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Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) Uniforms
Submitted by LT Kyle Lyons, Uniform Policy Coordinator,
Workforce Policy and Plans Division, Office of Commissioned Corps Force Management

Please note:
Any and all uniform questions can be sent electronically to phsccuniform@hhs.gov

Q: Last year the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) signed the Decision Memorandum authorizing skill badges and ribbons earned in other Services. Did I miss seeing this policy or where can I find it?
A: The ASH signed the Decision Memorandum authoring the policy concepts on revising most of the uniform, personal appearance and grooming policies; however, the policies (Skill and Breast Badges, Association Ribbons, Wear of Ribbons and Medals, and others) are in draft form. No timeline has been given as to when to expect a signed policy. 

Q: When eating outdoors at a restaurant, am I supposed to wear my cover? 
A: No, eating outside does not require a cover, and is actually a breach of etiquette to wear it. The general rule is wear a cover any time when outdoors except - when at sea; when doing so may create a safety hazard; or while at a religious or funeral service. You should always uncover when entering any mess, berthing area or sick bay. A patio at a restaurant would be considered a mess area. 

Q: There seems to be some confusion as to the way to roll the sleeves on the Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs). The Special Uniform Situation (CC26.3.7) policy states that the sleeves of the BDU will be rolled with the outer material showing, but I see officers wearing their sleeves rolled with the inside material showing. Which is correct? 
A: Personnel Policy Manual (PPM) 07-013 http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis/documents/PPM07_013.pdf, signed 28 August 2007, amends CC26.3.7 and replaces the sleeve roll to read - “The sleeves of the BDU are rolled with the inside of the material showing outward. This sleeve roll is the same method used currently by the Navy and the Marine Corps.”  

Q: Are female officers allowed to wear male covers?  
A: Female officers may wear either the male or female version of the garrison cap only. A female officer cannot wear the male combination cover, nor can a male officer wear the female beret. There is no male/female difference in either the command ball cap or the 8-point Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) cover. 

Q: We had a fire drill at our facility the other day and I was told I had to wear my cover, is this true?
A: In Personnel Operations Memorandum (POM) 06-001 http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis/documents/POM06_001.pdf , signed 25 August 2006, officers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area are not required to wear a cover outside of Federal buildings when reporting to an assigned assembly point. The Surgeon General recommended that Local Uniform Authorities (LUA) outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area implement this policy as well. Please check with your LUA to see if this policy is in effect in your region or duty station. 
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