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Uniform Matters

Ask the Master Chief

Get your answers from the Office of Uniform Matters

Our Navy uniforms are a central part of our everyday life. They are symbols of our heritage and mission that reflect on us personally and collectively.

But let's face it, there are a lot of specific regulations and no shortage of bad info floating around.

Command Master Chief Rita Carman recently joined the Uniform Matters Office from USS Gonzalez (DDG 66); she has served on nine ships and is bringing 22 years of experience to the team.

"Ask the Master Chief" is a service of the Uniform Matters Office, maintaining a direct communication line with Sailors to answer their questions and listen to feedback.

Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Q1. Can I use an umbrella?

A: Umbrellas are authorized with the Service Uniform and above, but not with the Navy Working Uniform (NWU). Umbrellas donned with the uniform must be solid black in color. (Refer to U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 3. Basic, Prescribable and Optional uniform components are listed for each uniform ensemble).

Q2. Can I wear an awareness bracelet?

A: No. The rubber or silicone awareness bracelets are not authorized. While understandably popular, awareness bracelets are not considered jewelry and are considered "faddish." (Refer to U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, chapter 1, section 5, article 1501.1.f. and chapter 2, section 2, article 2201.6).

Q3. Do I need to wear a belt when it won't be seen because of the over blouse or NWU shirt?

A: Yes. Belts are required uniform components and are to be worn on all uniform components that have belt loops (i.e. trousers, slacks and skirts). They are to be worn even when they won't be seen. (Refer to U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, chapter three.)

Uniform FAQs will regularly be published on All Hands Magazine, so check back often to see new questions.

If you have questions on uniform regulations, policy or changes, you can get the definitive answer by emailing "Ask the Master Chief" at

Remember, the authoritative source documents can always be found in the uniform section of the Naval Personnel Command's Website.