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1101 - General Information

Section 1   Article
1 POLICY 1101.1
2 HISTORY 1101.2
4 HEADGEAR 1101.4

1.  POLICY.  The purpose of the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations is to:  (1) Provide descriptions of all autho­rized U.S. Navy uniforms and components, and (2) Provide guidance for all Navy activities prescribing uniform wear in order to present a uniform image world‑wide.   
It is issued by direction of the Chief of Naval Operations and carries the force of a general order.  Any procedures or components, regarding uniforms or grooming, not discussed in these regulations are prohibited.
a.  Applicability.  The provisions of this manual apply to all personnel who are authorized to wear the U.S. Navy Uniform.  It is issued for information and guidance, and requires compliance when wearing naval uniforms.  This Manual is the sole source for dictating how to correctly wear U.S. Navy uniforms and uniform components.  It supersedes UNITED STATES NAVY UNIFORM REGULATIONS, NAVPERS 15665I dated 25 August 1995, and all other existing directives on navy uniforms.  After 1 January 1996, Navy Uniform Regulations will be distributed quarterly via BUPERS Directives in CD ROM format and will contain revisions and updates to the 1995 manual.  For distribution information, see the Bupers CD Distribution page.

b. Uniform Change Recommendations. Sailors may make uniform or uniform regulation change recommendations via their chain of command to the Navy Uniform Matters Office.  Recommendations are to be submitted in letter format with subject line REQUEST FOR UNIFORM BOARD POLICY CHANGE.  Recommendations should reflect navy-wide application with an eye towards standardization and uniform policy reduction.  Uniform change proposals are to be endorsed via cover letter by each endorsing echelon.  The final endorsement should include proposal Subject Matter Expert contact information.  Uniform proposals which are not endorsed favorably at any level will not be accepted by the office.  Proposals favorably endorsed shall be submitted to Navy Uniform Matters Office, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (N13X), 701 S. Courthouse Road, Arlington, VA 22204-2164.  Recommendations shall be submitted as follows:
(1). Fleet Units: Uniforms and uniform regulation change proposals shall be evaluated and endorsed at the Unit level, forwarded through the chain of command up to the Force (TYCOM) (N1) and Fleet Level (N1), as appropriate.  Fleet Commanders will perform a final screening and endorsement prior to final forwarding to the Navy Uniform Matters Office.

(2). Shore installations: Forward evaluated and endorsed recommendations to Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) via their respective Region Commander.  CNIC will forward recommendations to U.S. Fleet Forces (N1) for consideration.  U.S. Fleet Forces will forward approved recommendations with endorsement to the Navy Uniform Matters Office.

(3). Training Commands (less U.S. Naval Academy):  Forward evaluated and endorsed recommendations to Navy Education and Training Command (NETC).  NETC will perform a final screening and endorsement to the Navy Uniform Matters Office.

(4). All others: Uniforms and uniform regulation change proposals shall be evaluated and endorsed at the unit level and forwarded through the administrative chain of command with final endorsement to the Navy Uniform Matters Office.

2.  HISTORY.  Historically, uniforms have been the product of a Sailor's environment:  physical, geographical and technical.  Uniforms were provided for protection against the elements or to create distinction among Specialists in a growing navy.  Foremost, however, was an element of simplicity providing a uniform that would not interfere with the Sailor's everyday tasks.  Women's uniforms, on the other hand, were designed to duplicate civilian fashion trends.  Today's navy has narrowed the gap between men's and women's career paths.  Women now perform many of the same tasks and have the same specialties as their male counterparts.  These changes necessitated a more definitive policy to bring the Uniforms of both men and women more closely in line with each other.

3.  ENFORCEMENT.  These regulations define the composition of authorized uniforms. Navy uniforms are distinctive visual evidence of the authority and responsibility vested in their wearer by the United States. The prescribing authority determines when and where the uniforms in this manual are appropriate for wear. Uniforms and components shall be worn as described in these regulations. Navy personnel must present a proud and professional military appearance that will reflect positively on the individual, the Navy and the United States. Sailors are authorized to have hands in their pockets when doing so does not compromise safety nor prohibit the proper rendering of honors and courtesies. Additionally, when walking from point to point while in uniform, it is inappropriate and detracts from a professional military appearance for personnel to be smoking or using tobacco products, or to be eating and/or drinking. All personnel shall comply with these regulations and be available to teach others the correct wear of Navy uniforms. Exemplary military appearance should be the norm for uniformed personnel. These regulations describe all authorized U.S. Navy uniforms and the proper manner for their wear.


a.  General.  The cap/hat is an integral part of the uniform.  Uniform headgear is not required to be worn when ships are at sea outside harbor limits, except on specific watches or on ceremonial occasions specified by the Commanding Officer or higher authority.  Uniform headgear is required in port, unless safety prohibits wear, i.e., foreign object damage (FOD).

b.  Outdoor Wear.  Outdoors, personnel remain covered at all times unless ordered to uncover, or during religious services not associated with a military ceremony. Personnel remain covered during invocations or other religious military ceremonies such as changes of command, ships' commissioning and launchings, and military burials, etc.  The chaplain conducting the religious ceremony will guide participants following the customs of his church.

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

d.  Special Circumstances.  

(1) A military cover may be removed when entering, departing, or while riding or driving on and off base in a privately owned vehicle (POV) or bicycle.  As a military courtesy, covers should be worn by the driver of a POV when entering a military installation if required to return a salute. When riding a bicycle on or off base, wearing a safety helmet may be required by local safety instruction. 

(2) Male and female Sailors undergoing medically prescribed health treatment or care that results in a drastic loss of hair, or the scalp becomes too sensitive to wear wigs/hair pieces, military covers, protective head gear or equipment are authorized to wear fabric head coverings (solid colors of black, khaki/tan, navy blue or white).  Medically prescribed head coverings will match the color of the military cover prescribed for wear with the uniform being worn.  The need to wear fabric head coverings must be medically documented and prescribed by appropriate military healthcare providers.


a.  Polyester Uniforms.  Do not wear 100% polyester uniforms (certified navy twill) in any operating fire room.  Wear only flame retardant clothing when engaged in hot work such as welding or brazing, and when exposed to open flame, such as during boiler light‑off operations, or spark producing work such as grinding.

b.  Skirts/Dress Shoes.  Do not wear skirts or dress shoes (pumps/heels) aboard ship.  The wearing of skirts or dress shoes (pumps/heels) are not prescribable or optional aboard ship.  These items may be stored aboard ship optionally at the discretion of the service member and worn when immediately departing or returning to the ship.

c.  Poromeric Shoes.  Do not wear poromeric (e.g. corfam) shoes aboard ship for normal daily operations.  Poromeric shoes may be worn when immediately departing or returning to the ship, or when specifically authorized by the Commanding Officer for ceremonial or other special occasions.

d.  V-Neck/Sleeveless Undershirts.  Do not wear V-neck/sleeveless undershirts aboard ship for normal daily operations.  V-neck/sleeveless undershirts may be worn when immediately departing or returning to the ship, or when specifically authorized by the Commanding Officer for ceremonial or other special occasions.

e.  Acrylic Cardigan and V-Neck Sweater.  Do not wear acrylic V-neck sweater aboard ship as an outer garment during daily operations.  Acrylic V-neck sweater may be worn when immediately departing or returning to the ship, or when specifically authorized by the Commanding Officer for ceremonial or other special occasions.

a.  General.  In Executive Order 10113 of 24 February 1950, the President has delegated to the Secretary of Defense the authority to prescribe the quantity and kind of clothing or cash allowances in lieu of clothing, for enlisted personnel.

b.  Amount.  Allowances are based on the useful wear life of the various uniforms.  DOD Directive 1338.5 outlines the policies and regulations pertaining to allow­ances.  DOD Instruction 1338.18, reissued annually, sets the amount of clothing replacement allowances.  The Depart­ment of Defense Military Pay and Allowances Entitlements Manual is the authority for paying of clothing allowances.

c.  Annual Clothing Replacement Allowance (CRA)

(1) CRA is a cash allowance provided for replacing a minimum quantity of each required Uniform and paid over the estimated useful life of the articles.  The uniform components and minimum required number of each are listed on Tables 3-1-1 and 3-1-2.  While these are the minimum number required, members may acquire and maintain more than the initial issue at their own expense.

(2) CRA is for Replacing Uniforms.  Washing, dry cleaning, alterations, and repairs are the member's responsibility.  Any unusual wear and tear, damage, or loss of various articles may result in out-of-pocket costs.

d.  Command Replacement of Destroyed Uniform Items.  Personnel assigned to duties which prematurely destroy uniform items should be issued coveralls or protective outer garments.  Uniform items which are destroyed due to lack of adequate protective garments should be replaced by the command.  For additional information refer to NAVSUP Manual P485.
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