The uniforms of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary serve to distinguish Auxiliarists from members of other civilian military auxiliaries and of other armed services.
Each auxiliary uniform is identical to a Coast Guard officer's military uniform, with the exception that the buttons and stripes on dress jackets and shoulder boards are silver in color, rather than gold.
Prior to 1972, all Coast Guard personnel, including Auxiliarists, wore the same uniforms as the United States Navy, with distinctive Coast Guard insignia. In 1972, Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Chester R. Bender introduced a new set of blue uniforms for wear by all personnel, which were also adopted by the Auxiliary.
Unlike Navy uniforms, the new "Bender's blues" uniforms made few distinctions between officers and enlisted personnel, with all ranks generally wearing the same style of uniform (with the exception of a few formal uniforms reserved for officers only).
Auxiliarists generally wear the same dress and service uniforms as active duty personnel, but with Auxiliary-specific insignia and (on dress uniforms) silver buttons and braid instead of gold. Previously, this included the white "choker" uniform but these uniforms are no longer authorized for Auxiliarists.[ citation needed ] Additionally, because the Auxiliary does not award full-sized versions of its medals, Auxiliarists are de facto precluded from wearing the Full Dress Blue uniform.
For those Auxiliarists who do not wish to wear military-style dress uniforms, an "Auxiliary blue blazer outfit," is authorized, which is similar in style to a yacht club uniform. It consists of a navy blue blazer with an Auxiliary crest, white shirt or blouse, navy tie, grey or white dress trousers or skirt, and black dress shoes. The blazer outfit is particularly encouraged, but not strictly required, for those Auxiliarists who do not meet Coast Guard height, weight, and grooming standard.
Auxiliarists also have several distinctive working uniforms and optional uniform items not authorized for active duty personnel.
Auxiliarists wear the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) as the standard working uniform. The ODU is similar to the old Battle Dress Uniform, both in function and style, but is a solid dark blue color, rather than camouflage, and lacks lower pockets on the blouse. In the fall of 2008 a second-generation Operational Dress Uniform was introduced, with the major change being that the top is worn on the outside of, rather than tucked into, the trousers.
Composite toe boots are the standard footwear, but brown leather boat shoes may be (and frequently are) prescribed for wear while aboard boats.
A baseball cap-style cover, with "U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary" embroidered in silver block lettering, is worn with the ODU. There is also an optional broad-brimmed "sun hat" available.
The "Hot Weather Uniform," which is no longer authorized for active duty personnel due to its non-military appearance, remains in service with the Auxiliary.The Hot Weather Uniform consists of the ODU t-shirt, dark blue cargo shorts, and baseball cap. Either brown leather boat shoes or black ankle boots may be worn.
A dark blue "operational polo shirt" may be worn in lieu of the ODU top and t-shirt with the ODU and the Hot Weather Uniform. The operational polo shirt is a navy blue polo shirt with "USCG AUXILIARY" embroidered on the left breast and the wearer's named embroidered on the right breast, similar to the ODU top.
A "Vessel Examiner polo shirt" is also available for Auxiliarists conducting vessel safety checks. The VE polo was previously a shade of light blue but was redesigned and made available in both white and dark blue in 2020.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the coastal defense, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its duties. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U.S. Department of the Navy by the U.S. President at any time, or by the U.S. Congress during times of war. Congressional authority transfers happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II.
The United States Air Force officer rank insignia in use today.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the volunteer uniformed auxiliary service of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Congress established the unit on June 23, 1939, as the United States Coast Guard Reserve. On February 19, 1941, the organization was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary exists to support all USCG missions on the water or in the air, except for roles that require "direct" law enforcement or military engagement. As of 2018, there were approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) is a camouflaged combat uniform that was used by the United States Armed Forces as their standard combat uniform from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s. Since then, it has been replaced or supplanted in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Mess dress uniform is the semi-formal type of uniforms used by military, police, fire and other public uniformed services for certain ceremonies, receptions, and celebrations, in messes or on private occasions. It frequently consists of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt, often with standing collar and bow tie, along with orders and medals insignia. Design may depend on regiment or service branch, e.g. army, navy, air force, marines, etc. In Western dress codes, mess dress uniform is a permitted supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian black tie for evening wear or black lounge suit for day wear - sometimes collectively called half dress - although military uniforms are the same for day and evening wear. As such, mess dress uniform is considered less formal than full dress uniform, but more formal than service dress uniform.
A blazer is a type of jacket resembling a suit jacket, but cut more casually. A blazer is generally distinguished from a sport coat as a more formal garment and tailored from solid colour fabrics. Blazers often have naval-style metal buttons to reflect their origins as jackets worn by boating club members.
Full dress uniform or parade dress uniform is the most formal type of uniforms used by military, police, fire and other public uniformed services for official parades, ceremonies, and receptions, including private ones such as marriages and funerals. Full dress uniforms typically include full-size orders and medals insignia. Styles tend to trace back to uniforms used during the 19th century, although the 20th century saw the adoption of mess-dress styled full-dress uniforms. Designs may depend on regiment or service branch. In Western dress codes, full dress uniform is a permitted supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian white tie for evening wear or morning dress for day wear – sometimes collectively called full dress – although military uniforms are the same for day and evening wear. As such, full dress uniform is the most formal uniform, followed by the mess dress uniform.
The uniforms of the United States Navy include dress uniforms, daily service uniforms, working uniforms, and uniforms for special situations, which have varied throughout the history of the navy. For simplicity in this article, officers refers to both commissioned officers and warrant officers.
The Uniforms of the Canadian Armed Forces are the official dress worn by members of Canada's military while on duty.
The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is a U.S. camouflage combat uniform; it is a service-distinctive uniform as it is primarily used by the United States Air Force, its civilian auxiliary, and some civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It replaced the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform on 1 November 2011 after a four-year phase-in period.
A physical training uniform is a military uniform used during exercise, calisthenics, drills, and in some cases, very casual periods of time. Most militaries, especially The United States Armed Forces require use of a physical training (PT) uniform during unit exercise. Some American military units produce unique T-shirts with their unit insignia and motto, and for special events, this shirt is part of the uniform. Occasionally, exercise will be conducted in that branch's utility uniforms, normally with the blouse removed and the undershirt exposed. For unit runs, esprit de corps or special occasions, commanders may have personnel wear unique T-shirts with the distinctive unit insignia and unit colors.
Service dress uniform is the informal type of uniform used by military, police, fire and other public uniformed services for everyday office, barracks and non-field duty purposes. It frequently consists of a jacket, trousers, white dress shirt, and neck tie, sometimes for ceremonial occasions along with orders and medals insignia. Design may depend on regiment or service branch, e.g. army, navy, air force, marines, etc. In Western dress codes, service dress uniform is a permitted supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian suit - sometimes collectively called undress or "dress clothes". As such, service dress uniform is considered less formal than both full dress uniform and mess dress uniform, but more formal than casual wear combat uniform.
The Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps serve to distinguish Marines from members of other services. Among current uniforms in the United States Armed Forces, the Marine Corps dress uniforms have been in service the longest. The Marine Dress Blue uniform has, with few changes, been worn in essentially its current form since the late 19th century.
A shoulder mark, also called a shoulder board, rank slide, or slip-on, is a flat cloth sleeve worn on the shoulder strap of a uniform. It may bear rank or other insignia, and should not be confused with an epaulette, although the two terms are often used interchangeably.
The Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) is the normal work uniform of the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC). It is also one of the uniforms worn by the New York Naval Militia.
The Royal Air Force uniform is the standardised military dress worn by members of the Royal Air Force. The predominant colours of Royal Air Force uniforms are blue-grey and Wedgwood blue. Many Commonwealth air forces' uniforms are also based on the RAF pattern, but with nationality shoulder flashes. Cadets of the RAFAC which includes the ATC and CCF (RAF) Sections wear similar uniforms.
The uniforms of the United States Air Force are the standardized military uniforms worn by airmen of the United States Air Force to distinguish themselves from the other services.
The uniforms of the Royal Navy have evolved gradually since the first uniform regulations for officers were issued in 1748. The predominant colours of Royal Navy uniforms are navy blue and white. Since reforms in 1997 male and female ratings have worn the same ceremonial uniform.
The uniforms of the United States Army distinguish soldiers from other service members. U.S. Army uniform designs have historically been influenced by British and French military traditions, as well as contemporary U.S. civilian fashion trends. The two primary uniforms of the modern U.S. Army are the Army Combat Uniform, used in operational environments, and the Army Green Service Uniform worn during everyday professional wear and during formal and ceremonial occasions that do not warrant the wear of the more formal blue service uniform.
The uniforms of the Royal Canadian Navy are a variety of different official dress worn by members of the Royal Canadian Navy while on duty. Originally, the uniforms of the RCN were modelled after their counterparts from the United Kingdom. However, after the RCN was merged with the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1968 to form the single-service Canadian Armed Forces, the RCN began to wear "Canadian Armed Forces Green" uniforms, worn throughout the Canadian Armed Forces
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