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Uniform Changes


Bish, LoraLei. "New Look for Navy?" All Hands. 959 (March 1997): 6.

"Brown Shoes Are Back." All Hands. 837 (December 1986): 2-3.

"Changeover Nears." All Hands. 385 (March 1949): 6.

"Changes in Uniform Regs Listed in 1947 Edition Now Being Distributed." All Hands. 366 (August 1947): 40-41.

"Changes Made in Wave Uniform Regulations." All Hands. 335 (February 1945): 79.

Chapman, Christopher. "New Flight Deck Trousers Debut on Enterprise." All Hands. 1015 (November 2001): 14.

"Coming Soon…The New Uniforms." All Hands. 675 (August 1973): 3-7.

"Current and Future Changes in Uniform Regs Listed." All Hands. 363 (May 1947): 56.

"Enlisted Personnel Uniform to Be Changed: Trousers Get Fly Front, Hip and Side Pockets, Coat-Style Sleeves." All Hands. 375 (May 1948): 33.

"Gray Uniforms Authorized for Enlisted Men at Sea." All Hands. 319 (October 1943): 67.

"Grays OK for Sea; CPO Blues Changed." All Hands. 381 (November 1948): 47.

"Green Uniforms Mandatory Only for Aviators, Pilots." All Hands. 327 (June 1944): 71.

"Here's New Foul-Weather Gear." All Hands. 354 (August 1946): 71.

"Important Changes in Navy Uniform Regulations Approved by SecNav." All Hands. 385 (March 1949): 38.

"Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms." Navy Department Bulletin. (January-June, 1944): 560-561.

"Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms." Navy Department Bulletin. (July-December, 1946): 250-251.

"Navy Uniform Regulation Reminders." All Hands. 887 (February 1991): 3.

"New Jacket and Cap Are Among Changes to Sailor's Wardrobe." All Hands. 463 (September 1955): 30.

"New Tropical Uniform is Approved for Officers, CPOs." All Hands. 451 (September 1954): 37.

"New Uniform Changes Announced." All Hands. 684 (January 1974): 34.

"No More Bell Bottoms? Sailor's Traditional Garb Goes Overboard If Three Basic New Uniforms Pass Muster." All Hands. 347 (February 1946): 6-9.

"Officers' Full Dress and Dress Uniforms Out Until 1 Oct 1949." All Hands. 365 (July 1947): 52.

Pearce, Jessica. "Recruits March Toward Future in New Boots." Navy Newsstand. story no. NNS030425-19. 28 April 2003. [Available online at]

Pierrot, Valisha. "Changing Navy Uniforms is up to You." The [Washington Navy Yard] Waterline. 20, no.24 (20 June 2003): 1, 4.

Price, Chris. "Board of Attire? Your Request Can Change Navy Dress." All Hands. 903 (June 1992): 16-19.

"Pros, Cons Speak Their Piece." All Hands. 347 (February 1946): 8.

"Regs Revised on Uniforms of CPOs, Cooks, Stewards and Naval Personnel Serving with Marine Forces." All Hands. 326 (May 1944): 65.

"Shortened Jumpers Officially Approved." All Hands. 326 (May 1944): 64.

"Uniform Changes Include New Sports Model Shirt, Lightweight Raincoat." All Hands. 545 (June 1962): 46.

"Uniform Changes Listed: Peacoat Will Get New Convertible Collar." All Hands. 375 (May 1948): 47.

"Uniform Changes: New Jacket and Sweater Authorized." All Hands. 919 (November 1993): ii.

"Uniform Changes Published Pending Detailed Revision of Present Regulations." All Hands. 382 (December 1948): 48.

"Uniforms of Chief Petty Officers, Chief Cooks, Chief Stewards, Cooks, and Stewards - Changes in." Navy Department Bulletin. (Cumulative edition, 1943): 476-477.

United States. Chief of Naval Operations. "Task Force Uniform." NAVADMIN [Naval Administrative] Message 154/03. 11 June 2003.

"W-V(S) Officers to Wear Stars on Their Uniforms." All Hands. 331 (October 1944): 68.

"WAVES Get Slacks, White Uniforms: Summer Work Uniform to be Navy Blue." All Hands. 312 (March 1943): 20, 50.

"Waves to have Exercise Suit." All Hands. 333 (December 1944): 77.

"What the Well-Dressed Wave Will Wear." All Hands. 320 (November 1943): 78.

"Women's New Dress Blues Aren't Blue." OPNAV [Office of the Chief of Naval Operations] Information Bulletin. 31 July 1972: p. [1?].


New Look for Navy?

The well-known look of bell-bottomed dungarees may soon be "out of style" for the Navy. The reason for the fashion fracas is a six-month "test" of two new types of dungaree uniforms worn by the Navy's junior enlisted Sailors aboard ships, including the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

Master Chief Electrician's Mate (AW/SS) Steven R. Hillis, Nimitz's command master chief, said the ship was chosen because, "an aircraft carrier fits the bill, since it has such a wide variety of jobs with the aircraft, power plants and a huge amount of shipboard maintenance. Nimitz also has a fairly large percentage of women in its crew compared to most ships in the area, so the board can test the uniforms on both men and women in the same work situations."

The new apparel is being worn by 124 Sailors. One set is described as being similar to a set of Dickies-brand work pants and shirt, the shirt being of a lighter color blue like traditional dungarees. The other uniform features jean pants comparable to a pair of Levi-brand 501s.

Hull Technician 1st Class Shelly Rawson, of Nimitz's Engineering Department's Repair Division, said she gets bombarded with questions everywhere she goes on the ship. "They want to know how they fit, feel, how well they wash, everything! It's still a little too early to tell which of the two types of working uniforms I prefer; they are both so comfortable to work in," she said.

Rawson noticed some differences in the uniforms. "For example, the women's shirt has a snap at the top of the collar, where the men's still has a button," said Rawson. "And the gig lines don't match on the women's uniforms, but they do on the men's."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Patrick Freitas, of the Air Department Fuels Division, is all for the new look, saying that a change for the Navy has been a long time coming.

"These new uniforms are great. They're easy to bend in, work in and they don't tear easily," he said. "If you get grease or something spilled on them it seems to wash out well without staining or fading the fabrics too much.

"Personally I hope they choose one of these two new uniforms for the fleet, and I'm especially glad they allowed us to help with the elimination process," said Freitas.

Hillis agreed with Freitas: "I think it's important to allow the Sailors who will be working in them to wear them before the decision is made and allow them to express their opinions and preferences."

Master Chief Gunner's Mate Phillip R. Montgomery is the senior enlisted person on the West Coast uniform selection board.

Montgomery expects to see some changes in the near future in Navy uniforms, especially in the pockets and bell bottoms, but the overall goal of the board is to improve the quality of the garments today's Sailors are wearing.

Source: Bish, LoraLei. "New Look for Navy?"All Hands. 959 (March 1997): 6.


Brown Shoes Are Back

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.

The change goes into effect April 1, 1987.

The directive says that brown shoes and khaki socks can be worn with summer and working khakis. This means that brown shoes will be allowed ashore.

The exact type of shoe required is clearly spelled out in the AlNav: "The only authorized shoe will be a low-quarter, plain-toe, brown, leather dress shoe. No alternatives are authorized. Specifically, any form of boot is prohibited."

Source: "Brown Shoes Are Back." All Hands. 837 (December 1986): 2-3.


Changeover Nears

Under previously issued regulations, 2 Apr 1949 is the deadline date by which many changes must be made in uniform insignia worn by enlisted personnel.

By that time, enlisted personnel must be wearing these insignia as follows:

Rating badges on the left arm, midway between shoulder and elbow. (Petty officers who previously wore their rating badges on the right arm may continue to wear the same badge on the left arm until the present stock of the old right-arm badges has been exhausted.)

Distinguishing marks on the right arm, midway between shoulder and elbow.

Group-rate marks for enlisted men of pay grades 5, 6 and 7 must be worn on the left arm, midway between shoulder and elbow.

Branch marks, no longer authorized, must be removed.

Cuff marks for all enlisted men other than CPOs and stewards will consist of three white stripes on the cuffs of dress blue jumpers.

Several non-regulation rating badges and insignia worn by CPOs and stewards have been noted by the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

Among the more prevalent mistakes are:

CPOs wear rating badges consisting of silver eagle and specialty marks with red chevrons or silver eagle and specialty marks with blue chevrons on the aviation winter working uniform. The rating badge prescribed for this uniform consists of blue eagle, specialty mark and chevrons. No other badge has been authorized for this uniform since 14 Oct 1946.

Stewards of pay grades 1, 2 and 3 have been observed wearing rating badges consisting of silver eagle and specialty mark with blue chevrons on service dress khaki. Chief stewards and chief petty officers only are authorized to wear the silver rating badge with service dress khaki. Other stewards must wear only the badge consisting of blue eagle, specialty mark and chevrons.

The 2 April deadline also applies to the changeover by enlisted women to the officer-type combination hat if these items are available by that time. In addition, gilt buttons must replace the blue buttons on their uniforms by that date.

Source: "Changeover Nears." All Hands. 385 (March 1949): 6.


Changes in Uniform Regs Listed in 1947 Edition Now Being Distributed

Distribution of the 1947 edition of Uniform Regulations has been started to all ships and stations.

The new volume includes all changes to the 1941 edition that have previously been announced (see All Hands, May 1947, p. 56), plus certain additional changes listed here.

In the new Regs, individual chapters are included for each category of personnel. These chapters include uniform tables, minimum clothing requirements, the insignia required, and the manner in which the uniform shall be worn by each group.

Because commissioned officers, warrant officers, CPOs, aviation midshipmen and cadets, NROTC midshipmen, cooks and stewards and Navy Band members now wear essentially the same uniform, only one chapter has been devoted to uniforms for the entire group.

Changes made, in addition to those already announced, are:

When taking part in church services, naval personnel are permitted to wear vestments of the church.

Enlisted personnel may be permitted to have civilian clothing in their possession at naval activities ashore when specifically authorized by the CO.

Embroidered devices of Naval Aviation Observers, Flight Surgeons, Naval Aviators and Chief Naval Aviation Pilots are to be on a background to match the color of the uniform.

Officers will be disqualified to wear the submarine insignia if they are declared "temperamentally unfit" or "temperamentally disqualified."

The gray uniform authorized for the Permanent Shore Patrol has been deleted.

Because new stocks of enlisted men's overcoats have a convertible collar, the regulation that overcoats shall be worn buttoned to the neck has been deleted.

Provides for changes in ownership markings on dungarees and undershirts.

Provides that CPOs, chief cooks, chief stewards, cooks and stewards shall have a mount on the combination cap band on which the cap device shall be centered.

Provides that enlisted men will be disqualified to wear the submarine insignia if they are declared "temperamentally unfit" or "temperamentally disqualified."

Enlisted men who have qualified to wear the officers' submarine insignia may continue to wear such insignia on return to enlisted status: and the location on uniform where submarine insignia is worn has been changed from the right sleeve midway between the wrist and elbow to the left breast.

Designates the lyre as the corps device of the Assistant Leader, Navy Band, and the CinC, Navy School of Music.

Lists new articles of uniform for Navy Nurse Corps, and deletes black sleeve stripes for nurses' overcoat.

Changes precedence of certain ribbons.

Authorizes wearing of certain special medals by members of various veteran societies.

Provides for the wearing of miniature medals with civilian evening clothes.

Provision is made for wearing a silver star on the Good Conduct ribbon in lieu of five bronze stars.

Undress sword belt has been deleted for Reserve officers.

"Protection of the Uniform Act" is quoted in full.

A new article on the wearing of the naval uniform by persons who served honorably in time of war is included.

The new edition does not contain references to full dress or dress uniforms for officers, or dress whites for enlisted men other than CPOs, cooks and stewards due to the consideration of the Uniform Board of revision of these uniforms.

Source: "Changes in Uniform Regs Listed in 1947 Edition Now Being Distributed." All Hands. 366 (August 1947): 40-41.


Changes Made in Wave Uniform Regulations

The following changes in Wave uniform regulations have recently been approved:

Wearing of gilt buttons, instead of blue plastic buttons, by CPOs on blue and white service jackets.

Removal of blue service jacket indoors by officers and enlisted women, when authorized by the CO.

Wearing of rating badge and seaman markings on the short-sleeved white shirt.

Omission of tie when authorized by CO, within station limits and only when jacket is removed.

Optional use of black handbag shoulder strap when the gray working uniform is prescribed.

These changes, contained in a letter from the Chief of Naval Personnel, dated 28 Dec. 1944, to all naval activities in the U.S. and Commandant, 14th Naval District, are to be incorporated in change No. 6 of Uniform Regs, Women's Reserve, USNR. The regulation providing for gilt buttons for CPOs is made effective by the letter. The others go into effect upon issuance of change No. 6.

Source: "Changes Made in Wave Uniform Regulations."All Hands. 335 (February 1945): 79.


New Flight Deck Trousers Debut on Enterprise

The next Navy "fashion trend" won't be seen on the runways of Paris, but on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was recently selected as the first deployed carrier authorized to wear the newly designed flight deck trousers.

The Navy-blue trousers were designed and tested by the Naval Supply Systems Command at Mechanicsburg, Pa., in conjunction with the Naval Clothing and Textile Research Facility, based at Natick, Mass. The new flight deck trousers are a 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton twill blend. Each pair costs approximately $25.

After the fleet evaluated two initial designs, the final product was issued to Enterprise Sailors.

"They're great. They feel better than any other uniform I've ever worn," said Airman Donquell Brown of the ship's V-2 division.

Although the new flight deck pants resemble the camouflage pants that have been used since 1997, there are some differences. Velcro straps secure the pockets instead of buttons and there are no adjustment strings. Unlike the camouflage pants, the new pants come in specific sizes.

"A great benefit of these new pants, especially for the junior Sailors, is the wear and tear on the uniform," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AW) Mark H. Newman, leading chief of the bow catapults division. "The new trousers are thicker and more durable, making them last longer than camouflage or even utilities."

Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet spent more than $60,000 for more than 3,000 pairs of the new flight deck trousers. According to ABE1(AW) Paul G. Robinson, this was a good investment.

"Not only do they look good and are comfortable, but it has changed the attitudes of our flight deck personnel," Robinson said. "With a specific uniform they can call their own, most of the flight deck personnel feel like their hard work out there is really appreciated."

Source: Chapman, Christopher. "New Flight Deck Trousers Debut on Enterprise." All Hands. 1015 (November 2001): 14.


Coming Soon … The New Uniforms

The first of July this year will mark the beginning of a period which will see great changes in the Navy uniform. Inasmuch asAll Hands Magazine and the Navy Uniform Affairs Office have received a number of questions on this subject, the Uniform Affairs Office has provided us the following answers:

Q. Why was the enlisted men's uniform changed?

A. Mainly because Navymen indicated that they wanted a change. In December 1970, a poll was taken among 4000 Navymen of all ranks and rates. Those queried were scientifically selected so their views would represent those of 95 per cent of the entire Navy. Results of the questionnaire showed that 80 per cent of all enlisted men E-6 and below preferred that the dress blue uniform be replaced by a coat and tie style. Since 92 per cent of the officers and chiefs who were queried had a favorable opinion of their dress blues, the Navy decided to use it as the basic uniform to symbolize a united organization striving for common goals.

Q. When will the new uniform be authorized?

A. Beginning 1 Jul 1973, recruits will be issued one lightweight and one heavyweight double-breasted blue uniform as part of their seabags rather than the traditional jumpers and bell-bottoms. After that date, all other Navymen in pay grade E-5 and below may procure the same uniform if they so desire. (E-6 are already authorized to do so.) After 1 Jul 1975, however, the new uniform will become mandatory, except for men leaving the Navy as late as 1 Jul 1976 who will not be required to purchase new uniforms.

Q. Who pays for the new uniform?

A. The new uniform will be issued only to recruits. Other Navymen will purchase it at their convenience during the two-year phase-in period. The purpose of the monthly clothing allowance which is included in every enlisted man's pay check is, of course, to purchase replacement uniforms in maintaining his seabag.

Q. Where may the new uniform be purchased and how much will it cost?

A. Uniforms and the associated accessories may be purchased after 1 Jul 1973 from clothing and small stores for about $45.00. Optional uniforms in both wool blend or double-knit materials, with or without flared trousers, may be purchased from Navy exchanges or other outlets but at higher prices than those found in Navy clothing and small stores.

Q. Will small stores still carry the jumper-style uniform?

A. Old-style uniform items will be available for sale through Clothing and Small Stores only as long as residual stocks exist and/or the official wear period terminates, whichever comes first.

Q. What do I do with my old uniform?

A. You have several options. You may keep your old uniform for posterity; donate it to the Boy Scouts or the Sea Cadets both of which can use old uniforms. If you want to donate your uniform to some worthy cause, your command will have a procedure whereby this can be accomplished.

Q. What are the rules for wearing the new uniforms?

A. Basically in the same manner now prescribed for officers and chief petty officers. The rules can be found in Chapter Nine of the Navy Uniform Regulations. All the options approved in the regs for officers and CPOs also apply to 1st class petty officers and below, including french-cuffed shirts, buckle shoes, tie clips and pins, and cuff links. The latter two items should be of silver rather than gold.

Q. Are silver belt buckles permitted?

A. Yes, the brushed silver type now worn by the Air Force will be used but with the standard black and white Navy belts. The clip at the end of each belt will also match the buckle.

Q. How should rating badges and service stripes be worn?

A. They will be of the same type and worn in the same manner as in the past except that sleeve stripes will be 5 ¼ inches long rather than the current seven inches.

Q. What about overcoats?

A. The current peacoat and raincoat will be retained. No overcoat comparable to the officer/CPO bridge coat is planned for Navymen in pay grades E-6 and below.

Q. Will the present enlisted work uniform be replaced?

A. Yes. The straight leg, jumper style working uniform is being modified to have flared trousers and a button shirt. You should be seeing these modifications in the Fleet shortly. As stocks of the current materials are depleted, new fabrics, lighter in weight, will be introduced into the system for use in this modified uniform style.

Q. When will the dungaree, chambray shirt uniform become obsolete?

A. Probably not for some time. It has been declared an optional working uniform and most likely will retain that status indefinitely. You will, however, not be able to procure the dungarees and chambray shirts at small stores. They will be available at Navy exchanges and probably elsewhere, too; yet, you can't mix the working uniforms. Denim dungarees may be worn only with chambray shirts. The heavier weight flared or straight working blue trousers may not be worn with chambray shirts.

Q. Is the new working cap the only authorized working cap?

A. The new blue baseball style working cap is rapidly replacing the old style cap. Once the new cap is available everywhere, it should be the standard headgear worn with dungarees and working blue uniforms. White hats will no longer be authorized. Organizational ball caps may still be worn on base, however, and watch caps remain optional for cold weather gear.

Q. Will the undress blue uniform be replaced?

A. Yes. As part of the new uniform program, 1st class petty officers and below may purchase and wear at their option the officer/CPO blue flannel shirt. Dress blue officer/CPO type trousers, black shoes, white cap cover, tie and rating badge will complete the uniform.

Q. Will undress whites still be worn?

A. The undress blue and white uniforms become optional on 1 Jul 1973 and will be phased out on 1 Jul 1975. They will not be issued with the seabag beginning 1 Jul 1973.

Q. What about tropical whites?

A. They are being retained.

Q. Is it true that ships' unit identification marks, Navy "Es" and other distinguishing marks will not be worn on the new dress blue uniform?

A. Yes. These distinguishing marks were designed for use on a jumper and would not be appropriate for a dress coat. They may, however, still be worn on jumpers and on tropical white shirts until 1 Jul 1975 or until the current supplies become exhausted, whichever comes first.

Q. What is the policy concerning command patches on the blue working jacket?

A. Only two command patches are allowed - one on each breast.

Q. Are double-knits approved for officer/CPO khaki and white uniforms?

A. Yes, they are. They may be obtained at most uniform outlets.

Q. May double-knits be worn for inspections?

A. Yes.

Q. May officers and chief petty officers wear flared trousers?

A. Yes. Officers and chiefs were recently allowed the option of wearing flared white and khaki trousers along with the previously approved flared blue trousers.

Q. May flared trousers be worn at inspections?

A. This would be at the discretion of respective commanding officers.

Q. Are Navymen in pay grades E-1 through E-6 authorized to wear the Type B or CPO style white trousers?

A. The Type B trousers with pockets and zipper fly are authorized. This slightly flared trouser will have a fore-and-aft crease in contrast to the side-creased type A white trousers. Officer/CPO style trousers may be worn on an optional basis as long as the new E-1 through E-6 combination cap is worn.

Q. When will the CPO service dress white uniform be phased out?

A. The CPO service dress white uniform will become optional 1 Jul 1973 and be completely phased out by 1 Jul 1975.

Q. When will the service dress khaki uniform be completely obsolete?

A. This uniform will become optional on 1 Jul 1973 and will be completely phased out by 1 Jul 1975. Long-sleeve khaki shirts will still be worn as part of the working khaki and aviation green working uniform, however.

Q. May the khaki jacket be worn with the working uniform?

A. Yes. The khaki jacket may be worn with tropical khakis, working khakis and aviation greens without the blouse. It may also be worn on liberty with the tropical khaki long uniform with ribbons. Officers wear metal rank insignia devices on the shoulder tabs but chiefs do not. No patches are authorized on this jacket because they wouldn't be suitable on a liberty outer garment.

Q. What has been the reaction to the uniform changes?

A. Navy recruiters were first authorized to wear the new uniform about six months ago. Reaction from both the civilian and military population has been favorable. Since that time, exposure has been continued throughout the Navy. With authorization provided to all 1st class petty officers early in January, comment has been received that the new uniform is liked and accepted by most Navymen.

So, as we continue to move closer to the formal introduction date of 1 Jul 1973, there is much excitement and interest in the new uniform.

Source: "Coming Soon…The New Uniforms."All Hands. 675 (August 1973): 3-7.


Current and Future Changes in Uniform Regs Listed

Recent changes in Uniform Regulations have included revision of chapters II, IV, VII, VIII, IX and XI.

The complete postwar uniform plan has not been determined, but some changes have been made effective and others which will be effective at a future date have been announced for convenience of the service.

The following is a brief summary of the changes since the war's end:

Black sleeve stripes on officers' overcoats are no longer required. Optional wearing of black braid chin straps has been cancelled and officers of rank of commander and above are no longer permitted to wear plain visored caps. Half lace on sleeves of blue uniforms is optional until 15 Oct 1948. Dress uniforms, the boat cloak and the raincape were not included in new chapter II, inasmuch as it is not known at the present time when dress clothes will be required again.

Designation of uniform Blue, which included optional wearing of white or gray shirts, has been cancelled, and provision has been made for optional wearing of the gray shirt with Service Dress, Blue, A and B for officers and warrant officers, and with Dress, Blue, A and B for CPOs, cooks and stewards except on dress occasions.

The khaki working uniform was re-instated as the permanent summer working uniform. Wearing of the gray working uniform is optional until 15 Oct 1948. Lower pockets on the coat of the khaki working uniform have been changed from bellows style to patch style. Persons possessing khaki coats with bellows type pockets will be permitted to wear them until they are no longer serviceable. The 15 Oct 1948 date has also been set as the date on which khaki tropical worsted, wool gabardine, palm beach type or rayon gabardine will be designated as the summer service uniform. Khaki cotton shirt and trousers will be designated as the summer working uniform. The white uniform will be designated as summer dress.

Beginning 1 June 1947 blue or white garrison caps are discontinued for all male naval personnel.

Designation of uniform Dress, Blue, D has been established for CPOs. This is the same as Service Dress, Blue, D for officers.

Gray gloves have been made optional articles of uniform for CPOs, cooks and stewards.

In the revision of chapter VIII on insignia, the air gunner's distinguishing mark has been changed to that of the aircraft machine gunner, second class. A distinguishing mark of the same design but with a star immediately above the winged machine gun is authorized for aircraft machine gunners, first class. A brassard for enlisted men assigned to recruiting duty was authorized. All non-rated men who are qualified and have been designated as strikers in accordance with instructions issued by BuPers are authorized to wear the specialty mark of the rating for which they are striking. Gold and silver rating badges and gold service stripes again must be worn by qualified personnel. During the war this regulation was modified to permit the wearing of blue and white rating badges. Should insignia are no longer authorized. In addition to service in the Navy or Naval Reserve, service in the Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Army may be counted in determining eligibility for service stripes.

Regulations regarding aviation insignia have been clarified, permitting officers who have qualified to wear aviation insignia to continue to wear such insignia on return to enlisted status, and to permit enlisted personnel who are qualified to wear aviation insignia provided for in chapter IX of Navy Uniform Regulations and are subsequently promoted to commissioned or warrant ranks to continue to wear such insignia. The distinguishing insignia previously authorized for Naval Aviation Observers (Radar, Navigation and Tactical) have been abolished. They shall now wear the insignia authorized for Naval Aviation Observers.

Uniform regulations as to when retired personnel not on active duty are entitled to wear their naval uniform, have been rewritten in more detail. Such personnel may wear the prescribed uniforms of the rank or rating held on the retired list when the wearing of the uniform is appropriate. They may not wear the uniform in connection with non-military, civilian or personal enterprises or activities of a business nature.

Retired personnel in an inactive duty status in a foreign country may not wear the uniform except when attending - by formal invitation - ceremonies or social functions at which the wearing of the uniform is required by the terms of the invitation or by the regulations or customs of the country.

"Occasions of ceremony" on which personnel who have served honorably in the armed forces of the United States during war are entitled to wear their uniform have been interpreted. They are occasions essentially of a military character at which the uniform is more appropriate than civilian clothing, such as memorial services, military weddings, military funerals, military balls, military parades and meetings or functions of associations formed for military purposes, the membership of which is composed largely or entirely of honorably discharged veterans of the services or of Reserve personnel. Authority to wear the uniform, under the Act and under this interpretation, includes authority to wear the uniform while traveling to and from the ceremony, provided such travel in uniform can be completed on the day of the ceremony.

Source: "Current and Future Changes in Uniform Regs Listed." All Hands. 363 (May 1947): 56.


Enlisted Personnel Uniform to be Changed: Trousers Get Fly Front, Hip and Side Pockets, Coat-Style Sleeves

Two advance changes in the uniform for enlisted personnel have been approved by the Secretary of the Navy.

No date for official adoption by personnel has been set. Such date is expected to provide a period during which the old-style uniform will continue to be authorized as long as serviceable.

Blue trousers will have hip and slash side pockets, with a fly front. The dress blue jumper will be provided with coat-style sleeves to replace the present button cuffs.

Uniforms of both officer and enlisted personnel have been under study for some time by the Navy Department and the above are the first of the proposed changes to be approved.

Source: "Enlisted Personnel Uniform to Be Changed: Trousers Get Fly Front, Hip and Side Pockets, Coat-Style Sleeves."All Hands. 375 (May 1948): 33.


Gray Uniforms Authorized for Enlisted Men at Sea

In order to provide protective coloration, slate gray working uniforms will be issued to all enlisted men serving at sea. The new uniform will not be ready for several months, and when available may be authorized for wear by enlisted personnel below the rating of CPO. The present undress whites still will be worn for dress and liberty.

Design and fabric of the new uniform, including hat, will be the same as the white uniform now worn. Only the color will be changed. Dungarees also will continue to be worn for work at sea and ashore but the new uniform is expected to ease the wear to which dungarees are subjected aboard ship.

Slate grays have previously been authorized for commissioned officers and chief petty officers (Information Bulletin, September 1943, page 73) for wear both afloat and ashore.

Source: "Gray Uniforms Authorized for Enlisted Men at Sea." All Hands. 319 (October 1943): 67.


Grays OK for Sea; CPO Blues Changed

Navy personnel on board ship actually at sea may continue to wear gray uniforms until 15 Oct 1949. In stating this, Alnav 61-48 (NDB, 30 Sept 1948) grants the same extension to Naval Reserve personnel for drills and normal periods of training duty not extended. The gray uniform will be worn in general conformance with regulations governing khaki uniforms.

Other rulings regarding uniforms are given in Alnav 63-48 (NDB, 30 Sept 1948):

Half stripes on officers' blue uniforms are no longer authorized.

Dark gray uniform for Navy Nurse Corps is abolished.

Old-style CPOs' blue coat and overcoat are abolished.

The old-style chief petty officers' overcoat can be changed to agree with new regulations by adding a half belt in back and putting new-style buttons on the coat. To alter the blue uniform coat to conform in general to regulations, the two center buttonholes would have to be rewoven and a new buttonhole cut between the upper and lower ones. The three buttonholes then existing must be large enough to accommodate the larger officer-style buttons.

Alnav 63 authorizes senior officer present to permit wearing of khaki working uniform with coat as a liberty uniform on foreign stations by ship-based and advance base personnel when suitable dry cleaning facilities are not available.

Source: "Grays OK for Sea; CPO Blues Changed."All Hands. 381 (November 1948): 47.


Green Uniforms Mandatory Only for Aviators, Pilots

Wearing of the aviation green uniform when that uniform is designated as the uniform of the day is mandatory only for commissioned and warrant officers designated naval aviators, and CPOs designated naval aviation pilots, serving in pilot status.

All other commissioned officers and warrant officers assigned to duty in aviation commands may wear the aviation green uniform if it is the uniform of the day but will not be required to do so.

Hereafter, the aviation green uniform of chief warrant officers and warrant officers will have sleeve stripes of black braid, broken, alternating forestry green and black instead of the continuous black stripe, as in the past. The black braid will be broken at intervals of two inches by ½ inch of forestry green braid. Stripes will be of the same sizing and spacing prescribed for use on blue service uniforms.

During the necessary period of transition, chief warrant officers and warrant officers are permitted to wear their present black sleeve stripes until no longer serviceable or until it becomes necessary to renew the stripes.

Possession of the light tan overcoat for aviation officers is optional.

These changes in Uniform Regs. are included in BuPers Circ. Ltr. 145-44 (N.D.B., 15 May 1944, 44-580).

Source: "Green Uniforms Mandatory Only for Aviators, Pilots." All Hands. 327 (June 1944): 71.


Here's New Foul-Weather Gear

You'll be warmer and drier on that spray-lashed topside watch station when new glass-insulated clothing developed by the Navy reaches the Fleet. But you may have to wait until the winter after next before you get it.

The Navy figures it really has "something" in this new foul-weather gear, but there still are some questions of minor design that have to be ironed out. Moreover, the new gear is going to be put through some rigorous tests, which will not be completed until late fall. It probably will take at least six to eight months more before the new gear is produced in quantities.

The new clothing consists of a helmet, one-piece coverall suit, mittens, and boots. Research projects leading to development of the new gear were instituted at the request of submarine forces. It was designed primarily for the protection of submarine crews and topside personnel on other ships.

The new gear is lined with quilted, spun-glass batting made of thousands of glass fibres, each with a diameter of about four microns or a fraction of a human hair. Laboratory and field tests revealed that the glass fibre lining, covered with rubber-coated nylon, retains more body heat and yet is 25 per cent lighter than present regular issue gear.

The new coverall suit is made of neoprene-coated nylon outer fabric, with a glass fibre batting interlining. The interlining is quilted to the cotton-twill, water-repellent lining of the suit. A skirted hood, interlined in the same manner, is attached to the coverall at the back of the neck.

Source: "Here's New Foul-Weather Gear." All Hands. 354 (August 1946): 71.


Important Changes in Navy Uniform Regulations Approved by SecNav

Several important changes to U.S. Navy Uniform Regulationshave been approved by the Secretary of the Navy, including authority for chief petty officers and stewards to wear rating badges on khaki cotton shirts.

Copies of the detailed changes will be distributed at an early date. Listed below are the major changes.

A new khaki lightweight raincoat has been approved for officers, chief petty officers and stewards. It will be available about June 1949, and can be worn with the khaki and white uniforms as an optional item.

In order to further standardize officers' and chief petty officers' uniform regulations, the designation of titles for chief petty officers' uniforms have been changed to agree with those used for officers' uniforms.

In line with the change in designation of khaki uniforms and to further reduce the combination of items which have been permitted with various uniforms, the following will apply:

Only brown shoes and brown or khaki socks are authorized for wear with Service Dress, Khaki Working Khaki and the Khaki Tropical Uniform by officers, chief petty officers and stewards, and with the Aviation Winter Working Uniform by officers and chief petty officers authorized to wear it.

Only white shoes and socks are authorized for wear with the White Tropical Uniform by officers, chief petty officers and stewards.

Only white or natural socks are authorized for wear with white uniform by enlisted men other than chief petty officers and stewards.

Other changes are:

Provision is included for officers, chief petty officers and stewards to wear shirts made of tropical fabrics with Service Dress, Khaki, as an optional item.

A rating badge consisting of silver eagle and specialty mark with blue chevrons has been approved for chief petty officers and chief stewards for wear on Service Dress, Khaki only.

Provision has been included for chief petty officers and stewards to wear a rating badge consisting of blue eagle, specialty mark and chevrons on the khaki cotton shirt, inasmuch as a coat will not normally be worn with the Khaki Working Uniform.

Chapter XII (Decorations, Medals and Badges) of the Regulations has been revised to include instructions relative to appurtenances to be worn on the suspension ribbons of large and miniature medals and the manner in which medals shall be worn when such are authorized. The following are the principal changes made in this chapter:

Stars and letters to be worn on suspension ribbons of medals and service ribbons have been standardized as follows:

  Ribbon of Miniature Medal: Ribbon of large medals and on service ribbons:
Gold stars 1/8" 5/16"
Silver stars 1/8" 5/16"
Bronze stars 1/8" 3/16"
Bronze "V" 1/8" ¼"
Bronze "A" 1/8" ¼"
Silver "W" 1/8" ¼"
Maltese Cross 1/8" 3/16"

Service ribbons will be worn in 3/8" lengths instead of ½" as heretofore. This length is optional until 1 Oct 1951, after which date it becomes mandatory. Either ½" or 3/8" lengths may be worn during optional period but not a mixture.

Provisions are included for the wearing of the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Emblem, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, when medals are worn. Basically, only one may be worn and it shall be worn on the right breast. They will not be worn with miniature medals.

Expert Riflemen and Expert Pistol Shot Medal ribbons will be removed from the uniform if the individual fails to re-qualify within four years from the date of previous qualification.

Provision is included for Aviation Cadets to wear shoulder marks on Service Dress, Khaki instead of the anchor insignia previously worn on the lapels of the coat.

The designation of uniform tables for women officers and enlisted personnel have been modified to prescribe the wearing of white gloves with Service Dress, Blue, B, and to prescribe the wearing of white gloves with Service Dress, Blue, A, on formal or social occasions.

A new chapter XI of Uniform Regulations has been approved, containing regulations for Reserve officer candidates, a new category of officer trainees.

Source: "Important Changes in Navy Uniform Regulations Approved by SecNav." All Hands. 385 (March 1949): 38.



44-557-Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms

Pers-34-RT, JJ55-3, 2 May 1944


1.The Secretary of the Navy has recently approved the following for members of the Navy Nurse Corps:

(a)During such time as the members of the Navy Nurse Corps have actual rank they are authorized to wear the cap insignia as now worn by commissioned officers of the Navy with similar black mohair braid and without the gold strap and buttons.

(b)A slate-gray uniform is authorized as an optional item of uniform of the following general specifications:

Color: Gray (in conformity with the officers' gray working uniform).

Style: One piece, double-breasted, open front, notched revers and collar, long sleeves with two-button cuffs; six-gore skirt with full kick pleat center front; loose belt with two buttons.

Material: Plain weave cotton, rayon, or tropical worsted.

Buttons: Blue-black plastic (22 ½ and 35 line), regulation.

Insignia: Right collar tip, miniature rank insignia; left collar tip, miniature Nurse Corps insignia.

Caps: 1. Regulation cap with gray cap cover. 2. Gray garrison cap (miniature rank insignia worn on right side, miniature cap device on left side, each 2 inches from front edge).

Accessories: SHOES, black; HOSE, beige; GLOVES, gray; PURSE, regulation.

The above uniform may be worn in lieu of service dress white at informal occasions. Service dress white will be worn at official and social occasions where formal or semiformal summer civilian dress would be appropriate.

(c)Lower pocket on white outdoor uniform-Change from bellows pocket to patch pocket in conformity with officers' gray working uniform.*

(d)White indoor uniform-Change to coat type by opening front all the way for greater ease in donning.*

* = During the necessary transition period nurses will be permitted to wear white outdoor uniforms and white indoor uniforms now in their possession or manufactured until the supply of these uniforms in stock is exhausted or those in possession are won out.

-- BuPers L.E. Denfeld.

Source: "Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms." Navy Department Bulletin. (January-June, 1944): 560-561.



46-1504-Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms

Pers-329-MEB, QR/JJ55, 13 July 1946


(Ref.: (a) US Navy Uniform Regulations, 1941, ch. XIV, "Nurse Corps.")
(Enc.: (A) Regulations Governing the Wearing of the Gray Seersucker Working Uniform, Reserve Blue Working Smock, and Navy Blue Slacks by Members of the Navy Nurse Corps.)

1.The Secretary of the Navy has approved the optional wearing of a gray seersucker working uniform, reserve blue working smock, and Navy blue slacks by members of the Navy Nurse Corps. These articles of uniform, with their accessories, shall be the same as those prescribed for members of the Women's Reserve, and they shall be worn in exactly the same manner as that prescribed for WAVES, with the following exceptions:

(a)Navy Nurse Corps insignia shall be substituted for WAVE insignia.

(b)No jacket devices shall be worn on the rounded ends of jacket lapels.

2.Pending revision of reference (a), enclosure (A) shall govern the wearing of these articles of uniform. The gray working uniform dress (cotton, rayon, or tropical worsted) previously authorized may be worn until the supply of these dresses in stock is exhausted or those in possession are worn out. - BuPers. Felix Johnson.

Enclosure (A)


1.The following is the designation of the gray working uniform:

Coat[1]: Gray (Seersucker)
Dress: Gray (Seersucker)
Garrison Cap: Gray (Seersucker)
Necktie [2]: Black (two-piece)
Hose: Beige
Shoes: Black
Gloves [3]: Black
Handbag [4]: Black
Buttons: Blue-black
Ribbons [5]: Yes
Collar insignia [6]: Yes
Aviation insignia [7]: Yes
Sleeve stripes [8]: Blue
Corps devices [9]: Blue

1 The coat of the working uniform may be removed indoors. It may be omitted when authorized by the commanding officer.
2 The commanding officer may authorize the omission of the necktie only within station limits and only when the coat is removed.
3 Optional.
4 WAVES' black leather handbag or Nurses' cordé purse. The use of the shoulder strap of the black leather handbag is optional.
5 On the coat of the gray working uniform one or two rows of ribbons shall be centered on the left pocket flap and each succeeding row shall be worn above the pocket flap. When the coat is not worn, ribbons shall be worn on the dress centered immediately above the top of the pocket.
6 Metal pin-on rank device shall be worn on the right collar and gold metal pin-on corps device shall be worn on the left collar tip. The devices shall be centered on the dress collar 1" from the front edge and shall be placed at right angles to the inside edge; i.e., the neckline.
7 Aviation insignia shall be centered on the left pocket flap of the coat. When worn with ribbons, the aviation insignia shall be placed above the pocket flap. When the coat is not worn, aviation insignia shall be worn on the dress, centered immediately above the top of the pocket. When worn with ribbons, the aviation insignia shall be uppermost, ¼" above the top row of ribbons.
8 Sleeve stripes shall be navy blue mohair, cotton, or rayon braid.
9 Corps devices (embroidered) shall be Navy blue silk, rayon, or cotton embroidery except that the acorn shall be reserve blue.

2. Reserve blue working smock.-The smock is to be used as a laboratory uniform by members of the Nurse Corps taking courses such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and dietetics. Pin-on devices of rank and corps may be worn in the same relative position as prescribed for the gray working uniform.

3. Navy blue slacks.-Navy blue slacks may be prescribed for wear on occasions when the wearing of other uniforms is not practicable, such as on travel status overseas.

Source: "Navy Nurse Corps Uniforms." Navy Department Bulletin. (July-December, 1946): 250-251.


Navy Uniform Regulations Reminders

Navy uniform regulations state that wigs and hairpieces may be worn by active duty personnel while in uniform or duty status only for cosmetic reasons to cover natural baldness or a physical disfiguration. They will be of good quality and fit, present a natural appearance and conform to grooming standards.

The standards for fingernails and jewelry are as follows: fingernails will not extend past finger-tips for men and one-quarter inch past for women. They should be kept clean. Only one ring per hand is authorized while in uniform, excluding a wedding ring. Consult the regulation regarding the wear of jewelry.

Source: "Navy Uniform Regulation Reminders."All Hands. 887 (February 1991): 3.


New Jacket and Cap Are Among Changes to Sailor's Wardrobe

A blue working jacket and cloth cap with visor are the newest additions to the naval uniform under a recently released list of changes to US Navy Uniform Regulations. Both are intended for all Navymen and should be available about October 1955.

The new jacket is made of a water and wind resistant blue cotton cloth, lined with either nylon fleece or a similar material. The jacket is single-breasted with a plain collar and has two pockets located on the side fronts. It has both a slide fastener and buttons. Officials estimate it will sell for $7.50 in ship stores.

The cap will be similar to those worn by baseball players, with a visor and loose fitting crown. It will be of the same material as the jacket. Estimated cost of the cap is $.55. Officers and CPOs will wear miniature cap devices but others will wear it without indication of rate.

Another change of interest to all enlisted men is the addition of a dungaree rating badge for first, second and third class petty officers. Made so that it can either be sewed on or be applied to the blue chambray shirt by merely running a hot iron over it, the new rating badge will have an eagle and chevrons but will be minus the specialty mark.

Other changes, as announced in BuPers Notice 1020, are:

For Male Officers

White service trousers have been authorized as an alternate (when prescribed) as part of the white tropical uniform; and either khaki service or khaki cotton long trousers (as prescribed) have been authorized as an alternate to khaki shorts for the khaki tropical uniform. Officers will wear shoulder marks on white tropical uniforms; ribbons and breast insignia may also be prescribed when appropriate. Metal collar insignia will continue to be worn on khaki tropical uniforms.

The collar of both white and khaki tropical short-sleeved shirts has been changed from the straight or shawl style to a regular notched collar that lies flat when open. Previously authorized shirts may be worn until replacement is necessary.

Combination cap will be worn with tropical uniforms except under special conditions that may necessitate issue of tropical pith helmets.

The khaki tropical uniform with either khaki shorts or trousers is now authorized for naval aviation cadets.

The same fabrics authorized for khaki long-sleeved shirts are now authorized for the short-sleeved tropical uniform shirt.

Tropical uniforms may now be worn in hot weather when considered suitable and appropriate by prescribing authority. Before, the tropical uniform was restricted to "tropical climate only."

CPO rating badges are not a part of the tropical uniform, either white or khaki. As to ribbons and breast insignia, this is at the discretion of the local command and both officers and chiefs should be the same.

The dark blue raincoat has been deleted from the present required articles of uniforms for officers. It is to be replaced by a medium-weight blue overcoat made of woolen or soft-finished napped worsted material which is water repellent. It will be of the same style as that currently prescribed for the officer-type blue overcoat and may be worn over all uniforms and upon all occasions.

Commissioned officers and warrant officers must now possess a plain stiff white dress shirt, gold studs, and stiff turndown collar.

Gray gloves are required as part of the service dress blue uniform only when prescribed; otherwise they are optional.

Only khaki web belts are authorized for wear with khaki uniforms.

Warrant officers designated for duty in the Civil Engineer Corps (equipment foreman, construction electrician and building foreman) are authorized to wear Civil Engineer Corps insignia described in US Navy Uniform Regulations, in lieu of warrant devices worn before.

For Women Officers and Enlisted Women

Women officers will now wear large medals on blue or white service as a full dress uniform in accordance with the regulations governing the same subject for male officers not required to possess a sword.

The medium-weight blue overcoat in lieu of the blue raincoat, now authorized for male officers, is similarly authorized for women officers.

The hat band of women officers of the rank of commander and captain will be encircled at the top by gold braid piping approximately 1/4 inch wide.

The blue smock has been eliminated as an article of uniform.

For Enlisted Men

White socks may be worn with enlisted men's undress white uniform until 1 Jan 1956. After that date they will be deleted as part of the uniform.

The old style enlisted men's type B blue raincoat may be worn until 1 Jul 1957. At present only the new type A raincoat is beingissued to recruits.

The possession of the general-purpose high service shoes by enlisted men after completion of recruit training is optional at the discretion of local commanding officers.

Source: "New Jacket and Cap Are Among Changes to Sailor's Wardrobe." All Hands. 463 (September 1955): 30.


New Tropical Uniform is Approved for Officers, CPOs

Relief may be on the way for officers and CPOs who are serving in hot duty stations and have no appropriate summer dress uniforms.

A forthcoming change to Uniform Regulations will authorize commands to prescribe long trousers in lieu of shorts as part of the present Tropical Uniform, either khaki or white.

Thus the new alternate tropical uniform will be open-neck, short-sleeve shirt with collar insignia, long trousers, shoes, socks and cap cover match, in either white or khaki.

The new uniform is considered to be cool and practical; and in white should be good looking enough for summer service dress occasions as well as duty, if considered suitable and appropriate by the prescribing command.

Uniform Regulations currently provide tropical white or khaki (shorts); khaki working uniform, service dress khaki (with or without coat), white service, full dress white for ceremonies, and dinner and evening dress white (or white jacket optional) for social occasions. The new alternate tropical (with long trousers) is expected to fill the need for a uniform that is more dress than shorts, but cooler and more practical than service khaki or white service.

Source: "New Tropical Uniform is Approved for Officers, CPOs." All Hands. 451 (September 1954): 37.


New Uniform Changes Announced

As a move to make the peacoat more compatible with the new service dress blue uniform, the Navy is now requiring men to change the black plastic buttons to silver oxidized buttons. This change refers to men E-6 and below only. Other uniform changes recently announced authorize enlisted women to wear the man's denim dungaree-chambray shirt uniform or the new enlisted working blues. Women's fore and aft hats, command baseball caps or men's working caps are prescribed with the uniforms at command discretion.

The uniform changes, described in BuPersNote 1020 of 20 Nov 1973, give command authority to prescribe the combination cap with white cover after 1 Apr 1974 for all uniforms (E-6 and below) and the brushed silver belt buckle for all uniforms (E-6 and below). These items are optional until supplies are depleted or until 1 Jul 1975, whichever comes first. The changeover to the silver buttons for the peacoat will be required by 1 Jul 1975.

Source: "New Uniform Changes Announced." All Hands. 684 (January 1974): 34.


No More Bell Bottoms? Sailor's Traditional Garb Goes Overboard If Three Basic Uniforms Pass Muster

A Coxswain, USN, took pen in hand recently and let the Navy Department know how he felt about changing the enlisted man's uniform.

"The present uniform," he asserted firmly, "is as much a part of the Navy as the USS Missouri … is the most efficient seagoing uniform that could ever be perfected … can be stowed in a very small space. Any other uniform would require larger storage, locker and laundry space, thereby creating a hazard to battle efficiency."

A seaman first class was equally positive. "The present enlisted man's uniform," he wrote, "is a monkey suit and it drives me nuts. What do you think I am - an orangutan?"

This month, tests will begin in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, the 9th and 10th Naval Districts, to decide the issue - is the era of the 13 buttons, white stripes and tiny pockets to end at last? Proposed new uniforms for enlisted personnel, other than chief petty officers and cooks and stewards, will be the subjects of the tests.

If the new uniforms are adopted, the Navy will scuttle the blue flat hat, existing dress and undress blue jumpers, the present blue trousers which are referred to more romantically than accurately as bell bottoms, the black neckerchief, the present white jumper, and the white pants without hip pockets. The white hat, peacoat and dungarees would be retained, although a new gray working uniform would replace the latter in many cases.

One thousand sets of each of the proposed new blues, whites and grays were scheduled to be sent to each of the fleets for study under actual sea conditions.

In the 9th Naval District, where icy winds from Canada howl across the Great Lakes and the midwest plains, 500 sets of blues and 250 sets of grays were to be tried out. An in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the 10th District headquarters, where the sun failed to shine only 17 days in six years, 250 grays and 500 whites were to be tested.

CinPac, CincLant, Com9 and Com10 have been requested to report to Washington on the outcome of the tests. After that, if the reports are favorable, the new uniforms may become official but only when present uniform stocks are depleted.

Briefly, this is what the proposed new uniforms look like:

Blue Dress "Jumper" - A blue jacket of design somewhat similar to the Army battle jacket, sometimes called the "Eisenhower," made of the same material as the present dress jumper. Two large patch-type breast pockets are secured with buttons beneath the flaps. It has a small, lapel-type collar, and five buttons down the front, secured beneath a vertical flap so none of these buttons is visible when the jacket is worn. An overlapping tab at the waist, to the right of the lowest button, is secured with a snap fastener. Button tabs at each side of the waist permit tightening or loosening, as do the double buttons on the cuffs. There are no inside pockets or white stripes.

Blue Trousers - Same design as officer's trousers, but the material is the same as the present enlisted man's lace-ups. They have two side pockets, watch pocket, and two hip pockets, are worn with a belt, pressed the way civilians press theirs, and have no cuffs. The fly has five buttons. There isn't the faintest suggestion of a bell bottom.

White Shirt - A sports type, of the same material as the present white uniform. Depending upon the uniform of the day specified, it may be worn open at the collar, or with a necktie, secured in conventional four-in-hand fashion, as officers tie their ties. Like the jacket, the shirt has two large breast pockets, with flaps which button down. The Naval Uniform Board has recommended that the shirt be of pullover or slip-on type, with just two buttons at the top, on the ground that it would be easier to take care of, although shirts buttoning all the way have also been proposed.

Blue Shirt - Same design as the white shirt, made of material similar to that of the present undress blue jumper.

White Trousers - Same design as the new blue trousers, same material as the present white uniform. Hip pockets would be the principal variation from the present white trousers.

Grays - Shirt and trousers similar to those now worn by chief petty officers, although shirt may be slip-on rather than coat type.

Headgear - Blue garrison hat of same material as dress blues; gray garrison hat of same material as gray uniform; the present white hat, and a gray, baseball-type cap similar to those worn by some personnel aboard carriers.

The dress, blue, uniform would consist of the white shirt, blue jacket, ribbons, blue trousers, blue garrison cap, black necktie, black socks and black shoes. In inclement weather, COs would authorize wearing of the blue shirt instead of the white, with a light blue necktie.

An alternative dress uniform, designated as dress, blue, C, would provide for wearing the white trousers with the blue jacket, instead of blue trousers, and the socks could be white, natural color or black. Undress, blues would consist of the blue shirt, blue trousers, blue garrison cap, black socks and black shoes.

The dress, white, uniform would consist of white shirt, ribbons, white trousers, white hat, black necktie, white, natural color or black socks, and black shoes.

Undress, white, A, would be the same outfit, but without the necktie or ribbons. Undress, white, B, would differ from undress, white, A, in one respect - you could take off your shirt.

The summer working uniform would consist of gray shirt, gray trousers, gray cap, black socks and black shoes. Dungarees would be worn only for the really dirty work, in which there would be likelihood that dirt, oil or grease would get on the clothing.

Boatswain's mates, quartermasters, guard petty officers, and other petty officers on watch on deck, mail orderlies, buglers, messengers, sideboys, sentries, men on guard and patrol detail, and the coxswains of all boats would wear the light blue necktie with undress, blue, and a black necktie with undress, white, A. Other men, however, would not wear a necktie with undress, blue, or undress, white, A, except on occasion when prescribed.

Bodies of men under arms, including their petty officers, would not wear neckties with undress, blue, and undress, white, A, except on guard.

One of the questions which enlisted men ask about the change is:

"Why doesn't the Navy just provide enlisted personnel with uniforms similar to those worn by officers or chiefs, except for insignia?"

The answer comes from an officer in the uniform section of BuPers, who was an enlisted man himself for 16 ½ years and wore "bell bottoms" for 10 ½ years before he made chief.

"The new uniforms," he says, "are washable, and may be worn without pressing if they are properly folded for stowage in lockers. Obviously it would be impracticable to have dry cleaning and pressing facilities aboard ship sufficient to take care of an entire crew. As it is, chiefs and officers must just get along as best as they can without such equipment, except for pressing machines aboard large ships. Installation of additional equipment would undoubtedly necessitate removal of much more vital gear. Dry cleaning fluid is also a fire hazard - and anyone who has been through a fire at sea certainly will agree that no new fire hazards should be added."

An officer-type uniform is a considerable stowage problem aboard ship when compared with the proposed new jacket for enlisted men, this officer said. Coat hangers are a virtual necessity with the former, but the jacket can be folded and stowed, if hangers or space for hangings are not available.

The twin problems of cleaning and stowage were major factors in the deliberations of the Naval Uniform Board which resulted in the new uniform designs. The fleet tests in which Washington is particularly interested are those to be made aboard ships on which facilities are limited.

One enlisted man proposed a set of dress blues almost exactly like those which the board approved, with two notable exceptions. He would have gold stripes on the sleeves, and, running down the sides of the trouser legs, gold stripes an inch wide. Fears were expressed, quite unofficially of course, that such a uniform might result in confusion of sailors with movie ushers. A bluejacket might be AWOL for months in the Roxy, disguised as an employee.

The desire to retain the distinction of the Navy uniform was one of the reasons for proposing retention of the white hat. White garrison hats were tried - and were found to make a sailor look like a soda jerker. White hats with visors on them also were tried, but looked like the milkman's cap.

It has also been suggested that a gold USN insignia, such as that worn by cooks and stewards, be attached to the garrison caps, and the collars of shirts when the jackets are not worn.

The desirability of placing rating badges on both sleeves to permit easier recognition, either in the present size or in a smaller size similar to those worn by WAVES, is also being studied. Another possible change in the rating badges would eliminate the white eagle, leaving only the chevrons and specialty marks.

Another question raised by enlisted men was:

"Will enlisted men have a chance to influence the final form of the new uniform if one is adopted?"

In response to this question, BuPers authorized the following statement:

"Every effort has been and is being made to give as many enlisted personnel as practicable a chance to speak up on changing the uniform and its final form. Questionnaires and polls showed a feeling for a change. However, there was a large number who did not want a change. The proposed new uniform is hoped to be satisfactory to all and at the same time, to be serviceable and practical. Sample uniforms have been sent to some ships and stations where a good cross-section of experience can be had in order to get sound recommendations regarding service use.

"After suitable trial the commanding officers will make recommendations. The recommendations definitely will be based on the reactions of the enlisted men who have been wearing the uniforms as well as the performance of the clothes.

"This question is of such interest to the whole Navy that no stone is being left unturned in the search for the answer."

Men will be selected aboard test ships and stations to wear a regular prescribed outfit of each uniform exclusively, under as many and varied service conditions as possible, for the duration of the three-month test period.

There is no doubt that enlisted men have ideas on the subject - and so do their sisters, wives, and sweethearts. The most agitation for a change comes from older men, letters which the Navy has received would indicate, apparently because of a feeling that the present garb is notably unflattering to men who are getting thick in the middle and thin on top. Their wives seem to agree with them.

At the same time, there is considerable sentiment favoring retention of the present uniform, both from the younger men and their girl friends.

The agitation for a change, which was coming hot and heavy early last year, slumped sharply around July. Since then, the sentiments of the letter writers have been running more strongly in favor of retaining the present uniform. This may be due to the fact that older men, returning to civilian life, are being replaced by young recruits who feel that on them "it looks good."

In any event, there seem to be few neutral opinions on the subject, and the Navy isn't going to move until it is certain that the new uniform will be both practical and popular.

Source: "No More Bell Bottoms? Sailor's Traditional Garb Goes Overboard If Three Basic New Uniforms Pass Muster." All Hands. 347 (February 1946): 6-9.


Officers' Full Dress and Dress Uniforms Out Until 1 Oct 1949

Officers' full dress and dress uniforms, discontinued during wartime, will not again be authorized before 1 Oct 1949. This was announced in the Navy Department Bulletin, item 47-352.

The directive stated there is as yet no crystallized opinion as to what the full dress or dress uniform will consist of after the above date. In the meantime, dress uniforms for evening wear will continue to be service dress, blue, D, or service dress, white, as directed by appropriate commands. Blue, D, of course, is the service dress uniform with bow tie and white or blue cap cover, as prescribed.

Studies are under way to design a new simplified dress uniform, or to adopt portions of the old dress uniforms, eliminating their less desirable features. Comments and suggestions from the service are invited, which may be addressed to the Chief of Naval Operations, Attn: Op-101.

Several factors must be considered in any re-design of the dress uniforms, prominent among them the trends of other nations and other services in the matter, since U.S. naval officers are often called upon to appear at official and semi-official functions at which dress uniforms are worn and in which officers of other nations and services take part.

The old full dress, blue, uniform included frock coat with decorations and large-size medals, cocked hat, full dress epaulettes, gold-striped trousers, full dress belt and sword, white gloves and black shoes. The dress blue was similar, replacing the striped trousers with plain blue trousers. Undress blue eliminated epaulettes, and replaced medals with ribbons, and dress with undress sword belt.

There were also evening full dress and evening dress uniforms, with long coats, and dinner dress with the short mess jacket.

Source: "Officers' Full Dress and Dress Uniforms Out Until 1 Oct 1949." All Hands. 365 (July 1947): 52.


Recruits March Toward Future in New Boots
By Journalist 2nd Class Jessica Pearce, Naval Service Training Command Great Lakes Public Affairs.

NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) - Sailors in training at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes are enjoying better orthopedic health thanks to a new pair of boots developed here, which has changed the standard for basic footwear for the fleet.

The new boots, which recruits began receiving April 21, have been the subject of exhaustive tests and extensive research. The new boots have increased shock absorbency and are more compliant with the movement of the foot and ankle. The alterations were made to reduce stress fractures, musculo-skeletal disorders, and knee and lower back pain.

In 1998, the stress fracture rate at RTC was 1.92 per 1,000, which meant that for every 1,000 recruits, almost two suffered from a potentially disabling stress fracture. Cmdr. Kerry Thompson, a licensed physical therapist previously assigned to the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) Training department, began exploring the relationship between the boots recruits were wearing and stress fracture rates.

Thompson and the NSTC Strategic Training Analysis Cell (STAC) studied the injuries and ultimately recommended the use of gym shoes for training, until a new boot could be developed that would provide greater shock absorbency and reduce injuries. Those changes resulted in a reduction of the stress fracture rate to .76 per 1,000.

"The boots the recruits had been wearing were not designed or intended for recruits, who march 26 miles a week," said Ron Fry, who is in charge of uniform issue for the recruits. "Those boots were designed for shipboard life."

With the data collected in the STAC study, Navy representatives worked with Bates uniform footwear on the development of the new boot.

Jim Schiffelbein, vice president of Sales for Bates uniform footwear, explained how the new boots are better for recruits.

"As new technology comes along, we find new products for safety," he said. "We take that technology and ask, how can this help us reduce injury?"

Lt. Cmdr. Lanny Boswell, a medical researcher and sports medicine doctor, said the new boots are an exciting addition to the Navy uniform.

"Medically speaking, this is very exciting for all the Navy shipboard standards. This boot is made of standard composite materials blended with biomechanics," Boswell said. "This boot is more orthopedically correct, more compliant with the movement of the foot and ankle. It's one-third lighter, and 60 percent more shock absorbent. This is premium footwear for any Sailor."

After the current safety boot was designed, it was taken to the Indiana University biomechanics lab, where the design was approved. After that, it was time for the pilot study. Although initially the tests were only going to include 1,000 pairs of boots, that total was eventually doubled. The boots were tested on women, with their sister division being the control group.

"Women have a higher incidence of musculo-skeletal injuries in this environment," said Thompson. "When compared to their sister division, there was a significant reduction in the amount of injuries with the new boots. In addition to a reduction in stress fractures, there were also less foot problems, including blisters."

Officials at Great Lakes also worked closely with the Navy Uniform Board and Navy safety experts to ensure the new boot met Navy standards for fire retarding qualities, treat pattern and other shipboard safety concerns.

As the recruits received their boots and put them on April 22, one commented that the boots were "more comfortable than my tennis shoes!" That, Thompson said, was one of the most common comments they received from the test group.

"The recruits said that the new boots were comfortable when they first put them on, and that they would be willing to buy them again," he said.

The Navy Uniform Board approved the change in November 2002, as a uniform improvement. The boots will be available to the fleet later this year.

Source: Pearce, Jessica. "Recruits March Toward Future in New Boots." Navy Newsstand. story no. NNS030425-19. 28 April 2003. [Available online at]


Changing Navy Uniforms is up to You
JO1 (SW/AW) Valisha Pierrot

In a recent NAVADMIN, put out by the Director of Navy Staff's office, the entire Navy was called upon to participate in a uniform survey. The survey is already in progress and will continue through July 8.

According to NAVADMIN 154/03, the survey was developed to obtain the fleet's perspective on the contents of the sea bag and Navy uniform regulations.

"We want to make the uniform regulations more easily understood and easier to read," said NDW Command Master Chief CNOCM(AW) Susan Sanson.

"This is the first time the Navy has ever put out an all hands survey on uniforms," said Task Force Uniform's Command Master Chief, CNOCM (SS) Rob Carroll. "Among several tasking and initiatives, we're going to rewrite the uniform regs …make it a lot simpler for Sailors to
interpret, comply and enforce."

The task force membership is comprised of male and female Sailors, ranking from E-5 to O-9 and representatives from all of the Navy's warfare communities (i.e., Seabee, SEAL, Submarine, Surface, etc.).

A few of the members have experienced more than their share of changes to the uniform regulations and heard their share of complaints along the way.

"There are too many inconsistencies (in uniforms) from (duty) station to station," comments Electronics Technician Senior Chief (SW) Timothy Shimko.

"Whites get dirty so fast, it makes them look less professional," said Journalist Seaman Sarah Holm.

"The biggest complaint is the fit, especially for females," added Sanson. "… too many uniforms. They cost too much money."

One of the panel's focuses is to come up with a uniform solution that is cost effective, versatile, comfortable and easy to maintain.

"We're reviewing every uniform item in the sea bag.

"We intend to provide uniform options and proposals based on the desires of the fleet and the needs of the Navy of the future.

"Our goal is to survey at least 20 percent of the fleet," said Carroll.

The task force will also evaluate the usefulness of each uniform item in an effort to minimize the number of uniform items required.

The average Sailor is required to maintain a minimum of eight uniforms during major deployments, which makes storage an extra burden.

"We are a sea going service. When the Air Force, Marines and Army deploy, they don't take all of their uniforms with them," explains Carroll. "Junior enlisted personnel don't have as much storage space as officers and chiefs."

Another tasking of the panel is to develop one working uniform for Sailors, E-1 through O-10 and a year-round service uniform for E-1 through E-6. A year-round service uniform for E-6 and below will provide the same comfort and consistency in service uniforms enjoyed by chiefs and officers.

"I think it's a great idea," said Shimko.

The task force membership also includes a "Functional Support Team" comprised of representatives from NEXCOM headquarters, Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility and a Master Chief Ship Serviceman. Everyone should pass the word to shipmates up and down the chain of command.

"It's important that everyone do the survey," said Sanson.

The task force will combine their ideas with survey results in their briefing to the CNO.

"All input is good as long as it's educated," said Carroll.

Sanson also added that Sailors should become familiar with uniform regs in order to provide valid answers to the survey questions. In order to get your recommendations included, make sure you take the time to take the survey on line at

Source: Pierrot, Valisha. "Changing Navy Uniforms is up to You." The [Washington Navy Yard] Waterline. 20, no.24 (20 June 2003): 1, 4.


Board of Attire? Your Request Can Change Navy Dress

Navy uniforms, and the people who wear them, have long been a source of mystery and lore. It was the uniform that attracted Debra Winger to Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman." Sailors headed straight for the neighborhood health spa after seeing "Top Gun" actor Tom Cruise in form-fitted khakis, while Frank Sinatra in "On the Town" showed us that a sailor, groomed to Navy standards, can literally stop traffic - as they continue to do in some small towns.

But, movies rarely portray an officer chasing his cover across a median strip or a sailor using a coat hanger to retrieve a "white hat" from an open manhole. If, in the 1986 film "Top Gun," Tom Cruise were tasked to perform his role in a downpour wearing dress blues, no doubt he would have, "lost that lovin' feeling." You see, it was less than four years ago that the Navy first authorized male sailors to tote umbrellas while in uniform.

As the Navy "giveth" accessories, it can also "taketh away" other items. These decisions aren't arbitrary, they are the result of a sometimes painstaking process. Suprisingly, many of the changes to Navy uniforms come about through sailors' suggestions.

Every day, letters from the fleet are received by the Navy Uniform Matters Office (Pers 333), located in the Navy Annex in Arlington ,Va. The office, adjacent to the office of the Master Chief Officer of the Navy (MCPON), is responsible for writing the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations (NavPers 15665).

Navy Uniform Matters personnel wade through suggestions, searching for ideas which are creative, cost-effective and in keeping with the Navy's best interests and traditions. Once the suggestions prove to be valid, they are forwarded by point paper to the Uniform Board panel for consideration.

"Some inputs don't merit doing research, such as, 'I want to get rid of all uniforms' or 'I want to redesign all uniforms because I don't like the style or the color,'" said LCDR Mike Capponi, head of the Navy Uniform Matters Office. "Those are not worthy of being put to the board. You have to give substantial input.

"The ideal way we'd like to see a complaint is in point paper format. It can be handwritten. The paper should include the problem, recommendations and a solution. And we'd like to have it come through the chain of command, with endorsements. To get a favorable look by the board - get many endorsements," Capponi said.

The Uniform Board includes four voting members who meet quarterly. The Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel serves as president, along with the Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command, who monitors costs and procurement of uniforms; Special Assistant, Women in the Navy (Pers-00W), who monitors changes affecting women; and the MCPON, the senior enlisted representative.

Special members are also invited, including flag and senior officers or senior enlisted personnel with substantial operational experience as directed by the CNO. Based on public outcry, the board can delve into issues from shades of pantyhose to tattoos on ear lobes - any issue relating to Navy uniform regulations.

The uniform board can address new or existing problems and make recommendations for improvements. Guided by the uniform goals and policies established by the Secretary of the Navy and the CNO, the board can recommend, approve or disapprove suggestions or delay action pending results of further research. The board will not convene if only a few fleet inputs are available that quarter.

After an idea is voted upon, the results go to the Chief of Naval Personnel for review, followed by the CNO for final approval.

Each suggester gets a written reply from Capponi's shop, whether or not the idea is passed to the board. In fact, the Navy Uniform Matters Office is the first and last reply on all suggestions. "We will make the first cut if we don't think [the idea] merits going to the board," he added. "First, the change must be cost-effective and well-received by the entire Navy."

Capponi uses the dungaree trousers or "bell-bottoms" as an example on how to submit valid input to the board. Because dungarees are mass-produced and not cut to size, some sailors don't get a perfect fit. To initiate a change in the uniform item, sailors should suggest "a better way to do it," Capponi said. "They can do a little research on their own. Perhaps they know of a company that makes pants."

Capponi said that most sailors know little about clothing textiles, and even less about the time it takes to implement a new item. A change may take up to eight years before it appears in your uniform shop. The Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility in Natick, Mass., believes that a dress uniform becomes "worn out" through normal wear in about three years. Even before the Navy authorizes a new item for sale, it must deplete its existing stock of the old item. This can take up to three years. "Nothing happens immediately," Capponi said.

Changes in clothing "style" are even harder to implement, he added, because, what's in style today, is usually out of style tomorrow.

"You must have [an idea] that will be here from 'day one,' to 20 years later and still be relatively in style," he said. "As for redesigning the entire uniform line, the money is not there. The bottom line is cash - can we do this without breaking our backs."

Capponi adds that it's "getting harder to find suppliers." Right now, only one manufacturer was asked to provide dungarees to the Navy but declined. "They've got a huge market - they didn't need the military market," Capponi said. Besides, he adds, there are certain guidelines set on how contracts are allotted.

Even with budge constraints, the board has economically attempted to keep up with styles and trends - generously responding to fleet input. Sailors still argue that even John Wayne's seabag didn't change this frequently, or this drastically.

It was 12 years ago when the board responded to the demand for more traditional uniforms - particularly, the jumper style "crackerjacks."

The 1973 decision to replace the traditional jumper and bell-bottom uniform with a coat-and-tie style was made with the sailor's interest in mind - affording a uniform which would be contemporary with modern times, Capponi said. There was much controversy over the decision, so then-CNO ADM James L. Holloway III, initiated a survey to determine the fleet's true feelings.

A scientific poll was conducted by the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center which sampled the opinions of more than 8.000 enlisted men at various stateside and overseas locations. The results showed more than 80 percent favored the bell-bottom style uniform. In addition, the unofficial poll conducted by Navy Times received more than 80,000 opinions that closely paralleled the official Navy survey. Therefore, in July 1977 the CNO approved the return of the jumper uniform. Issue to the fleet began in 1980.

According to Capponi, a return of the "salt and pepper" is often requested by some, but there's no major push for it from the entire fleet. The women's powder-blue nurse-type outfit will probably never return. "By the time a change occurs," Capponi said, "somebody will want to go back the other way, and there is not enough money to do that."

Less than 10 years ago, the Uniform Board OK'd the idea of Navy women wearing two braids in their hair while in uniform - something Army women had been doing for years. Capponi said that presently on hold is a request from a female sailor asking permission to wear "corn rows" without beads. "We'll see what happens when it goes to the board," he said.

Summer jumpers and peacoats for women were added to their seabags. "Outside of the material, women like the [jumper] style," Capponi said. "They don't like [Certified Navy Twill] because if it's unlined and stretches, it becomes transparent. CNT was brought in as 'the sailor's helper' because it was home washable [and permanent press]."

Recently the Uniform Board responded to requests from women to create small-size rating badges, rather than requiring the male "jumbo" sizes.

Another change occurred in June 1988, when all sailors were required to wear Unit Identification Marks on their right shoulder -- an item originally designated for shipboard sailors only.

Also, the stenciled name on dungaree shirts shifted to the left side of the garment to standardize name placement on Navy uniforms. Last year, navy-blue pullover sweaters - once reserved exclusively for the surface warfare community - were authorized for all personnel.

"We have expanded our uniforms to the point where we have too many options," Capponi said. "[Different] regional areas don't use the same stuff. I'm looking to review what we give out, make cuts and look at a sensible way to make the seabag more flexible."

Capponi's office collaborates with Navy Resale Services Support Office on ideas but has nothing to do with price setting. Navy Supply Systems is tasked to coordinate with contractors, where uniform prices are determined by design, cloth and sheer numbers required. Women's uniforms cost more than men's because the Navy buys fewer of them.

As for new items in the works, Capponi adds, "I could tell you about a lot of things we've got going, but they could get overridden at the CNO level. There will be some more things coming out on grooming standards."

For example, the Navy may address new faddish hairstyles some sailors may choose to wear.

"On board ships, [high and tights have] been there forever," Capponi said. "For a woman, it's not a professional image. But women's hair is always a bad subject around here - how many barrettes? How many hair pins? What is, or is not, too long?

"There's only one way to solve it," he said jokingly. "Everyone will have their hair cut above their shoulders - but that's not going to happen. We can control jewelry and tattoos, no problem. But when we start taking away things that they might have had while growing up, you're getting down-right personal."

Along with hairdos, Uniform Matters often wrestles with new ideas on men's and women's covers. And the battle continues.

As for beards, Capponi adds, "They'll never come back in any of the military [branches], unless it's some special assignment somewhere. And mustaches - we're lucky we have those. My mustache is very personal to me; I hate having it off. I've only had it off twice in the last 17 years."

In 1984, the CNO deemed beards a safety hazard and unprofessional in appearance. The Navy requested male sailors to "come clean" - except those with no-shaving chits from their doctors. Some commanders in the fleet, foreseeing the dim future on beards, required sailors to shave as early as three years prior to the mandatory regulation.

At the time, many sailors voiced complaints about, "the damn Uniform Board," that its decisions altered lifestyles, weakened mystique and diluted Navy tradition.

But what many sailors failed to realize, was that then-CNO ADM James D. Watkins - after receiving input from senior members in the fleet - implemented the "beardless Navy" through a directive, not a Uniform Board vote. In NavOp 152/84, dated December 1984, Watkins stated, "The image of a sharp-looking sailor in a crisp 'bell-bottom' uniform … portrays precisely the tough fighting Navy we are."

Watkins continued, "I have concluded it is both proper and timely to change our policy regarding beards and require all Navy men to be clean-shaven … It will also provide increased personal safety for those who must, on short notice, be prepared to wear OBAs (oxygen breathing apparatus), gas masks, oxygen masks and, in general, work in stressing environments."

The decision to eliminate beards was done in a unique manner - without convening the Uniform Board and without an open invitation for fleet input. But that route to change is the exception, not the rule.

Everyone is interested in Navy uniforms - the Navy, Hollywood and even the Air Force. The Air Force's new uniforms show many similarities to the Navy's.

"There's a [DoD] measure to drive all the services to look the same," Capponi said. "By buying all the same style, it's [supposed] to cut costs. It makes sense on paper, but tradition-wise, it won't happen. Certain things we need, they'll never need. You'll never standardize it. As far as cost-savings go, it's best to stay with what you've got."

And what the Navy has is a product that instills so much pride - that everyone wants to copy it.

"We're a visual society," said Capponi, " …appearance will carry 90 percent of what the public thinks of you. If you look professional, they think you are professional. If you look unprofessional, they think you are, too."

Source: Price, Chris. "Board of Attire? Your Request Can Change Navy Dress." All Hands. 903 (June 1992): 16-19.


Pros, Cons Speak Their Piece

Following are typical comments which the Navy has received with respect to proposals that the enlisted man's uniform be changed:

From "Ten Young Girls": "We think the sailor's uniform is swell just like it is. It is tops with us girls. As for the sailor who said he couldn't land a girl in port, decked out in this monkey suit, tell him for us girls - don't blame the uniform …"

A former sailor: "Custom reconciles Greeks to skirts, Scots to kilts, natives to saucers sewed in their lips and sailors to kiddy clothes … The time is ripe (for a change). Let the new uniform … be something lively, snappy, rakish, clipper, classy - yet dignified with design as becoming to them as to officers and gentlemen!"

QM1c: "Some of the childish actions … by enlisted men are, in my opinion due to the uniform. I, myself, have done things that I normally wouldn't have done, if I hadn't felt that I was dressed as a child."

MoMM2c: "The uniform should stay the way it is. Tradition and precedent are carried out in most everything else; why, then, shouldn't they be carried out in the uniform? There is entirely too much heed taken to 'outside the Navy's opinions.' After all, we are wearing the uniforms and why shouldn't a vote be taken by the men?"

A girl in South Carolina: "My cousin, who has been in the Navy for six years, says he wouldn't change his bell bottom trousers for anything and I agree with him. They look so good, and they say they feel good too."

MoMM3c: "Do away with the flat hat. More pockets."

SC2c: "I think that the enlisted man's uniform should be changed into one resembling that of a CPO."

TM3c: "The whole uniform … is too old fashioned. The heck with tradition. Think of the man that wears it. Make it like a chief's uniform or similar."

S1c: "I think that it (present uniform) is good enough for anyone."

Man on Ellis Island, N.Y.: "The collars, excess buttons, and bell bottoms may be traditional, but they certainly are both uncomfortable and wasteful."

Source: "Pros, Cons Speak Their Piece." All Hands. 347 (February 1946): 8.


Regs Revised on Uniforms of CPOs, Cooks, Stewards and Naval Personnel Serving with Marine Forces

Several changes and additions to Navy Uniform Regulations have just been announced by BuPers.

A miniature cap device approximately three-fourths the size of the present cap device with the same design has been approved for CPO garrison caps, to be worn on the left side of the cap, two inches from the front edge.

The working uniform for chief cooks, chief stewards, and cooks and stewards is the same as that prescribed for CPOs (including both khaki and gray), except these men shall wear blue-black plastic buttons of so-called 30-line size and bearing the anchor design, regulation black bow ties and regular caps with cloth cover matching the color of their uniforms. The present "USN" cap device prescribed for chief cooks, chief stewards, and cooks and stewards remains unchanged.

Naval officers attached to Marine Corps organizations may wear the field uniform prescribed for Marine Corps officers but with the Navy miniature cap device, bronzed, instead of the Marine cap device.

Navy enlisted men with the marines must wear the Marine enlisted field uniform when so ordered and when it is furnished to them at no expense. Rated men will wear naval rating badges and distinguishing marks with blue markings (except for the red cross for hospital corpsmen) on a background to match the color of the uniform. Chief petty officers will wear their miniature cap device, bronzed.

(Detailed in Circ. Ltr. No. 97-44, semi-monthly N. D. Bul., 31 March, 44-383.)

Source: "Regs Revised on Uniforms of CPOs, Cooks, Stewards and Naval Personnel Serving with Marine Forces." All Hands. 326 (May 1944): 65.


Shortened Jumpers Officially Approved

Recently approved changes in Navy Uniform Regulations for enlisted men, contained in Circ. Ltr. No. 97-44 (semi-monthly N. D. Bul., 15 April, 44-383), were outlined originally in an article in the INFORMATION BULLETIN of January 1944, page 67.

Blue jumpers now will hang straight, fully covering the top of the trousers, and eliminating the traditional "blouse." During the necessary period of transition from the old jumpers to the new, men will be permitted to wear the draw-string type of jumpers until the supply is exhausted or those in use are worn out.

Source: "Shortened Jumpers Officially Approved." All Hands. 326 (May 1944): 64.


Uniform Changes Include New Sports Model Shirt, Lightweight Raincoat

If you're an enlisted man, the day may not be far off when you can discard your conventional-type dungaree shirts for a new "sports" model.

If you're a male officer or chief petty officer, you may soon, if you wish, add a lightweight, single-breasted raincoat to your wardrobe.

These, and other notes on uniform items, are to be contained in the latest change to U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations. The change has been circulated Navy-wide in the form of BuPers Notice 1020 of 12 Mar 1962.

The new style dungaree shirt is described as "blue cotton chambray, convertible sport style collar, long sleeves, two patch pockets, squared off bottom, matching blue stitching and no shoulder yoke." The shirt will be authorized until it is distributed through the Navy supply system (it will be sold in small stores) when the old type is depleted.

The raincoat, not yet available or authorized for wear, is "lightweight, single-breasted, box style; fly front; set-in sleeves; beltless; shoulder loops; dark blue synthetic fabric." The new raincoat will be an optional article when the effective date for wearing is established.

Women officers may now wear, as appropriate, the Dinner Dress Blue Jacket Uniform or Dinner Dress White Jacket Uniform. These consist of mess jacket, dress skirt, and cummerbund, dark blue and white, respectively; dress shoes and handbag (black, white); white dress shirt; black dress necktie; service hat (or tiara, optional); beige stockings; and miniature medals. The uniform is optional for all women officers until 1 Jul 1964, when it becomes mandatory for commanders and captains.

Another new item for women is a redesigned white plastic handbag. The new bag will replace the current white handbag when available and on a date yet to be announced. The handbag will be of white plastic; embossed with a leather grain pattern; envelope style; not more than 11 inches wide and 7 ½ inches deep; with detachable shoulder strap. The bag may be used with or without the strap.

In the case of aviation cadets and aviation officer candidates, the aviation green working uniform has been deleted from their minimum outfits; working khakis will be prescribed instead.

Of general interest to all naval personnel is a spelled-out version of regulations which govern the wearing of hats during outdoor ceremonies. A portion of Article 1110.2 of Uniform Regs now reads: "Out of doors, personnel should remain covered at all times except when ordered to uncover, or during religious services not associated with a military ceremony. Thus, unless ordered to uncover, personnel shall remain covered during the invocation or other religious portions of ceremonies which are primarily military in nature, such as changes of command, ship commissionings and launchings, military burials, etc. The chaplain conducting the religious portion of the ceremony will be guided by the customs of his church with respect to wearing of head covering.

Source: "Uniform Changes Include New Sports Model Shirt, Lightweight Raincoat." All Hands. 545 (June 1962): 46.


Uniform Changes Listed: Peacoat Will Get New Convertible Collar

Several miscellaneous alterations in uniform regulations have been prepared by BuPers as part of change No. 1, Uniform Regulations, 1947.

A new convertible-type collar, permitting men to open the collar at the throat, is an alteration of the enlisted men's overcoat.

To insure a neat appearance, the old style overcoat may be worn open at the throat with two buttons unbuttoned, producing the same general effect as one button unbuttoned in the new style coat. Overcoats may be worn buttoned at the neck or CO's may prescribe that mode for military formations and other functions.

Another provision prescribes that an enlisted man who won the right to wear a gold rating badge and gold lace service stripes may continue to wear them throughout the duration of his enlisted service unless he fails to qualify for a good conduct medal in a subsequent enlistment. In this case the right to wear the gold rating badge and gold lace service stripes is terminated.

The gray shirt no longer is authorized for wear by officers and warrant officers with service dress blue A and B and by CPOs and stewards with dress blue A and B.

The regulation changes affect wearing of mourning badges:

When attending military funerals in an official capacity, officers will wear mourning badges. Wearing of mourning badges by officers attending non-military funerals is optional.

Enlisted personnel may be required to wear mourning badges at military funerals while serving as honorary pall bearers or while attending funerals in an official capacity, provided the badges are furnished at no cost to the individual. Enlisted personnel attending other funerals may wear mourning badges. These badges will be worn halfway between the shoulder and elbow on the left arm unless in conflict with the rating badge. In this case, they should be worn on the right sleeve.

Officers may be required to wear white gloves at military funerals at the discretion of authorities, and enlisted personnel may be required to wear them at military funerals if it involves no cost to the individual. Officers and enlisted personnel may wear white gloves at other funerals but only during the actual ceremonies, unless they are an authorized part of the uniform.

Another modification provides for wearing of leggings by Navy enlisted men with any form of dress only when under arms for parades or other ceremonies, for infantry or artillery drill, landing party or on guard detail. Personnel on shore patrol, beach guard, captain's orderly duty, mail petty officer tasks and other functions are no longer required to wear leggings.

Uniform regulations for midshipmen at the Naval Academy are included in printed change No. 1 to US Navy Uniform Regulations, pertaining to uniforms and insignia for all personnel now appear in the regulations except those for the Women's Reserve, which are a separate set.

The new changes specify that NROTC midshipmen officers are authorized to wear metal pin-on rank devices on each collar tip of the blue and khaki working uniform shirt.

General information relating to uniform changes which resulted from placing the new enlisted rating structure in effect, together with photographs of all specialty marks and distinguishing marks, is contained in All Hands, March 1948, pp. 31-34.

Source: "Uniform Changes Listed: Peacoat Will Get New Convertible Collar." All Hands. 375 (May 1948): 47.


Uniform Changes: New Jacket and Sweater Authorized

A Navy black jacket, 55/45 polyester/wool with a stand-up knit collar, has been approved for optional wear by officers and chief petty officers with service and working uniforms (summer khaki, summer white, winter blue, winter working blue and working khaki). Additionally, the jacket is authorized for wear in lieu of the service dress blue coat when the service dress blue uniform is worn. The wooly-pulley sweater is an option with this combination. (The jacket is an option for Navy khaki and black (blue) jackets, not a replacement.)

The jacket will soon be available at Navy Exchange Uniform Shops or can be ordered through the Uniform Support Center, Suite 200, 1545 Crossways Blvd. Chesapeake, Va. 23320 (1-800-368-4088). The jacket is worn in the same manner as the Navy khaki and black (blue) jackets.

A black V-neck style pullover sweater has been approved to replace the blue crew neck (wooly-pulley). The V-neck style sweater is available in both light (acrylic) and heavy (wool) weaves and will be worn in the same manner as the blue wooly-pulley sweater. The blue wooly-pulley sweater is authorized for optional wear until Oct. 1, 1995. After this date, the blue wooly-pulley may not be worn ashore. However, a ship's commanding officer can authorize the blue wooly-pulley for shipboard wear. See NavAdmin 139/93 for details.

Source: "Uniform Changes: New Jacket and Sweater Authorized." All Hands. 919 (November 1993): ii.


Uniform Changes Published Pending Detailed Revision of Present Regulations

The khaki naval uniform made of tropical worsted, wool gabardine, rayon gabardine, Palm Beach type cloth or similar materials and worn by officers, CPOs and certain other personnel is now designated "service dress, khaki." When prescribed by the senior officer present, it is worn as other service dress uniforms were worn in the past.

Designation of the white uniform now authorized for commissioned and warrant officers, midshipmen, and aviation cadets is designated as "dress, white." BuPers Circ. Ltr. 188-48 (NDB, 15 Oct 1948), which states these facts, is, in effect, a group of explanatory notes concerning uniform changes published pending approval of detailed changes in Uniform Regulations. Some of these uniform changes were listed in All Hands, November 1948, p. 47. Others follow:

Underwater Mechanic (UM) having been changed from a general service rating to an exclusive emergency service rating, the specialty mark is now the letter M in a diamond, instead of the diving helmet with a wrench behind it.

The gray shirt may be worn only with gray uniforms.

Aviation midshipmen, NROTC midshipmen and aviation cadet student officers will wear the same shirt collar rank devices prescribed for student officers at the Naval Academy. These devices consist of gold-colored metal bars three-sixteenths of an inch wide and three-quarters of an inch long. One bar is worn for each stripe prescribed for wear on the sleeve of blue coats.

Enlisted personnel who hold the rates of fireman recruit, airman recruit, hospital recruit, and dental recruit will wear one diagonal stripe of the color prescribed for others in the same rating group. Construction men, construction apprentices and construction recruits will wear light blue stripes on blue and white uniforms.

Last month's All Hands published latest rulings concerning conditions under which the gray uniform may be worn until 15 Oct 1949, and concerning officers' gold lace stripes, certain Nurse Corps uniforms, and CPOs' uniform coats and overcoats. These matters are also covered in BuPers Circ. Ltr. 188-48.

Source: "Uniform Changes Published Pending Detailed Revision of Present Regulations." All Hands. 382 (December 1948): 48.



45-1075 -- Uniforms of Chief Petty Officers, Chief Cooks, Chief Stewards, Cooks, and Stewards-Changes in

Pers-329-ECS, A2-3, 17 August 1945


(Ref.: (a) US Navy Uniform Regulations, 1941.)

1.The Secretary of the Navy has approved the following changes in reference (a):

(a)The style and design of the chief petty officer's blue coat shall be made identical with the style and design of the commissioned and warrant officer's blue service coat. (Gilt buttons shall be 35-line.)

(b)The style and design of the chief petty officer's overcoat shall be made identical with the style and design of the commissioned and warrant officer's overcoat. (40-line gilt buttons shall be worn.)

The above changes are effective immediately except that personnel concerned are authorized to wear the old-type uniform until they no longer become serviceable.

2.Detailed changes to the US Navy Uniform Regulations will be issued at a later date.

3.The changes outlined in paragraph 1 above apply to chief cooks, chief stewards, cooks, and stewards. These ratings are also authorized to wear the officer-type raincoat.-BuPers. W.M. Fechteler.

Source: "Uniforms of Chief Petty Officers, Chief Cooks, Chief Stewards, Cooks, and Stewards - Changes in." Navy Department Bulletin. (Cumulative edition, 1943): 476-477.


R 112322Z JUN 03 ZYB MIN PSN 816148J28

UNCLAS //N02300//










Source: United States. Chief of Naval Operations. "Task Force Uniform." NAVADMIN [Naval Administrative] Message 154/03. 11 June 2003.


W-V(S) Officers to Wear Stars on Their Uniforms


Officers of the Women's Reserve who are classified W-V(S) are authorized to wear a blue star above the sleeve braid on their uniforms by BuPers ltr. Pers-34-ECS QR/JJ55, dated 15 Sept. 1944. The ruling affects of all Wave officers except those of the staff corps, for whom existing staff insignia has already been authorized.

The star will be embroidered in reserve blue for the navy blue uniforms and in navy blue for the white and grey uniforms. It is to be centered on the sleeve one-fourth inch above the braid with the lower ray pointed downward. The insignia may be worn beginning 15 Oct. 1944. All W-V(S) officers are required to have the star on their uniforms after 15 Nov. 1944.

The directive also permits officers to wear metal pin-on collar devices on working smocks. W-V(S) officers wear the rank insignia on both sides of the collar; staff officers wear the corps insignia on the left side of the working smock collar and the rank device on the right side. The insignia is to be centered on the collar one inch from the front edge.

Source: "W-V(S) Officers to Wear Stars on Their Uniforms." All Hands. 331 (October 1944): 68.


WAVES Get Slacks, White Uniforms: Summer Work Uniforms to be Navy Blue

Navy blue for work. White for dress.

These are the latest and final changes in summer uniforms of the Women's Reserve of the Navy established in circular letter JJ55-3, dated February 4, 1943.

The service dress white was approved for enlisted personnel as well as officers after it was decided to change the color of the summer working uniform from reserve to navy blue, which resulted in keeping the WAVES in navy blue the year around.

White will be optional for enlisted WAVES but required for officers.

A white, short-sleeved, cotton gabardine shirtwaist will be the shirt worn with the summer blue uniform. Enlisted women will wear their rating marks on the sleeves of these shirts. Officers will wear collar insignia. Removal of the suit jackets while working will be permissible.

Black shoes will be worn with working uniform and white shoes with the service dress uniform. It is now permissible for women to wear buckle type shoes with dress uniform, both winter and summer.

The working uniform will be a cotton gabardine suit instead of the previously announced reserve blue suit of the same material, and will be of the same design as the woolen winter uniform. The change was made because the reserve blue color, now used for winter work shirts and for officers' sleeve stripes, was found to be unsatisfactory for the entire suit.

When wearing the white uniform, women will not use the black leather should strap attached to the uniform pocket. The pocketbook will be carried in hand.

New articles of uniform for WAVES include tailored wool or cotton slacks. The slacks are to be worn with the wool or cotton uniform jacket, depending on the season, and will be used only where the work actually demands that the women wear trousers and the commanding officer so orders.

A lightweight summer raincoat and rain hat are being designed for women reservists.

Other new articles include an aviation coverall and working smocks, to be worn by women performing duties that, if handled by male personnel, would call for dungarees.

Garrison caps are not regulation for the WAVES.

The following stores have been selected by the Board of Review to distribute uniforms and accessories to members of the Women's Reserve:

CALIFORNIA: San Diego, to be elected; San Francisco, The Emporium. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Washington, Julius Garfinckel and Co., The Hecht Co., Frank R. Jelleff, Inc. FLORIDA: Jacksonville, Cohen Brothers, Ship's Service Department (U.S. Naval Air Station); Miami, Burdine's, Inc.; Pensacola, to be selected.

GEORGIA: Atlanta, Rich's Inc.; Milledgeville, Union Dry Goods (Macon). ILLINOIS: Chicago, Carson Pirie and Scott, Marshall Field and Company. INDIANA: Bloomington, L.S. Ayres and Company (Indianapolis). IOWA: Cedar Falls, Hughes Dry Goods (Accessories only), The James Black Dry Goods (Coats and suits only) (Waterloo, Iowa).

LOUISIANA: New Orleans, Maison Blanche Co. MASSACHUSETTS: Boston, William Filene's Sons Co.; Northampton, William Filene's Sons Co. NEW YORK: New York City, Abraham and Straus, B. Altman and Co., Bloomingdale's, Frederick Loeser and Co., Lord and Taylor, R.H. Macy and Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, John Wanamaker.

OHIO: Cleveland, The Halle Brothers Co. OKLAHOMA: Norman, Ship's Service Dept. (Naval Training School), Rothschild's B and M; Stillwater, Rothschild's B and M. PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia, Strawbridge and Clothier. RHODE ISLAND: Quonset Point, Gladding's (Providence).

TENNESSEE: Memphis, O. Lowenstein and Co. TEXAS: Corpus Christi, Perkins Brothers Co. WASHINGTON: Pasco, Ship's Service Dept. (Naval Air Station); Seattle, Frederick and Nelson. WISCONSIN: Madison, Harry S. Manchester, Inc.

Source: "WAVES Get Slacks, White Uniforms: Summer Work Uniform to be Navy Blue." All Hands. 312 (March 1943): 20, 50.


Waves to Have Exercise Suit

An exercise suit, consisting of light blue denim shorts and matching skirt, to be worn with a long or short-sleeved white shirt and blue or white ankle socks, has been approved for wearing by members of the Women's Reserve when participating in sports activities which require this type of garment.

The garment may be purchased from unappropriated welfare funds and provided as an item of station equipment whenever the CO makes participation obligatory in a particular sport for which the exercise suit is deemed appropriate.

The suit is to be purchased by the women themselves whenever the CO designates that the garment must be worn by enlisted personnel taking part in any particular sport but in which participation is not obligatory.

Whenever the CO has not prescribed a regulation outfit for sports, the garment may be worn optionally by officers and enlisted personnel while engaging in any sports activity for which the suit is appropriate.

Other exercise suits which have been authorized by local COs may be worn until the present supply is exhausted or those in possession are no longer serviceable. The new garment will not be available in the stores for several months.

For details see the letter from the Chief of Naval Personnel dated 16 Nov. 1944 to all naval activities in the U.S. and commandants of 10th, 14th, 15th, and 17th Naval Districts and NOB, Bermuda (QR/JJ55 Pers-34-ECS).

Source: "Waves to have Exercise Suit." All Hands. 333 (December 1944): 77.


What the Well-Dressed Wave Will Wear

Next spring Women's Reserve personnel will don gray-and-white, striped seersucker dresses, replacing the navy-blue cotton suit. The skirt of the new uniform dress has a generous kick pleat and set-in belt. A new button-on tie is fastened at the collarline of the bodice, eliminating bulky material at the back of the neck.

To complete the new uniform a long sleeved collarless jacket of matching design will be worn over the dress. Fitted snugly at the waist, it has one real and three simulated flap pockets. Except for the crown which carries out the striped seersucker motif, hat styles will not be altered.

Officer personnel will wear exactly the same uniforms except for insignia of rank and officer hat. The change was made to provide more convenient washable hot-weather garb, and in basic design will be similar to present uniforms.

A new working smock has been designed for spring wear for personnel of hospital corps and other activities authorized to wear smocks in place of regular uniforms. With a full-cut, bias skirt and draped back, the new navy-blue broadcloth smock will give more practical comfort.

Both officer and enlisted personnel will wear a new lightweight raincoat for spring showers next year. In basic design, but lighter fabric, it is identical with the regular Women's Reserve raincoat. An officer's havelock will cover the hat and snap securely under the chin.

Changes in winter uniform regulations for Women Reservists: (1) The navy blue shirt may be worn by all personnel at work; (2) the reserve blue shirt, or the white shirt, may be worn optionally for dress.

Black, moderately styled, dress shoes with regulation dress heel of 2-inches may be worn with the working uniform, except during periods of drill at which time the commanding officer may prescribe service shoes. Plain rayon, silk or lisle thread hose are within regulations at all times and on all occasions.

Source: "What the Well-Dressed Wave Will Wear." All Hands. 320 (November 1943): 78.



Navy Department
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Washington, D.C. 20350

[31 July 1972]


Women's New Dress Blues Aren't Blue

The Navy has announced a new Service Dress Blue uniform for enlisted women to be effective when current uniform stocks are depleted. The uniform was developed to be compatible with men's new enlisted uniform.

The uniform features changes in color, material and insignia, but retains the present style. The new uniform will be black rather than the present Navy blue, and will be made from a new 10-ounce polyester/wool tropical blend material rather than the present 12-ounce serge.

Collar devices (embroidered anchor and propellor) will be eliminated so that the uniform will match the plain collar style of the men's uniform.

The women's new uniform will feature pewter buttons and a new pewter hat device, also like the men's, which displays the letters, "U.S.N.", over an eagle.

Source: "Women's New Dress Blues Aren't Blue." OPNAV [Office of the Chief of Naval Operations] Information Bulletin. 31 July 1972: p. [1?].

Published: Thu Jan 12 11:20:48 EST 2017