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Volume 8, No. 6     December 13, 2012
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November 30th marked the end of the official hurricane season. The Corps had one its largest deployments since 2005, with our response to Super Storm Sandy. Now is the time to prepare for next year’s hurricane season, which starts June 1. This office fielded roughly 130 calls and/or emails from officers who were notified that they had been selected to deploy within 24-72 hours but did not have the required uniforms to deploy in. Since 2008, all Corps officers have been required to own at least one set of the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and necessary outwear wear, insignia and devices, however, ~45 officers slated for deployment did not have this uniform. Additionally, the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) has been authorized since September 1, yet only a handful of deployed officers had it. It is the responsibility of the individual officer to acquire the appropriate uniforms and accessories to deploy BEFORE the notice to deploy is received. The requirements to meet Basic Force Readiness includes owning the appropriate deployment uniforms, be it the BDU, ODU, Service Khakis or the Service Dress Blues. This is a condition of service and is not negotiable. If you do not have the BDUs and necessary accoutrements, you can no longer buy this items from official sources therefore you must convert to the ODU.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from the latest deployment.
  1. I belong to RDF “X” and we have a team t-shirt, is this authorized for wear with the BDU/ODUs?

    No, the official PHS T-shirt, be it the black with gold lettering/logo for the BDU or the navy blue with gold lettering/logo for the ODU are the required items for wear. Team spirit or other non-official/authorized items (i.e., t-shirts, hats, patches etc) are not permitted to be worn with any uniform.

  2. When placing the rank insignia and collar device on the ODU, what is the proper placement?

    The placement of the rank insignia and collar device is the same as on 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 subdued thread on olive green 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. Am I required to buy the ODU parka?

    Officers are required to own the appropriate foul weather gear for deploying in any location. Be it the desert southwest or the northern great plains, you should be prepared for the location to which you are being deployed. Not owning the correct and authorized foul weather gear is not an excuse to wear a civilian jacket or coat over your uniform. This goes for any accoutrements such as gloves, earmuffs, scarves or watch caps as well, mixing of uniform and non-uniform items is not authorized.

  4. Wear the does the rank go on the ODU parka, Utility Jacket (liner), Fleece Liner?

    The cloth slide-on or bright full size metal rank insignia goes on the rank tab on the front of both the ODU parka and the Utility Jacket. The fleece liner does not have an area for rank placement; therefore nothing is placed on the fleece liner. No other items (name tapes, branch tape) are authorized to be sewn on or attached to any of the ODU outerwear.

  5. The Fleece Liner and the Foul Weather Trousers are listed as authorized items for the ODU; however they are not listed on the Uniform Distribution Center’s website. Where can I buy them?

    Both items are available for sale from the original ODU manufacturer Propper. Please go to http://www.epropper.com/categoryattribute/53 for ordering.

  6. What is the last day for wear of the BDU?

    The last day for the BDU is on 31 August 2013.