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Description and Wear of Uniform Components

Article 3501.84
Sword (Officers)

The sword shall have a cut and thrust blade, from 22 inches to 36 inches long,  half basket hilt, and fit in a scabbard of plain black grain leather or synthetic material presenting the leather appearance.
Sword, sword belt and sword knot are prescribable for all Navy Commissioned Officers on active duty (except Chaplains) in the rank of Lieutenant Commander and above.  The sword is optional for Lieutenants and Below.

a.  Sword Belt.  Two sword belt styles are authorized:
(1) The traditional sword belt is made of plain black grain leather, or synthetic material presenting the same appearance, 1-3/4 inch wide, with sling straps of the same material, 3/4 inch wide.  The buckle and mounting are gold plated with the buckle 2 inches in diameter.

(2) The new shoulder sword sling consists of white cotton webbing with sliding shoulder pad, an adjust­ing buckle, and a sword attaching ring.  The sling is worn beneath the coat, over the right shoulder extending across the torso, or over left shoulder, with the ring attachment over the top of the left hipbone, at a point where the sword slit is located in the coat.  The sling is worn so that the ring attachment protrudes through the sword slit of the coat, but so that the white webbing is not visible from the outside.

b.  Sword knot. Consists of a loop of 1/2 inch gold lace, 24 inches long with slide and tassel.

c.  Preparing the Sword Knot.  While holding the blade handle to the left, pass the lace through the slit in the guard of the hilt.  When forming the initial bight of lace the suspended lengths should be somewhat disproportionate.  (One end should be 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch longer than the other.)

After taking one turn of the remaining lace and knot around the sword handle, pass the sword knot through the protruding initial bight and adjust the lace slide, as illustrated below:


After taking one turn of the remaining lace and knot around the sword handle, pass the sword knot through the protruding initial bight and adjust the lace slide, as illustrated below:


Take two or more additional turns.  Upon completion, the knot should hang free as illustrated below:


Correct Wear
Wear the sword belt under the coat.  The short belt strap and lock swivels are passed through the coat opening on the left side (as shown) and the longer strap hangs free.  Hold the sword with the right hand and attach the back swivels to the scabbard rings as shown.


Twist the sword one half turn in a clockwise direction and suspend on the sword hook with the uppermost scabbard ring. The sword handle faces aft when properly worn.


When wearing an overcoat with Full Dress Blue, the sword goes through the slit in the bridge coat and the lower loop goes through the back vent in the coat and the sword attached - same as Full Dress Blue.  A sword is not worn with All-Weather coat other than specified in article 6201.1.a(1).
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