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Thinking about joining the military? Perhaps you’ve already signed up and are waiting to head to boot camp or someone close to you has joined the military. Some of the common questions among recruits and their loved ones relate to military uniforms.
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Knowing the difference between military uniforms, when to wear them and how often they change can be confusing. Each branch has its own uniforms, and each uniform has specific guidelines and regulations that must be followed.Why does the military wear uniforms?
The military wears uniforms to create consistency and a sense of comradery. It also establishes professionalism and makes it easy to identify rank and leadership.What uniform does the Army wear and what are the colors?
The Army has four uniforms: Combat, Service, Greens and Fitness. The Army transitioned its Combat Uniforms to the Operational Camouflage Pattern in 2019 and has reinstituted the Green Service Uniform for everyday business. The Army Greens are being phased in through Oct. 1, 2027, when it will be mandatory for all soldiers.What uniform does the Marine Corps wear and what are the colors?
The Marine Corps has a total of six uniforms, but not all Marines are authorized to wear each one. The uniforms are Utility, Service, Blue Dress, Blue White Dress, Evening Dress and Training. Like the Navy, Marines wear Dress Blues in the fall/winter season and Blue White Dress in the spring/summer season. For the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, there are two patterns: Woodland Camouflage and Desert Camouflage, which are worn during deployments.What uniform does the Navy wear and what are the colors?
The Navy has six uniforms: Working, Service, Service Dress, Ceremonial, Dinner Dress and Training. These uniforms differ for officers, chief petty officers and enlisted members who are E6 and below. Like the Army, the Navy also changed to the Navy Working Uniform Type III in 2019. They have a green camouflage pattern. For Dress Uniforms, Dress Blues are worn in the fall/winter season and Dress Whites are worn in the spring/summer season.What uniform does the Air Force wear and what are the colors?
The Air Force has three uniforms: Utility, Dress and Training. For the Utility Uniforms, the Air Force recently completed its transition from the Airman Battle Uniform to OCP. The color pattern is the same as the Army OCPs: brown, green, tan and cream colors. The Dress Uniform has a few functions that consist of formal, semi-formal and mess dress.What uniform does the Space Force wear and what are the colors?
The Space Force has three uniforms: Utility, Dress and Training. The Utility Uniform is the Operational Camouflage Pattern Utility Uniform worn by Army and Air Force personnel, but with a distinctive blue thread and colored U.S. flag on the left arm.How many sets of uniforms do I receive?
In basic training, you will receive your initial sets of uniforms. Depending on the branch, service members typically receive three to four sets of camouflage uniforms and at least one set of all other uniforms. Officers purchase their own uniforms and may receive a stipend to help offset the cost.What is a clothing allowance? How often do I receive it?
The military provides an annual clothing replacement allowance for enlisted service members: basic and standard.
The basic clothing replacement allowance is received during the first three years of your service. The first payment is after six months of active-duty service, and the next two payments are received at the end of your anniversary month.
The standard clothing replacement allowance is received annually after three years of active-duty service and is also paid at the end of your anniversary month. Clothing allowances are determined by each branch.If I damage my uniform will the military cover repairs?
It is your responsibility to maintain your uniforms properly and make sure they’re in regulation throughout the year. However, your annual clothing allowance can be used to pay for uniform repairs or “cosmetic fixes.” Setting aside some of this allowance will allow you to easily cover unexpected costs to keep your uniform in good shape.When should I wear a certain uniform?
What uniform you should wear on any given day is usually determined by your chain of command. Special occasions and the weather can also determine what uniform you should wear. For example, service members wear a variation of the Dress Uniform at military balls or Service Uniform for a promotion ceremony.
To learn more about military uniforms, check out Military Insignia: What Are Those Stripes and Bars.