Uniform Policy Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact for Uniform and Insignia Wear Policy questions?
The first person to contact is your first line leader and subsequent leaders in the chain of command or the NCO Support Channel. Once your immediate chain of command or NCO Support Channel has been exhausted, you should contact your MACOM G-1. MACOMs also have very knowledgeable personnel able to assist you with your queries. In the event the issue is not resolved at the MACOM level, strongly recommend the MACOM G-1 representative contact the Uniform Policy Proponent for final resolution.
Why does the American Flag worn on utility uniforms have the star field facing to the right?
IAW AR 670-1, para 28-18, the full-color U.S. flag cloth replica is worn so that the star field faces forward, or to the flag’s own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer’s right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the reverse side flag.
Who is authorized to wear the combat patch for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Soldiers must check with their chain of command for a determination of whether they are authorized to wear the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS).
Criteria for the SSI-FWTS (combat patch) for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom require units to have been deployed in the CENTCOM area of operations, under the command of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, and to have actively participated in, or supported ground combat operations against hostile forces in which they were exposed to the threat of enemy action or fire, either directly or indirectly. Soldiers who are deployed in the area of operations on training exercises or in support of operations other than Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom are not authorized the SSI-FWTS, unless those exercises or operations became combat or support missions to Operation Enduring Freedom.
(Ref: para 28-17b(13 and 14), AR 670-1)
What is the policy for wear of the black beret? How do I wear the black beret?
The black beret was issued to officers, warrant officers, and enlisted soldiers who do not currently wear the maroon, green, or tan beret. New soldiers are issued the black beret upon assignment to their first permanent duty assignment after the completion of initial entry training or officer/warrant officer basic courses. Cadets and officer/warrant officer candidates will not wear the black beret. Split-option soldiers or soldiers in the Simultaneous Membership Program will wear the black beret only when performing duties with their units.
The Army flash is the only flash authorized for wear on the black beret, unless a distinctive flash was approved for the black beret before the implementation of the black beret as The Army standard headgear (for example, OPFOR forces).
Soldiers wear the beret so that the headband is straight on the head, one inch above the eyebrows, with the flash over the left eye and the excess material draped over to the right, down to at least the top of the ear, but no lower than the middle of the ear. A dip is formed in the wool, just behind the flash stiffener, and a slight fold is formed to the right front of the beret, next to the flash. Soldiers will tie off the adjusting ribbon into a non-slip knot, cut off the excess adjusting ribbon as close to the knot as possible, and tuck the knot into the edge binding at the back of the beret. The beret is form fitting to the head when worn properly; therefore, soldiers may not wear hairstyles that distort the beret.
Soldiers will wear the beret with the utility and service (class A and B) uniforms in garrison environments, only. Soldiers will wear the patrol cap (formerly called the BDU cap) in the field when they are authorized to remove their Kevlar helmet. Commanders will determine wear of the beret during deployments.
Commanders may authorize the wear of the patrol cap on work details or in other situations when wear of the beret is impractical, such as in the motor pool where it could become easily soiled. The only soldiers authorized to blouse boots with the class A and B uniforms are soldiers authorized to wear of the maroon, green, or tan berets; those assigned to Air Assault coded positions; and MPs performing MP duties.
Soldiers who are not issued or who do not wear the black beret will wear the patrol cap with utility uniforms and the garrison cap with the service uniforms.
The beret is a retainable, non-recoverable organizational-issue item. Therefore, soldiers will not return the beret to CIF when they PCS/ETS. Additionally, when berets become unserviceable, soldiers may turn in the berets to CIF for a replacement beret.
(Ref: para 3-5, AR 670-1)
My unit doesn’t have a unit crest. What do I wear on my beret flash?
Soldiers in units without a unit crest wear their Regimental Distinctive Insignia (RDI) on the beret flash.
(Ref: para 3-5c(1), AR 670-1)
How do I prepare the beret?
Note: the following procedures need not be followed if you can achieve the proper fit of the beret (as described above in the previous question). If you have difficulty achieving the fit or form, it may help to follow the instructions below. Remember, if you decide to follow the preparation procedures, it is very important to avoid damaging the beret. Therefore, you should seek the advice of soldiers who are experienced in preparing the beret for wear. Although variations in methods exist, listed below are some general instructions that have proven successful for many soldiers in preparing the beret for wear.
– If the beret comes with a liner, remove it by cutting it out of the beret.
– While dry, lightly shave the beret, using very light strokes, to achieve a smooth, felt-like appearance. Avoid cutting the beret; use masking tape to remove the fuzz from the wool.
– Wet the beret with cold water, but hold the flash away from the water as much as possible. Wring out the beret until slightly damp.
– Fit the beret to your head and adjust the cord as necessary. Wait until the beret is dry before cutting the excess cord, in case you have to readjust the fit after the beret is dry.
– Using both hands to secure the beret onto your head, form a dip behind the flash, pull the excess material to the right side, and form a slight fold to right front of the beret.
– To achieve the fold to the right front, you may find you need to bend or trim the right side of the cardboard stiffener. Use caution if trimming; trim no more than ½-inch.
– Wear the beret until it is almost dry, continuing to smooth the material over the crown of your head, the excess down to the right, behind the flash, and to the right front.
– When the beret is about ¾ dry, you can remove it from your head and allow it to finish by air-drying; it will retain its shape.
– Attach insignia by pushing the prongs through the stiffener. Since the Army flash is already sewn on to the stiffener, the thickness of the materials prevents use of the keepers on the back of the insignia. If enough of the prongs extend through the material, you can bend the prongs back against the back of the stiffener. If not, exercise caution when putting the beret on the head.
– Before attaching future flashes, attach insignia to the flash before it is sewn onto the beret; bend the prongs back against the back of the flash, then have the flash sewn onto the beret stiffener.
Hazards typically associated with prepping the beret for wear:
– Dampening or soaking can cause shrinkage and could cause the dye to bleed into the flash.
– Shaving wool pills could cut the beret
– Remember – “You break it, you buy it!” Soldiers issued replacement berets resulting from negligence must reimburse the government.
Are spandex shorts authorized with the IPFU? Can I mix the long-sleeved t-shirt with the shorts, or the pants with the short-sleeved t-shirt?
Gray or black spandex shorts are authorized with the IPFU, as an optional item. There are no restrictions on the combination of IPFU items, unless the commander has prescribed a particular uniform for formations or unit PT. The various IPFU items allow for comfort in a variety of temperatures/conditions.
(Ref: Chap 14, AR 670-1)
Where do I wear the Physical Fitness Badge on the IPFU?
On the short and long-sleeved t-shirts, wear the badge in the same place as on the PFU t-shirt: on the upper left front side. On the jacket, center the badge 1/2 inch above the word “Army.”
(Ref: para 14-5, AR 670-1)
What is the wearout date for the old “wooly-pully” sweater?
There is no wearout date. The old style 100 percent wool sweater is still authorized for wear. It is considered an optional sweater for those soldiers who prefer wool. The other authorized version of the pullover sweater is 100 percent acrylic.
(Ref: para 27-26c(2), AR 670-1)
Can I wear sew-on insignia on the desert BDU (DBDU)?
Soldiers may wear either pin-on or sew-on rank, branch insignia, and subdued badges on the desert BDU. If soldiers wear sew-on insignia, they will bear all costs associated with the application and removal of the insignia. This includes any damage to the organizational DBDU. All optional insignia must be removed from the DBDU prior to returning the garment to organizational stock.
(Ref: para 5-5b, AR 670-1)
I have 10 Army Achievement Medals. How do I display the 10th award?
To display the 10th award, soldiers wear a second ribbon, placing it after the first ribbon; the second ribbon counts as one award. Soldiers may wear no more than four oak leaf clusters on each ribbon. If the receipt of future awards reduces the number of oak leaf clusters sufficiently (that is, a silver oak leaf for five awards), soldiers will remove the second ribbon and place the appropriate number of devices on a single ribbon.
(Ref: para 29-12a(2), AR 670-1)
Is it mandatory for soldiers to wear the nametape on the ECWCS (Gortex) parka? How is it worn? How are rank and the CLI worn?
Yes. Soldiers are required to wear the nametape on the pocket flap of the left sleeve of the parka. Nametapes will be 3-1/2 inches long and ½ inch wide, with ¼ inch block lettering. They are sewn ¼ inch above the bottom of the pocket flap, and centered left to right.
Soldiers may wear pin-on insignia of rank or a cloth loop insignia of rank, over the front tab of the parka. The cloth rank must be sewn closed; Velcro-fastened cloth rank is no longer authorized. If soldiers wear the Combat Leaders Identification (CLI) on the parka, they may use pin-on rank, or they may sew rank insignia (the same as is used on the collar of the BDU) onto the CLI.
(Ref: para 7-7a(1)(b), AR 670-1)
Are the Green Jungle boots still authorized for wear? Who can wear tanker boots?
Yes. Green Jungle Boots remain authorized as optional footwear until no longer serviceable. However, they are no longer available for purchase in Army Military Clothing Sales Store. All personnel are authorized to wear tanker boots, unless restricted by the commander. Also, the commander may require soldiers wear standard issue boots in formation.
(Ref: para 27-3d(2), AR 670-1)
Are Hi-Tech and Corcoran Marauder boots authorized for wear? If not, what is the rule for optional boots?
No, these are not acceptable optional boots. Paragraph 27-3d, AR 670-1, states optional boots must be black boots of a similar commercial design, with a plain or capped toe. Optional boots, to include jungle boots, are authorized for wear in lieu of the standard black combat boot. This means that soldiers have two options to the issue boot: boots of similar design to the issue black combat boot, or the approved Army jungle boots – not a similar design jungle boot. Optional boots are not authorized for wear in formation when uniformity in appearance is required.
(Ref: para 27-3d, AR 670-1)
What is a princess pleat?
The princess pleats are vertical seams that run the length of the AG 415 blouse on the left and right sides of the blouse, front and back.
Are the pin-on Drill Sergeant and Recruiter Badges sold in the Military Clothing Sales Stores authorized for wear on the ACU?
Yes, they are authorized for wear.
Is the old style dress blue jacket for females still authorized for wear? How do I wear my insignia if I have the new style female blues jacket?
The old style blue jacket, produced prior to August 1992, is still authorized for wear. Insignia on that jacket is worn as described in AR 670-1 (one branch, one U.S.). For the new style blue jacket, produced after August 1992, soldiers will wear their insignia in the same manner as they do on the class A jacket.
(Ref: paragraphs 21-1e, 28-4a(2)(b), 28-4b(2)(b), 28-12a(3), and (4)
Are the foliage green Shoulder Sleeve Insignias authorized for wear on the ACU?
Are the Velcro conversion kits authorized for wear?
The Velcro conversion kits are not authorized for wear on the ACU.
What is the current policy concerning the pen/pencil slots on the ACU?
IAW AR 670-1 paragraph 1-14b, this policy applies to the wear of the ACU.