petty Officer) and above wear a uniform similar to the officers, but with rank insignia and service stripes on the left sleeve. While enlisted who are E-6 (Petty Officer First Class) and below have Dinner Dress Jacket uniforms similar to the officers and chiefs, they may also wear their Service Dress uniform, the traditional sailor suit, with miniature medals.

Service Uniforms

Service Uniforms are the Navy's daily wear uniforms, and exist in several variations. They are intended for use in office environments, in positions that interact with the public, and in watch situations. Skirts are authorized for women in all service uniforms.

Service Khaki

Navy Chiefs wearing Service Khaki.

The service khaki uniform is the sole province of officers and Chief Petty Officers; because of this, it is common to see references to "khaki leadership" in documents.[citation needed] It is a khaki short-sleeve button-up shirt and trousers, worn with a gold belt buckle. There are two different materials for this uniform; the poly/wool blend (75/25% similar to the Winter Blue uniform), and Certified Navy Twill (100% polyester, not authorized for shipboard use due to low fire resistance). Ribbons are worn above the left pocket of the shirt, with the warfare insignia above them. A nametag may be worn above the right pocket, and rank insignia is worn on the collar. The regulations for ribbons state the highest three, or all ribbons can be worn at once. There are actually three kinds of headgear authorized. Frequently, a khaki garrison cap or command ball cap is worn, but a khaki combination cover is authorized. [2]

The authorized shoes are black or brown oxfords, but traditionally, brown shoes are only worn by aviation connected officers and Chief Petty Officers. [3] The black shoes are worn with black socks, and the brown with khaki socks. In any case, the shirt, which has a pointed collar and two front button-flap pockets, is tucked in. An optional black V-neck pullover sweater can be worn with this uniform, in such case, the collar rank insignia is retained and soft boards are worn on the sweater's shoulder epaulets, as well as a Velcro nametag that states name and rank and displays warfare insignia on the left breast. (Note: There are two types of black V-neck sweaters: One made of 100% Wool and one made of a combination of synthetic materials. Only the wool sweater is approved for shipboard wear.)

Service Khaki is the uniform of the day at all times for commissioned officers and CPOs at the Pentagon.

Winter Blue

The Winter Blue uniform is authorized for all ranks; because of its black color, it is called the "Johnny Cash" uniform (a reference to the song/album Man in Black by the singer of the same name).[4][5] It is a long sleeve black button-up shirt and black belt and trousers (optional skirt for females), with the headgear either the combination cover, white hat, or an optional black garrison cap. All men wear ties (females necktab), with an optional silver clip for Petty Officers First Class and below; others gold. Ribbons and badges are worn, and officers and Chiefs wear metal collar insignia, while enlisted wear just the rating badge on the left arm. Enlisted also wear the appropriate Unit Identification Tab on the right shoulder. When assigned as the Uniform of the Day, a Plan of the Day/Plan of the week will state "Winter Blues." Either the All Weather Coat, Blue Windbreaker, or Peacoat may be worn with this uniform.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that the Winter Blue uniform will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. For personnel E-1 through E-6, the Winter Blue uniform is being replaced with the Navy Service Uniform, discussed below. Officers and CPOs will continue to wear the Service Khaki, discussed above; or the Summer Whites, discussed below.

Summer and Tropical Whites

The Summer White (also known as "milkman") uniform consists of a short-sleeved white button-up shirt worn open-collared, white trousers and belt, and dress shoes (white for chiefs and officers, black for petty officers and below). Authorized headwear for chiefs and officers is the combination cap; petty officers and below wear the white cap (combination cap for females). Officers wear shoulder boards with this uniform, while chiefs wear metal insignia and junior enlisted wear rating badges. Interestingly, the women's shirt for all ranks has shoulder straps, but carry nothing except for officers. Like Service Khakis, Summer Whites are available in several materials (poly/cotton and Certified Navy Twill). When assigned as the Uniform of the Day, a Plan of the Day/Plan of the week will state "Summer White." Either the All-Weather Coat, Blue jacket, or Peacoat may be worn with this uniform.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that for all personnel E-1 through E-6, the Summer White uniforms will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. For all personnel E-1 through E-6, these uniforms are being replaced with the Navy Service Uniform (discussed below). Officers and CPOs will retain their variants of the Summer White uniform.

The rarely seen tropical white uniform is similar to the Summer White Uniform, except white knee shorts and knee socks are worn. It is colloquially known as the "Captain Stubing" uniform, from The Love Boat TV show. The Tropical White uniforms will be phased out for all hands — including Officers and CPOs — on December 31, 2010.

Navy Service Uniform

The Navy Service Uniform.

The Navy underwent a comprehensive review of every uniform from 2006 through 2007, intending to replace the different seasonal service uniforms with a single year-round service uniform for personnel E-1 through E-6. Accordingly, the Navy Service Uniform will replace the Winter Blue Uniform and Summer White Uniform (both discussed above), which will phase out on December 31, 2010 when the rollout of the New Service Uniform is complete. Enlisted personnel will then have a single Service Uniform. Navy JROTC units will also receive this new uniform.

The Navy Service Uniform is a more practical, year-round service uniform to withstand day-to-day classroom and office-like environments where the service uniform is typically worn. It consists of a short-sleeve khaki shirt for males and an over-blouse for females, made from a wash and wear 75/25 polyester and wool blend, with permanent military creases, black trousers for males with beltless slacks for females and optional beltless skirt, and a black unisex garrison cap. Silver anodized-metal rank insignia will be worn on shirt/blouse collars and cap. The service uniform will also include a black relaxed-fit Eisenhower-style jacket with a knit stand-up collar and epaulets, on which petty officers will wear large, silver anodized-metal rank insignia. Those entitled to wear gold chevrons will continue to wear gold chevrons on the large metal rank insignia on the jacket.

Working Uniforms

Working uniforms are worn when other uniforms may become unduly soiled or are otherwise inappropriate for the task. These are worn at sea, and in industrial environments ashore. While the uniforms described below are the current authorized working uniforms, by July, 2010, the new Navy Working Uniform (NWU) and coveralls will be the only authorized working uniforms.

Winter Working Blue

Winter Working Blue is similar to the Winter Blue Service Uniform. The main difference is that the ribbons and necktie are omitted. The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that the Winter Working Blue uniform will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. The Winter Working Blue uniform is being replaced by the new Navy Working Uniform (NWU), discussed below, for all hands.

Working Khaki

The Working Khaki uniform is worn by Officers and Chief Petty Officers. It consists of a short- or long-sleeve khaki uniform shirt, with warfare insignia and badges worn on the top of the left pocket, and pin-on metal rank devices located on the collar. It also comes with a set of khaki trousers, a khaki belt with a gold belt buckle, a command or "US Navy" ballcap, and either black boots or black leather safety shoes. A garrison cap is also optional. This uniform is worn either in dirty laborious environments or underway, and is certified to be fire resistant. When assigned as the Uniform of the Day, a Plan of the Day/Plan of the week will state "Working Khaki." It is often referred to as the "Wash Khaki" uniform[citation needed], differentiating it from the Service Khaki.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that the Working Khaki uniform will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. The Working Khaki uniform is being replaced with the Navy Working Uniform (NWU), discussed below. In seagoing billets, coveralls (discussed below) may be substituted.


Working uniforms onboard a ship underway. Enlisted wearing the normal working uniform, and on the right a chief petty officer wearing the blue coverall uniform.

The enlisted Utilities uniform consist of a light blue shirt and navy blue trousers. They are basically an updated version of the "dungarees" which were originally worn with the white "dixie cup" cover (black garrison cover in the case of females) before the ball cap became mandatory. The bottoms of this uniform were originally boot-cut denim jeans with a light blue cambric shirt for a top but were later replaced with chino cloth trousers with a polyester/cotton top. There are many stories surrounding why the original pants had a boot-cut, or bell bottom, style. Some claimed that if a sailor was thrown overboard, they could use the wide opening on the bottom of the trousers to catch and hold air in the pant leg so that they could be used as a life preserver. The reasoning behind this peculiar design will probably always remain a mystery. Utilites are meant to be worn in a working environment and are rarely, if ever, authorized to be worn outside military installations.

Usually sailors wear the command ball cap with this uniform, although a black watch cap may be required to be worn with this uniform in cold weather. When worn on board a ship, the Commanding Officer may allow short sleeve shirts, although long sleeve must be worn on duty days. The sailor's last name is embroidered into a patch and it is sewn on to the pants just above the back pocket on the right side. A name patch is sewn onto the shirt just above the right breast pocket and a patch containing the words "US NAVY" is sewn on just above the left breast pocket. The mandatory footwear for this uniform are full black, round-toed boots, preferably with steel toes, however athletic shoes may be authorized if the sailor suffers from a foot or leg condition. The utility jacket, which is a short, light-weight, black nylon jacket is worn with this uniform in climates that are cold but not cold enough as to warrant wearing the black All-Weather Coat.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that the Utility uniform will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. The Utility uniform is being replaced with the Navy Working Uniform (NWU), discussed below. In seagoing billets, coveralls (discussed below) may be substituted.


Simple blue coveralls have been the standard working uniform for all ranks at sea and in dirty, laborious environments ashore. Coveralls are not authorized for wear outside a naval installation, and typical local regulations dictate that coveralls are not authorized off of the pier, or outside the confines of an assigned workcenter ashore. Naval Officers' and Chief Petty Officers' coveralls are worn with gold insignia, khaki belt and a gold buckle, whereas sailors in paygrades E-6 and below wear coveralls with silver insignia, black belt and a silver buckle. "U.S. Navy" on the left and the wearer's surname on the right are worn embroidered. Rank insignia is worn on the collar. This uniform is worn with black boots. All Weather Coat, Utility Jacket or Peacoat can be worn. Coveralls are certified to be fire resistant. When assigned as the Uniform of the Day, a Plan of the Day/Plan of the week will state "Coveralls."

The New Navy Working Uniform (NWU), discussed below, is intended to replace the use of coveralls in the aforementioned environments ashore. Shipboard commands will have the latitude to determine whether they will wear the NWU or coveralls.

Tropical Working Uniforms

Tropical working uniforms exist, but are variations on the working khaki and utility uniforms. Knee shorts and black knee socks are worn, along with short sleeved button-up shirts.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has decided that all Tropical uniforms will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete.

Aviation Working Greens

A working green uniform exists for officers and chief petty officers in the aviation community. It is somewhat similar to the Navy's former Service Dress Khaki uniform in cut and design as well additional similarities to the United States Marine Corps' Service "Alpha" uniform. It consists of a green coat and trousers with bronze versus gold buttons and a long-sleeve khaki shirt with black tie. Rank insignia consists of black embroidery on sleeves in a style similar to the gold sleeve braid on Service Dress Blue uniforms and metal insignia is worn concurrently on the khaki shirt. Warfare insignia and, if applicable, Command at Sea and/or Command Ashore insignia for O-5 and O-6, are worn on both the jacket and the shirt. Either black or brown shoes may be worn, but brown is the most common. Authorized headwear includes a combination cover in green, or a green garrison cover.

During World War II and the Korean War, ribbons were also authorized with this uniform, making it a de facto "liberty uniform" authorized for wear off base, but by the early 1960s, it had become a "working uniform" for use on base or aboard ship only. While this uniform is still included in the regulations, it is infrequently worn, primarily due its expense and its 100% wool fabric that typically makes it practical only during cold weather. Given its current classification as a working uniform, it is allowed to be worn to and from off base quarters and for essential stops, but is otherwise not allowed to be worn off-base or ashore.

The Navy is undergoing a comprehensive review of every uniform, and has currently decided that the Aviation Working Green uniform will be phased out of service on December 31, 2010, when the rollout of the new set of working uniforms and service uniforms will be complete. The Aviation Working Green uniform is to be replaced with the Navy Working Uniform, discussed below. In seagoing billets, coveralls (discussed below) may also be substituted. However, because of the paucity of aviation personnel that participated in the original Task Force Uniform decision regarding this uniform, many Active, Reserve and Retired officers and chief petty officers in Naval Aviation are petitioning that this decision be modified and that the Aviation Working Green (AWG) uniform be retained as an "optional" item for commissioned officers and chief petty officers.[6]

Navy Working Uniform (NWU)

The Navy Working Uniform.
Close-up of the digital camouflage pattern and insignia embroidered on the left top pocket.

Like the new E-1/E-6 service uniform, the new Navy Working Uniform or NWU is the latest working uniform to be introduced by the United States Navy. The Navy underwent a comprehensive review of every uniform, and decided that the NWU will replace the Utility Uniform, Working Khaki Uniform, Winter Working Blue Uniform, Aviation Working Green Uniform, and all Tropical Working Uniforms.

Based on the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT combat utility uniform, with multiple pockets on the shirt and trousers, it uses a multi-color digital print pattern similar to those introduced by other services. However, the NWU will also be made in three variants: predominately blue, with some gray, for the majority of sailors and shipboard use in addition to a woodland digital pattern and a desert digital pattern for sailors serving in units requiring those types of uniforms. Woodland and desert variants may be tailored differently than the blue-pattern uniform.

The overall blue color reflects the Navy's heritage and connection to seaborne operations.[7] The pixelated pattern is also used to hide wear and stains, something unavoidable with the utilities and working khakis currently in use.[8] The colors were also chosen to match the most commonly used paint colors aboard ship, extending the lifetime of the uniform on long deployments where uniforms often come into contact with freshly painted surfaces. As of 2009, the uniform is authorized for wear outside of military installations.[9]

The uniform is primarily composed of a 50/50 nylon and cotton blend, which eliminates the need for a "starch and press" appearance and reduces the possibility of snags and tears from sharp objects (thus making the garment last longer). Accessories include a navy blue cotton t-shirt, an eight-point cover (similar to that worn by the United States Marines), and a web belt with closed buckle. All-weather garments will include a unisex pullover sweater, a fleece jacket, and a parka, all of which will be available in matching camouflage patterns.[10]

The uniform is worn with rank insignia on both collar points and on the front panel of the 8-sided camouflage cover, with sew-on name and "U.S. NAVY" tapes, also on the new digital background pattern, having gold-colored lettering for officers and CPOs and silver-colored lettering for all lower ranks. An embroidered Anchor, USS Constitution, and Eagle (ACE) is on the left breast pocket on all NWUs.

Black safety boots, identical to those worn by United States Coast Guard personnel with their new Operational Dress Uniform, are worn with the new NWUs. Boots will come in two versions: black smooth leather boots, with black suede no-shine boots for optional wear while assigned to non-shipboard commands.

Like the previous Working uniforms, the new NWU was designed to allow personnel to stay warm and dry in inclement weather, thus they were designed to be slightly larger for the wearing of sweaters underneath, along with meeting shipboard fire safety standards. The NWU, unlike its predecessors, was also designed to be longer-lasting and does not need to be ironed like previous uniforms. Infrared photography shows that the digital pattern does not reflect very much infrared, in contrast to the Marines' battledress, probably because it is not designed for concealment amid foliage. The uniform also has more pockets than its predecessors, with four on the shirt and six on the trousers. The NWUs are currently in production and were phased into service beginning in January 2009.[11]

NavPat versus Marpat in IR.
A digital infrared photograph shows the contrast between the USN pattern, top, and the Marines' woodland pattern, bottom.


Enlisted personnel and Petty Officers may wear a Navy Blue Peacoat with a rank insignia on the left sleeve, a Navy Blue or Black nylon Utility Jacket with a rank insignia on the left sleeve, a Navy Blue All Weather Coat with rank insignia worn on the collar, or a Navy Blue Working Uniform Jacket with rank insignia worn on the collar.

All personnel may now wear the "Ike" Jacket, with the rank insignia worn on the shoulder epaulets, the reefer, with rank insignia worn on the shoulder, or the all weather coat, with rank insignia also worn on the shoulder. Additionally, a khaki windbreaker may be worn with both service and working khaki uniforms.

Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, Naval Flight Surgeons, Naval Aviation Physiologists, Air Intelligence Officers, Aircraft Maintenance Duty Officers and Naval Aircrewman are authorized to wear G-1 seal-brown goatskin-leather flight jackets, with warfare insignia listed on a nametag (rank optional) over the left breast pocket, either permanently stiched to the leather or attached with a VELCRO Hook-and-loop fastener. These jackets were previously adorned with various "mission patches," which indicate places the wearer has served. A popular one is the Gulf of Sidra Yacht Club patch, which immortalizes a few encounters between American F-14 Tomcats, A-6 Intruders and other fighters on one side; and Mig-25's and other fighters on the Libyan side. In both cases, the MiGs were splashed. In the 1990s, regulations for wear of the G-1 flight jacket with the naval uniform were modified, reducing and standardizing the number of patches. Today, patches on the G-1 are limited to a maximum of three in addition to the nametag, i.e., a unit insignia on the right breast, an aircraft type insignia on the right sleeve and an aircraft type insignia or embroidered U.S. flag on the left sleeve.

Also, the Navy issues foul-weather jackets, which are either olive or Navy blue in color, at various commands. They are not part of a seabag. The Navy also issues cold-weather jackets, which are olive in color and are not part of a seabag. These jackets are considered "Organizational Clothing."

Special Uniform Situations

In certain duty stations, Navy personnel are issued woodland or desert utility uniforms. These are similar to the other military services' utility uniforms.

Naval personnel attached to Marine Corps units

Hospital Corpsman wearing the Marine Corps Service Uniform.
Closeup of Navy branch tape on Marine Corps MARPAT Utility Uniform

As the Marines do not have medical personnel and chaplains, the Navy provides them. (The Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps are heads of separate branches – the connections between the Navy and Marines include that they report to the Secretary of the Navy and they share common legal institutions like Naval Criminal Investigative Service and JAG.) The officers and enlisted include doctors, dentists, nurses, hospital corpsmen, chaplains, Naval Gunfire Liaison Officers and religious program specialists. There are also specialized ratings that will be attached to Marine commands such as Navy Divers for example. Because of this relationship, these personnel are authorized to wear U.S. Marine Corps service (desert/woodland) uniforms, but with Navy rank insignia replacing the Marine insignia for enlisted personnel (Navy and Marine officer rank insignia are identical). Their Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, currently the MARPAT pattern camouflage, replaces the "U.S. Marines" with "U.S. Navy" and Navy insignia (shiny metal for officers and black "subdued" metal for enlisted). There is also a subdued version of officer rank for service in the field) is worn on the collars. They wear the 8-point utility cover, but lacking the Marine Corps emblem. Additionally, Navy personnel attached to Marine units can elect to wear USMC service uniforms, with Navy insignia. Those opting to wear Marine Corps service uniforms must meet Marine Corps grooming and physical appearance standards, which are more stringent than Navy standards. This does not apply to the MARPAT uniforms, as this uniform is required for wear in the field when attached to Marine units, regardless of adherence to Marine Corps grooming standards. Navy personnel are not authorized to wear the Marine Corps Dress Blue Uniform; instead Navy Dress Blue and White uniforms are worn.[12]

Other wear of Combat Utilities

Navy Rank and Markings on Army ACU

In addition to Marine Corps detachments, combat utilities are also worn by Navy SEAL teams, along with SWCC crews (the "Boat Guys") who conduct clandestine maritime operations including supporting SEAL platoons and SOF cells. The Camouflage Utility Uniform (CUU) is authorized for those in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Fleet Diver communities. Combat utilities are also authorized for those attached to the Naval Construction Force (NCF) (Seabee), Navy's Expeditionary Logistics Group, or the Navy's Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). Also, Navy personnel assigned to some joint headquarters units, like Central Command in Qatar and Iraq wear Desert Utility Uniforms (DUU). Navy personnel such as Individual Augmentees, Combat Camera Groups, Detainee OPS, and some in the special warfare community have been wearing the Army's ACU (Army Combat Uniform) when working closely with or detached to Army commands.

Naval Air Personnel

Flightdeck personnel onboard an aircraft carrier wearing different colored jerseys, denoting a specific function. (U.S. Navy)

Pilots, Naval Flight Officers, and Naval Aircrewman are authorized to wear green or desert flight suits(made of nomex for fire protection), with rank insignia for officers is stitched on the shoulder epaulets, and a nametag/warfare insignia on the left breast pocket. Either a Command/Navy ballcap or a Khaki Garrison Cap (For Chiefs and Officers) are worn with this uniform. Coveralls are authorized to be worn with either the all weather coat or utility jacket (Petty Officers only).
Due to the extreme noise on the flightdeck of an aircraft carrier, personnel handling the aircraft have specific-colored flightdeck jerseys which by sight describes that person's function and is also the basis for referring to these personnel as "Skittles". Due to the inevitable wear, lubricant stains and short service life, flight deck personnel often wear a variety of trousers (BDUs, utilities, etc) with the jerseys on deck. [13]:

  • Purple – Aviation Fuel Handlers (also known as "grapes")
  • Blue – Plane Handlers, Tractor Drivers, Elevator Operators
  • Yellow – Flight Deck Officers and Plane Directors
  • Green – Operations Personnel, Catapult and Arresting Gear Personnel, Ground Support Equipment Maintenance Personnel, Squadron Maintenance Personnel, Cargo handling personnel, Hook runners, Landing Signalmen Enlisted (LSE)
  • White – Safety Observers, Squadron Trouble Shooters, Landing Signal Officers (LSO), Corpsmen, LOX Handlers, Air Transfer Officers and visitors
  • Red – Ordnance Handlers, EOD Personnel, Crash and Salvage Crews
  • Brown – Plane Captains (Crew Chiefs and Mechanics)

USS Constitution

The ship USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, the only one of the six original United States frigates still in existence. Constitution is presented to the public as she appeared during the War of 1812, and personnel stationed aboard the Constitution still wear uniforms according to regulations posted in 1815. These uniforms are worn on ceremonial occasions, such as the annual turn-around cruise in Boston every Independence Day.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Faram, Mark D (July 6, 2007). "Wear tests scheduled for the fall". NavyTimes (Army Times Publishing Company). Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2009. "The Navy will begin wear tests this fall for three proposed new uniforms: a “throwback” service dress khaki uniform, along with crackerjacks that feature more sailor-friendly fabrics and a tailored fit, Navy Times has learned." 
  2. ^ United States Navy Uniform Regulations NAVPERS 15665
  3. ^ "Shoes". Navy Department Library. February 15, 2005. Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2009. "According to AlNav 151 of Oct. 20, 1986, brown shoes with khakis will be worn by all officers with aviation designators, all CPOs in aviation ratings and "qualified flight surgeons, aviation physiologists and aviation experimental psychologists" assigned to aviation units." 
  4. ^ Faram, Mark D (March 28, 2005). "New duds for everyone?". NavyTimes (Army Times Publishing Company). Archived from the original on October 16, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009. "They include service khakis, clearly the most used of the trio; summer whites, featuring white pants and shirts and shoulder boards for officers; and the less-visible winter blues, commonly known as the "Johnny Cash" uniform." 
  5. ^ Van Avery, Chris (October 4, 2004). "The good, bad and ugly of proposed uniforms". NavyTimes (Army Times Publishing Company). Archived from the original on October 16, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009. "Combining a short- or long-sleeved white shirt with the blue trousers already in sailors' seabags eliminates the trouble of keeping summer white trousers white and Johnny Cash shirts unburned by a temperamental iron." 
  6. ^ Tilghman, Andrew (April 20, 2009). "Goodbye to Greens?". NavyTimes (Springfield, VA: Military Times Publishing Group): p. 4. 
  7. ^ {{cite web |title=Military Photos: The New Navy Work Uniform |url= |archiveurl= |work=Strategy Page | |date=May 4, 2006 |archivedate=October 19, 2009 |accessdate=October 19, 2009 |quote=The color pattern of the NWU (navy blue, deck gray, haze gray and black)
  8. ^ "Navy Uniform Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Foutch, Michael (March 2, 2006). "New Navy Working Uniform and Service Uniform Concepts Approved". NNS. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  11. ^ Faram, Mark D (October 30, 2008). "Blue cammies coming soon". Army Times Publishing Company. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  12. ^ U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 2 - Grooming Standards
  13. ^ "Rainbow Wardrobe". U.S. Navy Office of Information. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  14. ^

External links


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