How to Properly Wear the
Operational Dress Uniform (ODU)
By LCDR C. Dixon -
(Adapted for the Web by Paul Burns,
U.S. Coast Guard
information is intended for use by TRACEN
personnel and serves as a quick reference
for the ODU standards of wear. This material
is in no way intended to replace Coast Guard
Personnel are to adhere to the latest
official guidance as prescribed by
appropriate authority. Where applicable,
chapter, section, and paragraph has been
cited from the Uniform Regulations,
COMDTINST M1020.6 (series).
Uniform of the Day:
standard Coast Guard uniform of the day,
regardless of season or location, is
Service Dress Blue (bravo) or Tropical
COMDTINST M1020.6 (series)
District Commander or the TRACEN
Commanding Officer may prescribe
alternatives as necessary for specific
work assignments or inclement weather.
“Commands and personnel in
leadership positions at every
level are responsible to promote
and enforce high standards for
All uniform items shall be
worn in accordance with
8” – 10” plain black, safety boots
Boots shall be well blackened
and in good
Boots may be all leather or a
combination of synthetic and leather as
* Safety boots must have a
safety toe that conforms with
ANSI standards Z41-1999
undecorated plain or ribbed knit
can be knee length or mid calf but any
portion above the boot must be black in
trousers properly fitted and bloused,
socks will not be visible.
atop boots with blousing bands
Attach the “band” around the top of the
Pull the trouser cuff over the
band and roll the cuff inward,
underneath the band.
Once the cuff is in place,
position the band just above the second
eyelet of the boot.
Blousing bands and socks should
not be visible.
style (shown) and VelcroÔ
bands are authorized (dark
Black webbing with black metal tip
Black subdued, open-framed
The ODU belt &
buckle are to be worn by both men and
women in the same manner as the men’s
standard CG belt.
The metal tip is run through the
belt loops beginning on the left side of
Once fastened, the metal tip will
extend from 2” to 4” beyond the buckle.
The right side
of the buckle (as viewed by wearer) shall be
aligned with the right side of the shirt
opening and the right side of the zipper to
form a straight line as shown (both men and
alignmentof ODU top,
buckle, and trousers (gig line).
T – Shirts (3.B.13):
Coast Guard blue,
short sleeve crew neck
ODU Top :
Worn with sleeves neatly rolled up accordion
style or down. Top must be tucked into the
Cloth tapes are centered over the pockets as
shown with the width of the tape running the
width of the pocket flap.
The member’s last name goes over the
right pocket and U.S. COAST GUARD over the left.
tapes are optional.
Direct embroidery and plastic name tags
are prohibited (3.F.2).
Cloth tapes will consist of
background color matching ODU
material with white block letters
between ½” to ¾” high. Only
member’s last name is permitted.
Tapes will be of the same size and
shall be sewn on with matching blue
thread at six (6) stitches per inch
*Dotted lines indicate alignment
of tapes with pockets
Sleeves may be worn down with cuffs
buttoned (or) with sleeves neatly
When properly rolled, the cuff
should be approximately 2” above the
elbow (mid-bicep) with only the cuff
To properly roll the sleeves
takes some patience and a little
practice, but once mastered can be
achieved without difficulty.
Depending on an individual’s size
and sleeve length some sleeves may be
rolled with one fold while others will
1. Fully extend and flatten the sleeve
on a level surface.
2. Starting at the cuff turn sleeve
inside out to armpit as shown.
Take care to flatten the sleeve
to remove any irregular folds or
form the fold, roll the sleeve in half
again to form two equal segments the
width of the “cuff”.
the cuff down over the fold
(Pinching the outer edge of the
sleeve to begin the fold will
help to keep the fabric from
5.Once in place, take care to
flatten the sleeve to remove any
irregular folds or creases. When
properly done, only the cuff
should be visible.
6.To remove the roll, simply
pull the lower edge of the cuff
downward toward the wrist.
Officer and Enlisted:
collar devices are standard while sew-on
cloth devices are optional.
Both are to be centered on the collar
along an imaginary line bisecting the angle
of the collar point (3.D.1.d; 3.D.2.a).
current or most recent embroidered
qualification insignia is to be worn on the
It is sewn centered, directly above the U.S.
COAST GUARD tape. Thread will match the
insignia background color and shall be a
minimum of six stitches per inch. Direct
embroidery is not authorized