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

Please note:
Any uniform questions can be sent electronically to LCDR Lyons at 
james.lyons@hhs.gov or 240-453-6098
Effective 1 August, 2009, the following uniforms and components, according to Personnel Policy Memorandum (PPM) 08-020, dated 28 August 2008, were phased out and no longer authorized for wear:
  • Winter Blues, to include Winter Working Blues
  • Poly/cotton Working Khakis, to include Long Sleeve Working Khaki
  • Indoor Duty Whites
  • Tropical Uniforms and prescribable items
    1. Helmet (khaki and white)
    2. Trousers, khaki and white, short (hemmed two inches above the knee, two back pockets and two side pockets)
    3. Tropical Dinner Dress Blue
  • Formal Dress Uniform
    1. Wing Collar Shirt, Formal White (Male)
    2. Tailcoat, Formal Blue (Male)
    3. Waistcoat (Male)
    4. Necktie, Bow, White (Male)
    5. Mother of pearl studs and cufflinks (Male and Female)
    6. Tiara (Female)
  • Service Blue (aka Salt and Pepper)
  • Garrison Cap, black with gold piping 
Questions and Answers
Q. Are ‘twists’ and ‘dreadlocks’ authorized as hairstyles or are they considered faddish?
A. First, in order to answer the question, we should define twists and dreadlocks.
  • Twists – Is a process by which two or more locks of hair are twisted together to form a rope-like appearance.
  • Dreadlocks – Are mats of hair that have been allowed to grow out over time. Sometimes, if hair is simply left un-groomed for a period of time, particularly if the hair is naturally coarse and kinky, dreadlocks will form by themselves.
Therefore, twists and dreadlocks are not authorized because they are faddish or bring undue attention to the officer.

Please see CC26.3.1 Uniforms and Appearance, http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis/documents/CC26_3_1.pdf dated 1 March 2009, Section 6-7a for additional hair criteria.
Q. Are religious or cultural apparel or vestments allowed to be worn on a routine or daily basis?
A. Commissioned Corps Directive 121.03 titled Accommodation for Religious Practices, http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis/documents/CCD1_2_1_03.pdf dated 1 March 2007, states that routine or daily wear of religious apparel is not authorized unless the item is not visible, such as a necklace. Officers may wear religious items in uniform when actively participating in a ceremony (e.g., wedding, funeral or formal/organized service or ritual).

Cultural apparel is not specifically stated in policy, however, the intent is the same as religious apparel when not visible. Cultural apparel is not authorized when visible on or outside of the uniform.

Consistent with Title 10 United States Code (USC) §774, ‘religious apparel’ means apparel the wearing of which is part of the observance of the religious faith practiced by the member.

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