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When The Wear Of The Army Uniform Is Required Or Prohibited


All soldiers will wear the Army uniform when on duty, unless granted an exception to wear civilian clothes. The following personnel may grant exceptions:

  • Commanders of major Army commands (MACOMs).
  • Assistant Secretaries, the Secretary of Defense or his designee, or Secretary of the Army.
  • Heads of Department of Defense agencies.
  • Heads of Department of the Army Staff agencies.

Soldiers traveling on Air Mobility Command (AMC) and non-AMC flights on permanent change of station (PCS) orders, temporary duty (TDY), emergency leave, or space-available flights, are authorized to wear civilian clothes. Soldiers must ensure clothing worn is appropriate for the occasion and reflects positively on the Army. Travel to certain countries requires wear of civilian clothing. For up-to-date information concerning mandatory wear of civilian clothing in foreign countries, see DOD 4500.54G, The Department of Defense Foreign Clearance Guide (available online at The individual’s travel orders will reflect information authorizing the wear of civilian clothing.

Soldiers may wear the BDU when deploying as part of a unit move and the mode of transportation is for the exclusive use of the military. Embarkation and debarkation points will be in military-controlled areas.

Army National Guard technicians who are also members of the Army National Guard will wear the appropriate Army duty uniform while engaged in their civil service status.

Wearing Army uniforms is prohibited in the following situations:

  • In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interest, or when engaged in off duty civilian employment.
  • When participating in public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies, or public demonstrations, except as authorized by competent authority.
  • When attending any meeting or event that is a function of, or is sponsored by, an extremist organization.
  • When wearing the uniform would bring discredit upon the Army.
  • When specifically prohibited by Army regulations.

Soldiers will wear headgear with the Army uniform, except under the following circumstances:

  • Headgear is not required if it would interfere with the safe operation of military vehicles.
  • The wear of military headgear is not required while in or on a privately owned vehicle (POV), a commercial vehicle, or on public conveyance (such as a subway, train, plane or bus).
  • Soldiers will not wear headgear indoors unless under arms in an official capacity or when directed by the commander, such as for indoor ceremonial activities.
  • Soldiers will carry their headgear, when it is not worn, in their hand while wearing service, dress, and mess uniforms.
  • Soldiers are not required to wear headgear to evening social events (after Retreat) when wearing the Army blue and white uniforms, the enlisted green dress uniform, the Army green maternity dress uniform, or the mess and evening mess uniforms.
  • Soldiers are authorized storage of the headgear, when it is not worn, in the BDU cargo pockets. Soldiers must fold the headgear neatly as not to present a bulky appearance.
  • Soldiers will not attach the headgear to the uniform, or hang it from the belt.

Soldiers may continue to wear uniform items changed in design or material as long as the item remains in serviceable condition, unless specifically prohibited. See Appendix D, “Mandatory Possession and Wearout Dates,” of AR 670-1.

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