ODU Operational Dress Uniform (see too 'Uniforms Picture page)
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In January 2009, the Auxiliary National Board approved a recommendation
to discontinue its use within the Auxiliary, and the Chief Director has
approved this National Board action. Accordingly, the Service Dress Blue
(Alpha) uniform is no longer authorized as an Auxiliary uniform.
4/09 - BALL CAPS
ALAUX 33/08 of 10 November 2008 dealt with several Auxiliary uniform
matters. One of these involved the wear of ball caps, specifically Coast Guard unit ball caps. Section 1.C.2. stated:
"If an Auxiliarist is authorized to wear a Coast Guard unit ball cap, such wear shall not extend to activities involving public interaction. This
is to ensure that an Auxiliarist is not mistaken by the public as an active member of a Coast Guard unit with commensurate authority. For example, an
Auxiliarist may not wear a Coast Guard unit ball cap when performing VSCs."
2. Questions have arisen as to whether or not the conduct of Auxiliary patrols (e.g. - surface patrols on vessel facilities) constitutes
"...involving public interaction." The short answer is "Yes, Auxiliary patrols involve public interaction." As further clarification, the
following involve public interaction:
a. Performance of Vessel Examiner (VE) activities involving Vessel Safety Checks (VSC) and Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Exams
b. Performance of Program Visitor (PV) activities.
c. Performance of Instructor (IT) activities.
d. Performance of patrol activities (surface, air, shoreside including missions involving mobile radio facilities).
e. Performance of Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection (MSSEP) activities.
f. Performance of public outreach, public affairs, and recruiting activities.
3. Situations in which a Coast Guard unit ball cap may be worn, if authorized, include:
a. Wear of the cap to, at, and from the unit in the course of providing the direct support for which it is authorized (appropriate for
commuting, stops for gas, and drive-thru services).
b. Wear of the cap to, at, and from flotilla meetings (appropriate for commuting, stops for gas, and drive-thru services).
c. Wear of the cap to, at, and from flotilla fellowship events (appropriate for commuting, stops for gas, and drive- thru services).
4. If there is any doubt about the propriety of wearing a Coast Guard unit ball cap due to potential interaction with the public, then the Auxiliary
ball cap shall be worn.
12/08 More on UNIFORMS - Ball Caps, Insignias, etc.:
Several questions and concerns about Auxiliary uniform items have recently arisen. The following provisions are in effect to provide clarification and guidance, and they will be incorporated in the next change to the Auxiliary Manual:
1. Ball Caps.
· Auxiliary Ball Cap (aka - Dark Blue Auxiliary Baseball Cap, per section 10.D.3.b. of the Auxiliary Manual). This is the ball cap most commonly worn by Auxiliarists when a ball cap is authorized with certain uniforms. It can have either "USCG Auxiliary" or "USCG" over the word "Auxiliary" displayed (embroidered) in silver lettering on the front panel (as an option, Auxiliarists may also have the number of their flotilla, division, or region displayed in the same size lettering, for example "FLOT 11-4"). Auxiliarists must wear either the metal office collar insignia or the member collar insignia on this ball cap (embroidered/sew-on versions may be worn as an option). A few other aspects of wear remain as described in section 10.D.3.b.
· Coast Guard Unit Ball Cap (aka - Unit Ball Cap, per section 10.D.3.c. of the Auxiliary Manual).
· This is the ball cap most commonly worn by Coast Guard active duty and Reserve personnel that represents the unit to which they are currently assigned. The key consideration about an Auxiliarist's wear of a unit ball cap is that they must be authorized to wear it by the unit Commanding Officer. Recurring support is a key aspect of the command's authorization to wear a unit ball cap. Such authorization normally results from recurring support provided by an Auxiliarist to the unit, effectively earning recognition by the command as a crew member. Although an Auxiliarist may live in the surrounding area of a Coast Guard unit that alone does not provide justification to wear that unit's ball cap - there must be an element of recurring support as defined by the command. Further, like active duty and Reserve counterparts, a unit ball cap is only worn while assigned to that unit. This means that once an Auxiliarist ceases their recurring support of the unit, their authorization to wear the unit ball cap also ends. Auxiliarists must wear either the metal office collar insignia or the member collar insignia on this ball cap (embroidered/sew-on insignia are not an option).
· If an Auxiliarist is authorized by a Coast Guard command to wear the Coast Guard unit ball cap, then they may wear it in lieu of the Auxiliary ball cap with any uniform and associated activity for which a ball cap is authorized with exceptions defined below.
· General Ball Cap Wear Provisions.
· If an Auxiliary ball cap is authorized for wear with a uniform, and the uniform is authorized for wear with a mission or activity, then that ball cap may be worn for that mission or activity. For example, since Undress Blue - summer (Bravo) is authorized for wear during the conduct of VSCs, and then the Auxiliary ball cap may be worn with that uniform when conducting VSCs (inclusive of travel to and from the mission site).
· If an Auxiliarist is authorized to wear a Coast Guard unit ball cap, such wear shall not extend to activities involving public interaction. This is to ensure that an Auxiliarist is not mistaken by the public as an active member of a Coast Guard unit with commensurate authority. For example, an Auxiliarist may not wear a Coast Guard unit ball cap when performing VSC’s.
· An Auxiliarists home unit is the flotilla. As active duty and Reserve personnel are authorized to wear standard issue Coast Guard blue and unit ball caps with proper uniforms while commuting to and from work (i.e. - home unit), so are Auxiliarists authorized to wear Auxiliary ball caps and Coast Guard unit ball caps, if authorized by the unit command, with proper uniforms while commuting to and from flotilla meetings, a Coast Guard unit to which they provide support (in accordance with unit command policy), and fellowship events (e.g. - flotilla picnic).
· Though not specifically addressed in the Auxiliary Manual for wear with Tropical Blue, per section 3.C.1 of the Coast Guard Uniform Manual, Commanding Officers may authorize standard issue Coast Guard blue or unit ball caps for wear on board Coast Guard shore units, small boats, and vessels with the Tropical Blue uniform. Ball cap wear with Tropical Blue is limited to the confines of the local unit and for commuting to and from work, including commuting from the wearer's home unit to a remote work site. Ball caps shall not be worn with Tropical Blue when a higher level of formality is appropriate. Likewise, Auxiliarists may wear an Auxiliary ball cap or Coast Guard unit ball cap, if authorized by the unit command, with the Tropical Blue uniform in accordance with these guidelines, including while commuting to and from flotilla meetings, a Coast Guard unit to which they provide support (in accordance with unit command policy), and fellowship events (e.g. - flotilla picnic).
· Operational Dress Uniform (ODU). The Coast Guard's new untucked ODUs have black Coast Guard emblems embossed on them in several locations.
Untucked ODUs will not be produced without the emblems. Therefore, Auxiliarists are authorized to wear the new untucked ODU top with the embossed Coast Guard emblems.
· Plastic Name Tags.
· Per section 3.F.1 of the Coast Guard Uniform Manual, active duty and Reserve personnel are authorized to wear plastic name tags that display first and last names in lieu of the standard name tag (last name only). They may also display an unofficial-but-Coast-Guard-recognized insignia, such as a SAR or NATON school pin, on such name tag. This applies only to plastic name tags, not to cloth name tapes, the full name and "U.S. COAST GUARD" legend letter sizes must be the same as for the standard nametag. Commands have the authority to require the standard name tag when a higher level of uniformity is necessary.
· . Auxiliarists are similarly authorized to wear plastic name tags with first and last names displayed. A displayed first name must be the individual's full common first name or conventional shortened derivative (e.g. - "Mike" instead of "Michael"). Nicknames or parenthesized names are not authorized (e.g. - Doc, Mac, and “Lefty"). No insignia are authorized on such name tags. Auxiliarists must also have a standard name tag for when a higher level of uniformity is necessary.
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ODU - operational dress uniform
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fm: cdr e.d. Young
subj: operational dress uniform (odu) care and wear policy -008/07
r 311402z aug 07 zui asn-a00243000005 zyb
fm comdt cogard washington dc//cg-12//
subj: operational dress uniform (odu) care and wear policy
a. Comdt cogard washington dc 261515z apr 07/alcoast 223/07
b. Uniform regulations, comdtinst m1020.6 (series)
1. Ref a is cancelled.
2. This alcoast clarifies the proper wear of the odu. The odu is a general
purpose everyday uniform intended for wear in any situation that does not
require a dress uniform. In addition, since this uniform may be worn in many
operational situations, and in order to maintain safety and consistency in
appearance, metal devices or attachments will no longer be authorized.
3. Effective immediately, the following shall apply to the odu:
a. When washing, ensure that all velcro closures are fastened to minimize
collection of lint and foreign matter.
B. The odu shall be ironed without military creases. In addition, collars,
lapels, sleeves, and pockets on both the odu top and trousers shall lay
flat. Great care must be taken when ironing the odu. Excessive heat,
starching, and repeated sharp creasing can result in whitening and/or finish
damage. Iron the uniform inside out to minimize gloss or shine.
C. The odu uniform will be worn with well-blackened 8 or 10 inch safety
boots. When worn in an office boots shall be shined. Excess laces shall be
tucked away so they can not be seen.
D. The odu trousers may be tucked into the boots or bloused. When bloused,
place blousing bands between the second and third boot eyelet. If tucked
into boots, the trousers leg should be shaped to present a bloused appearance.
E. The odu trousers cargo pockets may be used, but items stowed shall not
take away from a smart military appearance.
F. The odu t-shirt shall be in good condition with no tears or stains. Due
to health and safety issues, more research is required before a wickable
t-shirt is authorized for wear with the odu.
G. All accessories shall be in good repair and worn as follows:
1. After 15 july 2007, all accessories worn on the odu shall be
embroidered, including collar rank and specialty insignia. All collar rank
insignias, with exception of o3 and o6 shall be placed on the imaginary line
bisecting the angle of the collar with the base of the insignia (not the
embroidered patch) approx 1 1/8 inch from collar point. Due to their
horizontal format, embroidered o3 and o6 rank insignia shall be placed 1 1/2
inches from the point.
2. Qualification insignia shall be centered directly above the u.s.
Coast guard nametape on the wearers left hand pocket. Only one embroidered
qualification insignia is authorized. Embroidered insignia shall be the
same size as the metal insignia, centered on a tape the full width of the
pocket. The tape shall not exceed the width of the pocket. Temporary
qualification insignias shall not be worn on the odu.
3. Incumbent cos and oics are authorized to wear the embroidered
command ashore or afloat devices centered directly above the members
nametape. Embroidered command devices shall be the same size as the metal
devices, centered on a tape the same width as the pocket.
4. Since these positions are integral to the command cadre, incumbent
gold and silver badge command chiefs are authorized to wear their respective
badges (embroidered only) on the odu. Badges shall be worn centered on the
wearers left pocket, however women may wear the badge above the name tape of the right pocket.
H. The buckle and belt tip of the standard 1 1/4 inch black odu belt must
not be chipped or discolored. The bitter end shall extend 2-4 inches past
the belt buckle on the wearers left.
I. The basic riggers belt (nsn: 8415-01-526-5551), also known as the battle
dress uniform (bdu) belt, can be purchased thru the udc and may be worn as
an optional item on the odu. This belt is a 1 3/4 inch black nylon belt.
When worn, the bitter end shall stop behind, but not past, the first belt
loop on the wearers left. (this will require the belt be passed through the
belt loops from the right, the opposite of other mens belts). The basic
riggers belt comes in one length and needs to be cut to size. To determine
the correct belt length, lace the belt through belt loops, pass it behind
the belt bar, then feed it back through and over the belt bar. Finally, pull
to secure. Next, mark the belt so that it stops behind, but not past, the
first belt loop on the wearers left. Make a straight cut along this mark.
Singe the bitter end to avoid unraveling. The "black hawk" riggers belt is
not authorized for general wear, but may be worn as organizational equipment
during tactical missions.
J. The standard or unit ball cap shall be well-formed and in good condition
with no soiling, fading or tears, nor will it contain any devices or pins
beyond the metal collar insignia or metal cg shield as appropriate for rank.
No additional writing on either the front or rear of the cap is authorized.
4. Manner of wear: the odu is not a liberty uniform and shall not be worn as
a substitute for coveralls. However, it can be worn during the following
a. While traveling in government vehicles, vessels, aircraft, on orders in
a commercial conveyance, or while traveling on orders in a foreign country
(if approved by the u.s. Embassy).
B. While commuting, to include mass transit, during informal off base
lunches, visits to dod facilities or for short stops in convenience or retail stores.
C. While in an educational environment at other dod agencies (as directed by their commanding officer).
D. The odu top is an integral part of the uniform. It shall only be removed
temporarily, when working in excessively hot conditions and out of the
E. The odu is authorized for office wear at the commanding officers discretion.
5. The odu hot weather version is optional and or organizational depending
on commands direction. The odu hot weather uniform may be authorized by the
area, district, or mlc commander when extreme work environments require it.
This prescribing authority cannot be delegated. Commands shall be judicious
when employing this option.
The hot weather uniform is not authorized for routine wear in the office.
It is not authorized for wear while commuting to and from work or any other
public setting. The hot weather uniform consists of the following items:
a. Odu shorts. Odu trousers hemmed 1 - 4 inches above the knee and worn
with either the standard odu or optional riggers belt.
B. Odu t-shirt. A coast guard blue crew neck t-shirt stenciled with the
words "u. S. Coast guard" across the front left chest in white 3/4-inch tall
block-style letters. All must be stenciled identically to promote unit
identity and professional appearance.
C. White crew length socks.
D. Current 8"-10" superboot or low top safety boot.
6. When wearing the maternity odu, the nametapes, u.s. Coast guard tape
shall be worn centered on their respective side between the first and second
buttons. If a qualifications insignia is worn, it shall be directly above
the u.s. Coast guard tape. Slight adjustments in placement are authorized
to prevent discomfort and to present and orderly and balanced appearance.
7. Work continues on the untucked version of the odu. This version, which
will have an enhanced, wrinkle resistant, oil and fade resistant material,
is still being developed. Some prototypes have been distributed for initial
testing. A service wide availability date is still to be determined.
8. All provisions of this alcoast will be incorporated in a future change to ref b.
9. For questions regarding this alcoast, contact cwo2 tarvin greene at (202) 475-5369.
10. Internet release authorized.
11. Released by curtis b. Odom, acting director of personnel management.