Wear of the ACU Uniform

General Uniform Policies

– One wristwatch (AR 670-1, para 1-14a, ALARACT 140/2007)
– One wrist ID bracelet (Medical alert, MIA, POW, KIA) – opposite
wrist from watch (AR 670-1, para 1-14a, ALARACT 140/2007)
– Up to two rings (wedding set counts as one ring) (AR 670-1,
para 1-14a, ALARACT 140/2007)
– Religious (AR 670-1, para 1-7b)
– Piercings prohibited, except earrings (AR 670-1, para 1-14c)
– Earrings – females only, < 1/4 inch spherical, but not with class
C uniform (ACU) (AR 670-1, para 1-14d)

General Uniform Policies
• Attaching items to uniform

(AR 670-1, para 1-9a(2))

– Keys
• May be attached to belt, loop, or waist if authorized for duties

– Electronic devices
• Black pager or cell phone may be worn on belt
• Bluetooth devices and ear pieces are only authorized while driving
(ALARACT 140/2007, para 5)

General Uniform Policies
• Glasses and contact lenses

(AR 670-1, para 1-15)

– May not have initials, designs, or other adornments
– Lenses must be clear, gray, brown, or dark green
– No chains or bands
– May not be hung off the uniform when not worn
– Prescription eyeglasses
• May be worn with any uniform

– Sunglasses
• May be worn in a garrison environment, except when in formation and while indoors
• May be worn in the field when authorized by the Commander for high glare environments

– Contact lenses
• May not be tinted or have designs

General Uniform Policies
• Umbrellas (AR 670-1, para 27-27)
– Plain black with no logos or designs
– Females only
– Only allowed with service, mess, or dress
uniforms; not allowed with utility uniforms

• Hands may not be placed in pockets,
except momentarily to place or retrieve
items (AR 670-1, para 1-9a(3))

ACU Uniform Policies
• All fasteners fastened (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B)
– Velcro
– Buttons
– Zipper

• No starch, sizing, dry-cleaning, or steam
press (ALARACT 078/2005, para 4)
• No modifying for fit (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5A)
• Digitized fabric covers for Velcro patches
are not authorized (ALARACT 007/2006, para 2O)

• Patrol cap (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5D2)
– Wear
• Bottom parallel to ground
• Fit without distortion or gaps
• No hair below band on forehead

– Rank
• Pin-on or sew-on (ALARACT 140/2007, para 10)
• Centered vertically and horizontally on the front

– Nametape
• Centered on Velcro patch on back


– Collar down unless wearing body armor or authorized by commander for
inclement weather (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B)
– No rolling sleeves (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B); no rolling sleeve
cuffs inside sleeves (ALARACT 140/2007, para 19)
– Length – between bottom of side pocket and top of cargo pocket of
trousers (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B)
– Pens may protrude from the left sleeve pen slots but must be black
– Infrared feedback squares (if equipped) will be covered by insignia or
the attached tabs (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B); if not equipped with
IR squares, the attached tabs will be fastened behind the pocket flaps

• Insignia
– Nametape (ALARACT 007/2006, para 2F)
• Embroidered tape, 5 inch long, worn
immediately above top of pocket flaps
• Digitized background
• Nametape above right chest pocket
• Tape above left chest pocket
• May be sewn on (Army Directive 2011-11)

– Rank (ALARACT 007/2006, para 2A)
• Embroidered black centered on front pad
• Digitized background
• May be sewn on (Army Directive 2011-11)

Trousers (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5C)

Tucked into boots or bloused
No peg leg
No round cuff inserts
May not extend below third eyelet of boot

Boots (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5E)

Issued or commercial
8 to 10 inch height
Tan leather, rough side out
Plain toe
Tan rubber outsole
No zippers (ALARACT 140/2007, para 18)
No sneaker-type
Shall be brushed clean

• Tan rigger belt (ALARACT 140/2007, para 15)

• Black, tan, or green (ALARACT 140/2007, para 16)

• Moisture-wicking tan (ALARACT 078/2005, para 6B)
• Tucked into trousers (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5B)

Dog tags
• Worn at all times when in uniform

Fleece (ALARACT 007/2006, para 2P)

• Black
– No insignia authorized (ALARACT 140/2007, para 23)

• Foliage green (ALARACT 302/2008 para 5, 6)
– Nametape on right
– US Army tape on left
– Rank above US Army tape (old) or nametape
(new) – both are authorized until stocks

Field jacket (AR 670-1, para 3-2)

• Same accessories as ACU coat
• Has no shoulder pockets or flaps. Wear
flag and tabs in comparable position on
Velcro shoulder pad

Gortex (AR 670-1, para 7-7a(1)(b))

• Nametape (ALARACT 140/2007, para 17)
– 5-1/2 x 1/2 inch embroidered digitized
– Sewn centered 1/4 inch above bottom of left
sleeve pocket flap

• Rank
– Pin-on or embroidered cloth loop worn on
front center tab (ALARACT 007/2006, para 2L)
– Velcro not authorized

• Black only (AR 670-1, para 27-12a)
• Work gloves may be tan (ACC)

Female only accessories
• Handbag (ALARACT 078/2005, para 5H)
– Only in garrison

Wear policy
• Personnel will not wear the ACU in offpost establishments that primarily sell
alcohol. If the off-post establishment sells
alcohol and food, soldiers may not wear
the ACU if their activities in the
establishment center on drinking alcohol.
(AR 670-1, para 3-3a)


Hair (AR 670-1, para 1-8a)

• Must allow proper wear of headgear and protective mask
or other protective equipment.
• Extreme, eccentric, or trendy haircuts or hairstyles are
not authorized.
• Dyes, tints, or bleaches must result in natural hair colors.
• May cut a part into the hair if it does not part naturally.
The part will be one straight line, not slanted or curved,
and will fall in the area where the soldier would normally
part the hair. Soldiers will not cut designs into their hair
or scalp.

Hair - Male
• No excessive bulk, ragged, unkempt, or extreme
• Must present a tapered appearance - the outline of the
hair conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward
to the natural termination point at the base of the neck.
• Must not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the
collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the
• No braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks.
• May be clipped closely or shaved.

Hair - Male
• Sideburns may not be flared; the base of the sideburn will be a
clean-shaven, horizontal line. Sideburns will not extend below
the lowest part of the exterior ear opening.
• Face must be clean-shaven.
• Mustaches are permitted, but will not present a chopped off or
bushy appearance, and no portion of the mustache will cover
the upper lip line or extend sideways beyond a vertical line
drawn upward from the corners of the mouth
• Medical exceptions must state required length of beard. Beard
may not be shaped.
• No wigs or hairpieces, except to cover natural baldness or
physical disfiguration caused by accident or medical procedure.

Hair - Female
• Neatly groomed, length and bulk of the hair are not
excessive, and hair does not present a ragged, unkempt,
or extreme appearance.
• No shaved portions of the scalp (other than the neckline)
or designs cut into the hair.
• Braids and cornrows must be conservative and lie snugly
on the head. No dreadlocks (unkempt, twisted, matted
individual parts of hair).
• May not fall over the eyebrows or extend below the
bottom edge of the collar. Long hair will be neatly and
inconspicuously fastened or pinned, so no free-hanging
hair is visible.

Hair - Female
• Not lopsided or distinctly unbalance.
• Extensions, weaves, wigs, and hairpieces must have the
same general appearance as the individual’s natural hair.
• Hair will not extend below the bottom edge of the front of the
headgear, nor will it extend below the bottom edge of the
• All hair-holding devices must be plain and of a color as close
to the soldier’s hair as is possible or clear. Authorized
devices include, but are not limited to, small, plain scrunchies
(elastic hair bands covered with material), barrettes, combs,
pins, clips, rubber bands, and hair bands. Devices that are
conspicuous, excessive, or decorative are prohibited.

Cosmetics (AR 670-1, para 1-8b)

• Males are prohibited from wearing cosmetics, to include
nail polish.
• Females are authorized to wear cosmetics with all
uniforms, provided they are applied conservatively and in
good taste and complement the uniform and their
• Females will not wear shades of lipstick and nail polish
that distinctly contrast with their complexion, that detract
from the uniform, or that are extreme (e.g., purple, gold,
blue, black, white, bright (fire-engine) red, khaki,
camouflage colors, and fluorescent colors).

Nails (AR 670-1, para 1-8c)

• Males will keep nails trimmed so as not to
extend beyond the fingertip.
• Females will not exceed a nail length of
1⁄4 inch, as measured from the tip of the

Hygiene (AR 670-1, para 1-8d)

• Soldiers will maintain good personal
hygiene and grooming on a daily basis
and wear the uniform so as not to detract
from their overall military appearance.

Tattoos (AR 670-1, para 1-8e)

Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform
collar are prohibited.

Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist are prohibited,
regardless of location on the body, as they are prejudicial to good order and discipline
within units.

Existing tattoos or brands on the hands that are not extremist, indecent, sexist, or
racist, but are visible in the class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), are

Soldiers may not cover tattoos or brands in order to comply with the tattoo policy


Religious exceptions (AR 670-1, para 1-7b(3))

• Exceptions or accommodations based on
religious practices will not be granted,
except those granted before 1 Jan 1986.


• AR 670-1, 3 FEB 2005, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia
• ALARACT 078/2005, 202200Z APR 05, Subject: ARMY COMBAT UNIFORM
• ALARACT 140/2007, 192130Z JUN 07, Subject: AR 670-1, 3 FEB 05, WEAR
• ALARACT 302/2008, 171425Z DEC 08, Subject: WEAR POLICY FOR THE
• ALARACT 283/2009, 141347Z OCT 09, Subject: CHANGES TO THE WEAR
• Army Directive 2011-1, Subject: Changes to Wear of the Army Combat
Uniform (ACU) Items