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Volume 8, No. 5     September 20, 2012
In Brief...
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The Navy Exchange (NEX) Uniform Support Center has updated their web page. All Corps related items are in the USPHS Section at the bottom right of the screen. You no longer have to jump section to section to buy Corps-specific items. As more items come online and are photographed, look for more items to be available, which were previously only available by telephone orders. For more generic uniform items (e.g., Khaki Shirt), you still have to use the universal Male/Female officer, Outwear, Footwear sections.

Attention female officers who wear the CNT Khaki Skirts. The Navy has decided that CNT uniforms are no longer authorized aboard ship, but is still authorized for shore duty. The CNT Khaki skirt is still authorized but is now considered a “special order item” and is no longer listed on the NEX Uniform Support Center website. The item may purchased by calling 1-800-368-4088.

Officers are reminded that the uniform policies for the Corps can be found on the Commissioned Corps Issuance System (CCIS) web site at http://dcp.psc.gov/eccis. All uniform policies can be found in Book 4. When in doubt about a policy, check the policy before relying on “rumors or innuendo” from unofficial or uninformed sources. Additionally, updates to policies will be posted on the eCCIS website, along with the Commissioned Corps Management Information System (CCMIS) and the eBulletin. Something that may have been authorized 10 years ago may or may not be current. Additionally, regardless of what another uniformed service does or doesn’t do in reference to uniform wear, doesn’t mean it is automatically the same for the Corps.

Since the release of the two ODU related policies, PPM 12-002 “Replacement of Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)”, dated 9 March 2012, and POM12-009 “Ordering the ODU”, dated 28 August 2012, several frequently asked questions have come up.
  1. I’m having difficulty ordering the name tapes, where can I get them?

    At time of posting of the 2 policies, there was a coding error at the Navy Exchange Uniform Support Center, and the name tapes were not showing up as “in-stock or available”. This has since been corrected. You may call the NEX Uniform Support Center at 1-800-368-4088

  2. What is the correct placement of the rank insignia and Corps device on the collar?

    It is the same as for the BDU. Collar rank insignia shall be worn on the right collar, centered on an imaginary line bisecting the angle of the collar point; the center of the device shall be 1½ inches perpendicularly from each collar edge. The O-6 eagle should face forward. The PHS Corps device, consisting of a fouled anchor and caduceus crossed as in the seal of the Service, shall be embroidered in gold thread on ODU blue background material. The device shall be 1 inch by 1 inch. The Corps device shall be sewn on the left collar with the caduceus falling along an imaginary line bisecting the angle of the collar point with the anchor pointing inward. The center of the device shall be 1½ inches perpendicularly from each collar edge.

  3. Are the name tapes used on the coveralls the same as for the ODUs?

    No, the coveralls name tapes are 1-1/4 inch in width and on coverall material. The correct width is 1-inch with 5/8 inch block style font, gold thread lettering on ODU rip-stop or webbed nametape. Nametapes containing more than ten letters shall be in Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed print (48 point), ½ inch high.

  4. Is the name tape required for the trousers?

    No, the name tape on the rear right trouser pocket is optional.

  5. Can the name be embroidered directly into the ODU Shirt?

    No, it must be on a nametape and then sewn onto the shirt.

  6. I’m detailed to the Department of Defense or to a specific armed force; can I still wear the American Flag patch?

    No, the American Flag patch is not authorized for wear by any Corps officers on the ODU. If you are wearing the BDUs, you may continue to wear the American Flag patch until the phase-out on 31 August 2013.

  7. Can we wear pin-on metal rank and Corps device on the ODU?

    No, sewn on rank and Corps device is required. Direct embroidery is not authorized.

  8. I earned a/an “insert skill badge here” in another uniformed service, can I wear it on the ODU?

    It depends, if the badge patch is made in the correct ODU background material, color, is in the correct thread color, AND is certified as meeting the military specifications of the issuing uniformed service, it is authorized in accordance with the policy. At this time, there are very few badge patches available in the correct milspec (e.g., jump wings, the Field Medical Readiness Badge, Flight Surgeon wings).

  9. Can I wear the brown brushless boots with the ODU?

    No, the authorized boot colors, size and type are listed in the PPM. Brown brushless boots are not authorized.

  10. I found an ODU-like uniform at a commercial vendor on the internet, it has epaulettes and 2 extra front pockets on the shirt, is this authorized?

    No, the only authorized version is the version sold by the Uniform Distribution Center, which is the NOAA-PHS untucked unlogoed ODU. The correct ODU shirt has only 2 breast pockets and no epaulettes. As stated in the policies the ODU must be the correct uniform, not something that “looks like the ODU”.

  11. In the policy, it says the Boonie Hat is an optional wear item, is this for everyday wear?

    No, this is a command/LUA directed cover for deployment type situations or prolonged outdoor official duties (e.g., environmental sampling, surveying, etc). The required cover is the Command Ball Cap. The 8-point utility cover is prescribable for similar deployment situations.

  12. I work in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP); do we wear the Command Ball Cap or Utility Cover while in the facility?

    No, being inside a BOP facility is no different protocol-wise for wearing a cover indoors at any other location.

  13. Where can I buy the ODU blue command patch?

    At this time, there are no plans to redesign the olive drab command patch for the ODU.

  14. I purchased a blue Command Ball Cap at Walter Reed Bethesda, but the rank insignia looks enormous, is this correct?

    Unfortunately, several Command Ball Caps below the rank of Captain had the wrong size rank insignia on the cap (about 3x the milspec). This was a vendor error. The correct size is slightly larger than the full size metal rank insignia. If you purchased an ODU Command Ball Cap from Walter Reed Bethesda or the PHS Officer Device Supply Center in the last couple of weeks and the rank insignia is significantly larger than the standard full sized metal rank insignia, return it to Walter Reed Bethesda for a complete refund and/or exchange. The Command Ball Caps being sold through the NEX online, and the UDC are the correct milspec. The PHS Officer Device Supply Center should have their replacements in the next few days.