Navy Announces New Uniform Components and Rules

Story Number: NNS110127-03Release Date: 1/27/2011 1:08:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations approved Navy Uniform Board recommendations Jan. 25.

The recommendations include a new cutlass for chiefs, an overblouse for female officers and chiefs, updated rules for portable communication devices and clarification on the manner of wear for flight suits.

"Whether addressing new proposals or updating old regulations to the current operating environment, the Uniform Board has taken input from the fleet and provided the best recommendations and proposed solutions for CNO's approval," said Capt. William Park, head, Officer Personnel Plans and Policy, who also oversees the Uniform Matters Office. "The result is a set of adaptive uniform regulations that maintains the professional appearance of our Sailors."

Designed to be worn by members of an official party during ceremonies requiring officers to wear swords, the chief petty officer (CPO) cutlass may be the most visible of the announced uniform changes. With a twenty-six inch stainless steel blade and four laser engraved CPO anchors (CPO, SCPO, MCPO and MCPON) on the base, the new cutlass is expected to be available for purchase in August. As an optional uniform item, the Uniform Board sought to ensure uniformity in appearance by directing the cutlass to be worn only when all members of an official party are wearing swords.

The next change was the approval of an overblouse option for female officers and chiefs when wearing the poly/wool service khaki uniform. Since the roll-out of the service uniform for junior enlisted, the Office of Women's Policy had received regular feedback from the fleet, requesting a similar overblouse option for female officers and CPOs to wear with their service khaki uniform. When this change takes effect in sixty days, female officers and CPOs will be able to wear the overblouse with slacks or skirts.

Portable electronic devices were another topic of concern for Sailors, which prompted the Uniform Board to make several noteworthy changes. Effective 60 days from the announcement, Sailors will be authorized to use these devices while in their service or working uniform, to include when walking. Although authorized, the device must be conservative in color and design, cannot distract from the appearance of the uniform, must be worn on the belt aft of the elbow and cannot interfere with the rendering of military courtesies and honors.

The final set of changes announced in the update were regarding the manner of wear for the aircrew flight suit. While in the continental United States, the green flight suit will be worn with a black undershirt, while overseas, aircrew may wear tan flight suits with brown undershirts as determined by the Navy component commander.

To support the Centennial of Naval Aviation, CNO is allowing flight suits to be worn at designated events in calendar year 2011. A list of these approved Centennial of Naval Aviation events will be released quarterly by Commander, Naval Air Forces.

To learn more about these uniform changes, read NAVADMIN 025/11, at

For information on obtaining uniform items contact NEX Uniform Support Center toll-free at 1-800-368-4088, or by going to

For more information from the chief of naval personnel, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

2/8/2011 6:33:00 PM
For those not in National Capitol Region/Naval District Washington (most of MD, DC, and N. VA): we were finally required to wear NWU (M-Th) as of Dec 2010. However, we are not allow to get out of our cars other than at home or workplace (no stopping at childcare or gas station). Those live off base and don’t work on base need to go home, change, and go gas up for commute to work the next day. How do you say “smart sailor, dumb rule”? I will be working for a real top 50 company at my eaos.

2/8/2011 6:29:00 PM
Other branches we work with actually like our NWU. Sailors should stop and talk only when it is safe. I'd hate to see a Sailor hit by a car and find out he was on his phone.

2/8/2011 2:18:00 PM
at LCDR Aviator, Virginia. That's an interesting comment, 1st off, your giving creedence to someone wearing Tigerstripes from the Vietnam era. 2nd, considering here at Ft Dix and around the area, the NWU's are probably the best recruiting tool the Navy has come up with in the recent past. My Sailors like it, the Army guys like it and it's got a look that gets noticed and sparks interest in the Navy from the younger generation. Aquaflage is here to stay.

2/8/2011 1:04:00 PM
It is a good day to see the military machine updating and streamlining to keep us in the “now.” It is important for us to be adaptive and be capable of preventing stagnation with the “Old ways are the best and only way” mentality that would keep us in the Ice Ages forever. I’d go as far to say that electronic devices are an asset and only contribute to the expediency and efficiency of everyday work and discipline.

2/8/2011 11:37:00 AM
Did they get a female officer to proof-read para (5) of the NAVADMIN?? It doesn't mention collar devices, and it says you wear the namtags, etc like you would with summer whites. That means hard shoulder boards for officer types. And I'm assuming you don't wear a belt if you wear the overblouse with the service khaki pants? It isn't mentioned.

2/8/2011 11:30:00 AM
I like the new changes, I just wish they were more specific on the cell phone one, it does not say if you have to hang up and salute when you see a officer or do you just keep on walking and talking?

2/8/2011 6:44:00 AM
I agree the CNO should authorize the off-base wear of NWU's. But I strongly disagree that Sailors being authorized to "Walk and Talk" on cellphones while in uniform is unprofessional. I've seen many business type executives conducting important business deals while walking from one place to the next.

2/7/2011 7:31:00 PM
Everyone needs to quit whining about flight suits. The people who complain clearly have an inferiority complex! It SHOULD be a regular uniform treated in much the same way the Air Force treats it. AND I'M NOT AND AVIATOR OR IN A FLIGHT STATUS...AND I DON'T WEAR ONE. Get over it already!!!!

2/7/2011 12:26:00 PM
KNOW and FOLLOW the rules. When in doubt regarding policy, ASK for clarification on the intent and purpose of the guidelines. -- PROFESSIONALISM is PARAMOUNT!

2/5/2011 7:01:00 AM
The Army looks atrocious in their ACU uniform while in a grocecery store, the mall, or even the movies on a Friday night. The wear and conduct of Soldiers in uniform is not just my lament. The other services and public view the Army as undisciplined slobs. Guess what Navy, we’re not too far behind. Wearing the NWU out in town is viewed as the same. Furthermore, as an enlisted member, I’ve seen a LTJG wearing a flight suit, with no cover, walk into a restaurant out in town. The aviation and officer community has lost a little more respect and made the rest of us look like clowns. Big Navy, you talk of tradition, how about lead by tradition.

2/4/2011 7:25:00 PM
Nothing like tradition! Remember when "THEY" started to phase out the 13 chances to say NO - man was that uniform a 'chick magnet'! And I always faired well on a base with STRICT rules of dress. TODAY, the PC crowd has done it's best to make 'my' navy a division of the Sunday after Church Sewing Circle. Smoke, drink and use "Salty Language" and one's advancement is at risk. Guess "THEY" have been creating a Gay Friendly military for a long time now.

2/4/2011 12:57:00 PM
LT in DC. You realise, of course, that the NWU gets active ongoing ridicule from every other branch of service, right? I have heard, on more than one occasion, USAF personnel thanking Navy guys, because now our working uniform is so atrocious it takes the focus off of theirs. It's amazing how many non aviators hate flight suits.

2/3/2011 3:40:00 PM
forgot to add. According to this we can walk and talk in uniform but heaven forbid your just standing there with your hand(s) in your pocket.

2/3/2011 3:37:00 PM
Jay, Virgina and MNC Walker We can were them off base in Norfolk. We can wear them in town, even eat in a restaurant, during "working hours" while wearing them. Its been like that for about a year. Some people need to read up on the uniform regs.

2/3/2011 9:03:00 AM
I am a huge fan of regulation review and of changes being made to reflect the times, with that said I think the mission should be to present a traditonal and exceptional uniform apperance. I am against Sailors walking and talking on their cell phones as well as personnel who are unaware of the proper wear of a uniform, they are both damning in nature and should be addressed at every impasse. NWUs offbase would be a pleasant change and it would promote the new direction the fleet is headed.

2/3/2011 2:53:00 AM
Walking and talking on cell phones? I just don't agree, because that leaves too much gray area. For sailors to be talking about and worrying about things outside of what they are supposed to be concerned about during the work day. What's next, recruits to bring thier iphones to bootcamp so they can keep thier facebook status updated?

2/2/2011 10:00:00 AM
I am all for change, but some things just don't need to happen. First it was allowing back-packs to be slung over the shoulders, Now you can walk and talk on your cell phone(both unprofessional looking at best). As far as the flight suits, truly ridiculous that this "unique breed" as referred to in a previous post, gets to wear this god awful uniform item as they please. A clean, pressed set of coveralls or NWU's looks better than that atrocity any day! And, it's not whining, its an opinion.

2/1/2011 7:24:00 PM
Just don't completely take away my Coveralls.

2/1/2011 6:32:00 PM
MNC in Walker, CA: I understand your annoyance at people wearing the uniform when not authorized. The thing that annoys me more than anything is how somebody who is supposed to understand uniform rules interprets the uniform rules how they want to. The admin msg states: ROUTINE SHORT-TERM STOPS WHILE TRANSITING BETWEEN WORK AND PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE NWU/CUU ARE AUTHORIZED. Stopping at a grocery store to pick up something is a ROUTINE STOP. I carry the regs in my pocket just for that occasion

2/1/2011 11:15:00 AM
The NWU should be authorized off-base and on a travel status. Heck, while in D.C., I see Army guys walking around in their ACUs with a watch cap fleece top.

2/1/2011 11:15:00 AM
The undershirt color, though insignificant to some, is a source of pride and reverence in the squadron. It's use helps define a squadron's "esprit de corps!" Why would we want to take that away?? What harm did it do?

1/31/2011 11:57:00 PM
Enforcement of existing Uniform Regulations needs attention. There are many Sailors that are not wearing the NWU correctly, and are the hold-up in our Navy ever thinking of reducing the existing restrictions on it's wear. Examples: The blouse is in proper position in distance to the pants pockets, proper dressing of the pants over the boots, sleeves rolled correctly and the proper distance to the elbows, and cleanliness. Sailors - do your part first, Chiefs-let's focus on the above more closely.

1/31/2011 11:33:00 PM
I think that this comment section is bogus. Once the decision is made just follow it. When I was in it was Wings of Gold Go where your told. Too much PC. I would trade places with any of you in a heartbeat. I served from 1987 - 1998. I was stupid and got out. Be thankful for your job. Be thankful for your shipmates. They are the best people you will ever know. I am proud of all of you but just do what you are told. V/R. ex AW2 (when we were a rate not a community)

1/31/2011 9:50:00 PM
Don't agree with this new cell phone policy, hate to see people walking around talking on cell phones in their own world in uniform. It was something that made us better... and I think more people need a cutlass. And is it really that hard to tuck your dang shirt in, really.

1/31/2011 5:51:00 PM
While they aviators have worked hard, the rules are clear. The Flight COVERALLS, aka Flight Suits, are to be worn ONLY when in a flight status (getting ready to fly, flying, or getting in and heading home. You can go on NSA Norfolk base, a base with no air facilities, and you will see people walking all around in flight suits. The regs for the Flight Suits should match those of the Blue Coveralls or vise versa.

1/31/2011 10:37:00 AM
Jay in VA: Everyone is NOT doing it! It is everyones responsibility to enforce the uniform regulations. If you see something jacked up, it is YOUR responsibility as a Sailor to pull that person aside and correct them. NO MATTER what their rank or position is. I have pulled a few Sailors aside in Wal-Mart or a grocery store and corrected the issue. Some Sailors just don't get it and that's why they end up going HOME!

1/29/2011 1:05:00 PM
While I find it refreshing how much of the uniform regulations have been reviewed for relevancy as of late... I just don't think sailors need to be walking around and talking on their cell phones in uniform. I think it presents a very unprofessional military appearance to be flapping your gums on your cell phone while walking, AND in uniform! I do however think it's time we let sailors carry their cell phones on them in this day and age... just walk inside to answer it!

1/29/2011 7:58:00 AM
Naval Air Flight crews and Aircrewmen have well deserved pride in the wearing of their Gold wings and flight suits. Its a tough one on some of their surface and subsurface shipmates. The mature ones recognize we are a unique breed and honor that difference.The whiners will always have something to whine about. Fly NAVY! 1911-2011

1/28/2011 9:07:00 AM
Flight suits and cams result in Navy officers and enlisted looking like a bunch of mechanics. Now provisions for cell phones and other devices!

1/27/2011 1:37:00 PM
Love these new regs. However, I wish the CNO would also make ok the use of the NWU off base. After all, everyone is doing it.

Comment submission for this story is now closed.
Capt. Paul Pearigen passes the cutlass to Command Master Chief Kevin Burg after during a change of office ceremony on the Captain's Patio at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
100716-O-XXXXX-006 CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (July 16, 2010) Capt. Paul Pearigen, left, the commanding officer of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, passes the cutlass to Command Master Chief Kevin Burg after receiving it from Master Chief Petty Officer Jill Eastin, right, during a change of office ceremony on the Captain's Patio at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Burg/Released)
July 23, 2010
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click here.