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Uniform Appearance And Fit



All soldiers must maintain a high standard of dress and appearance. Uniforms will fit properly; trousers, pants, or skirts should not fit tightly; and soldiers must keep uniforms clean and serviceable and press them as necessary.

Soldiers must project a military image that leaves no doubt that they live by a common military standard and are responsible to military order and discipline. Soldiers will ensure that articles carried in pockets do not protrude from the pocket or present a bulky appearance.

When required and prescribed by the commander, soldiers may attach keys or key chains to the uniform when performing duties such as charge of quarters, armorer, duty officer/NCO, or other duties as prescribed by the commander. Keys or key chains will be attached to the uniform on the belt, belt loops, or waistband.

At the discretion of the commander and when required in the performance of duties soldiers may wear an electronic device on the belt, belt loops, or waistband of the uniform. Only one electronic device may be worn. It may be either a pager or a cell phone. The body of the device may not exceed 4x2x1 inches, and the device and carrying case must be black; no other colors are authorized. If security cords or chains are attached to the device, soldiers will conceal the cord or chain from view. Other types of electronic devices are not authorized for wear on the uniform. If the commander issues and requires the use of other electronic devices in the performance of duties, the soldier will carry them in the hand, pocket, briefcase, purse, bag, or in some other carrying container.

Soldiers will not wear keys, key chains, or electronic devices on the uniform when the commander determines such wear is inappropriate, such as in formation, or during parades or ceremonies. Soldiers will not wear items or devices on the uniform when not performing required duties.

While in uniform, soldiers will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve objects. Soldiers will keep uniforms buttoned, zipped, and snapped. They will ensure metallic devices such as metal insignia, belt buckles, and belt tips are free of scratches and corrosion and are in proper luster or remain properly subdued, as applicable; and that all medals and ribbons are clean and not frayed. Soldiers will keep shoes and boots cleaned and shined. Soldiers will replace the rank insignia, name and US Army distinguishing tapes (nametapes), nameplates, unit patches, and combat and skill badges when unserviceable or no longer conform to standards.

Lapels and sleeves of service, dress, and mess coats and jackets will be roll-pressed, without creasing. Skirts will not be creased. Trousers, slacks, and the sleeves of shirts and blouses will be creased. Soldiers may add military creases to the AG shade 415 shirt and the battle dress uniform (BDU) coat (not the field jacket). Soldiers will center the front creases on each side of the shirt, centered on the pockets, for those garments that have front pockets. Soldiers may press a horizontal crease across the upper back of the shirt or coat (not necessary on the male shirt due to the yoke seam), and they may press three equally spaced vertical creases down the back, beginning at the yoke seam or horizontal crease. Additionally, soldiers may crease the sleeves of the BDU coat. Soldiers are not authorized to sew military creases into the uniform.

Although some uniform items are made of wash-and-wear materials or are treated with a permanent-press finish, soldiers may need to press these items to maintain a neat, military appearance. However, before pressing uniform items, soldiers should read and comply with care instruction labels attached to the items. Soldiers may starch BDUs and the maternity work uniform, at their option. Commanders will not require soldiers to starch these uniforms, and soldiers will not receive an increase in their clothing replacement allowance to compensate for potential premature wear that may be caused by starching uniforms.


Fitting instructions and alterations of uniforms will be made in accordance with AR 700-84, Issue and Sale of Personal Clothing, and TM 10-227, Fitting of Army Uniforms and Footwear. The following is a summary of general fitting guidelines:

  • Black all-weather coat. The length of the sleeves of the all-weather coat will be ½ inch longer than the service coat.
    • Males. The bottom of the black all-weather coat will reach to a point 1 ½ inches below the center of the knee.
    • Females. The bottom of the coat will reach a point at least 1 inch below the skirt hem, but not less than 1-½ inches below the center of the knee.
  • Uniform coats and jackets (male and female). The sleeve length will be 1 inch below the bottom of the wrist bone.
  • Trousers will be fitted and worn with the lower edge of the waistband at the top of the hipbone, plus or minus ½ inch. The front crease of the trousers will reach the top of the instep, touching the top of the shoe at the shoelaces.
  • Trousers will be cut on a diagonal line to reach a point approximately midway between the top of the heel and the top of the standard shoe in the back. The trousers may have a slight break in the front.
  • Knee-length skirts. Skirts lengths will be no more than 1 inch above or 2 inches below the center of the knee.
  • Long-sleeved shirts. The sleeve length will extend to the center of the wrist bone.
  • Soldiers will wear appropriate undergarments with all uniforms.

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