The following uniform is hereby established for, and to be worn by, the officers of the navy of the United States:
To be made of dark blue cloth, lined with white cloth or kerseymere, double breasted, with nine navy buttons, the rows of buttons to be three inches apart when buttoned up in the way which it is to be worn. Standing collar, sloped in front and lined with white. Cuffs to have four navy buttons on top, to be open underneath, with two small navy buttons. Four navy buttons under the pocket flaps, one on each hip, two in the middle of each fold of the skirt, and one at the bottom. The pockets to be in the folds.
To be made of dark blue cloth, lined with the same, and with a rolling collar. Buttons to be the same in number and size, and arranged in the same manner as for the full dress.
Is to be the same as directed for captains, except that it is to have but three buttons on the cuffs and pocket flaps, and one in the middle of the skirts.
The same as for the captains, except that there are to be but three buttons on the cuffs and pocket flaps, and one in the middle of the folds of the skirts.
The same as for commanders, except to have round the collar an embroidered live oak leaf and acorns, as is now worn, as per pattern.
The same as for commanders.
The same as for commanders, except that there shall be, on each side of the collar, a foul anchor and star of five points, (as per pattern,) embroidered in gold. The anchor shall be, from ring to crown, two and eight-tenths of an inch, from point to point, one and a half inches, and the diameter of the star to be one and three-tenths of an inch.
The same as for commanders, except that there shall be, on each side of the collar, the anchor and star, as prescribed for the full dress coat.
same as the undress coat for the passed midshipmen, in all respects,
excepting the star on the collar.
On duty they may wear short jackets of dark blue cloth, with the same number of snall navy buttons on the breast, cuffs, and pockets as for their dress coat, with an anchor of buff cloth inserted in the collar of the jacket, as for their coat.
To be the same as the undress coat for lieutenants, with the exception that there shall be worn, on each side of the collar, two loops of gold lace 4½ inches long and half an inch wide, with a button to each loop.
To be the same as for masters, with the exception that it is to have but one loop and button, of the same dimensions, on each side of the collar.
To be the same as directed for commanders, except that there shall be embroidered in gold round the collar a branch of live oak, and three rows of gold lace one and a half inch wide round the upper edge of the cuffs. The buttons to be between the two upper rows.
To be the same as for lieutenants, except that there shall be three rows of gold lace one-quarter of an inch wide round the upper edge of the cuffs. The buttons to be between the two upper rows.
To be the same as for surgeons, except that there shall be but two rows of similar gold lace round the cuffsone to be above, and one below, the buttons.
To be the same as for surgeons, except to wear only two rows of lace round the cuffs, as for full dress.
To be the same as for surgeons, except to have only one strip of similar lace round the upper part of the cuff and above the buttons.
To be the same as the surgeons, except to have only one strip of lace on the cuffs, as for full dress.
To be the same as for commanders, except the collar is to be embroidered in gold, with oak leaves and acorns on the upper and front edges, and similar embroidery on each side of the collar to extend back four inches, the whole to be made as per pattern.
To be the same as for lieutenants, except to have neither epaulettes nor straps.
To be the same as undress for lieutenants, with the exception of buttons on the cuffs.
To be of dark blue cloth, with rolling collar of black velvet, in other respects like the undress coat of the lieutenants.
To be of dark blue cloth, lined with the same, double breasted, rolling collar, seven navy buttons on each breast, one on each hip, and one at the bottom of the folds of each skirt.
To be of dark blue cloth, lined with the same, double breasted, seven navy buttons on each breast, slashed sleeves with three small navy buttons on each, two large navy buttons under each pocket flap, one on each hip, and one at the bottom of each skirt.
For all officers in full dress, the vests are to be white woollen cloth, or of white kerseymere or cotton, single breasted, with as many small navy buttons on the breast as is directed to be worn on the breast of the coat of the officer, standing collar coming to the edge of the breast, and sloping in a line with it, and no flaps to pockets.
Blue cloth vests, made like those for full dress, may be worn with undress, and double breasted vests may be worn in cold weather, of white or blue, with navy buttons as designated.
The pantaloons for all classes of officers are to be of white or blue woollen cloth, or of white linen or cotton. White is to be worn in warm weather, and blue in cold, or on foreign service, as may be designated by the commanding officer of the fleet or squadron; or should the vessel be separated from the squadron, then according to the orders of her captain. They are to be worn over short boots, or over shoes and white stockings. None but dark blue coats, jackets, vests and pantaloons, or white vests and pantaloons, are to be worn by any officer of the navy, when under orders for or on duty, as all mixed or other colors are prohibited.
commanders, and lieutenants, only, are to wear epaulettes.
The epaulettes shall be made of gilt gold bullion, and the bullion is to be half an inch in diameter and three inches long; straps to be plain and have an edging and crescent.
A captain commanding a squadron entitled to wear a broad pendant, shall wear on the strap of each epaulette a plain silver anchor and eagle, and a silver star above the eagle, the whole to be arranged and of the size as per pattern.
Captains shall wear the same, excepting the star on the straps.
Commanders shall wear the same, but with nothing on the straps.
Lieutenants shall wear one epaulette, like those for commanders, on the right shoulder. Epaulettes are never to be worn without swords, when absent from the ship. Every officer entitled to wear epaulettes shall wear above the shoulder seam of full and undress coats, shoulder straps, which shall be made as follows:
For captains, of blue cloth, two and a half inches long, half an inch wide,with gold embroidery on each edge, one on each shoulder. When authorized to wear a star on the strap of the epaulette, they shall also wear an embroidered star in the center of the shoulder strap.
For commanders, of gold lace, half an inch wide, two and a half inches long, one on each shoulder.
For lieutenants, one of gold lace, on the right shoulder, two and a half inches long, and half an inch wide.
The buttons shall be of two sizes, large and small, the sizes, form, and arrangement, shall be like the pattern.
Are to be of black silk, for all officers, white shirt-collar to show above it, no colored or check shirts shall be worn by officers.
cocked hats are to be worn, in full dress, by all officers excepting
clerks, professors of mathematics, boatswains, gunners, carpenters,
They are to be made of the following dimensions, viz: not less than nine inches high on the back (or fan;) in front, (or on the cock,) six inches; in length from end to end of the bottom, nineteen inches; the curve to be one inch and a tenth at the back, and to be in proportion to the height of the officer, as per pattern. They are to be bound with black, to show one and a half inches on each side, and with tassels of five gold and five blue bullions each; black silk cockade, six inches wide, and small navy button in the centre.
Captains and commanders are to wear a loop over the cockade, to be formed of six gold bullions, to show three inches wide, the two inner ones twisted together.
Lieutenants, masters, passed, and other midshipmen entitled to wear cocked hats, will wear the loop formed of four gold bullions, without being twisted, to show two inches wide.
Civil officers entitled to wear cocked hats, will wear a loop formed of gold lace, to show two inches wide.
Blue cloth caps are to be worn by those not entitled to wear cocked hats.
When in undress uniform, officers entitled to wear cocked hats may wear those, or dark blue cloth caps, made according to pattern; but all other officers are to wear blue cloth caps, with the undress uniform. All commission officers shall wear a band of gold lace round their cloth caps, one and a half inches wide.
Passed and other midshipmen are to wear on the front of their caps, over the visor, an anchor and a star, or an anchor similar to that which is prescribed for the collar of their coats. All other officers to wear them plain, or with black silk bands.
The swords are to be cut and thrust; the blade to be not less than twenty-six inches long, and not less than one inch wide at the hilt. The belt must be made with a frog, so as to wear the sword perpendicular; grip to be of white, scabbard to be of black leather, mountings to be of yellow gilt. Belts for undress to be of black leather; for full dress, the belts to be of white webbing, both to be one and a half inche wide; the mountings must be yellow gilt. The swords and mountings, and the mountings of the belt, to be according to pattern. Belts shall be worn under the vest. Swords are always to be worn with uniform, when absent from the ship on duty, or when on leave upon foreign stations.
over coats or pea jackets are worn by officers, where uniform
is required by regulation or order, they shall be made of dark
blue pilot, or other cloth, the skirts not to extend below the
lower part of the calf of the leg. The buttons shall be the same
in number on the breast and cuffs, and be disposed in the same
manner as directed for the undress coat of the officer who wears
For officers entitled to wear epaulettes, their shoulder-straps shall be the same as for their other coats; but epaulettes are never to be worn upon the pea jacket or over coat.
Uniform is to be worn by all officers who may be attached to any vessel, navy yard, station, recruiting service, or hospital, for duty, unless absent from the station.
Officers are to conform strictly to it, wearing either the entire full dress or the entire undress; and are prohibited from wearing navy buttons upon any article of dress which does not conform to the prescribed uniform.
The commanding officer of the squadron, or of a vessel when acting alone, may directe when white or blue pantaloons shall be worn, so that the dress of all shall correspond in appearance.
Officers are to wear their uniform whenever they make an official visit to the President of the United States, or to the Secretary of the Navy.
Officers are to wear their uniform when acting as members of a court-martial, or court of inquiry, or when attending such courts as witnesses, or in any other official capacity.
The undress uniform shall be worn upon such courts, unless the officer ordering the same shall specially order the full dress to be worn.
Officers constituting, or appearing before, boards of examination, shall wear their undress uniform.
Officers are strictly prohibited from wearing any part of their uniform, whilst suspended from duty, by sentence of a court-martial.
Officers on furlough are recommended not to wear their uniform, except on special occasions.
Petty Officers shall wear the following marks of distinction:
Boatswains' mates, gunners' mates, carpenters' mates, masters at arms, ship's stewards, and ship's cooks, by an eagle and an anchor on the right sleeve of their jackets in winter, and frocks in summer.
Quarter-masters, quarter-gunners, captains of forecastles, captains of tops, captains of afterguard, armorers, coopers, ship's corporals, and captains of the hold, by an eagle and an anchor, in the same manner, upon their left sleeve.
The eagle and anchor shall be not more than three inches in length, and shall be of the same pattern as upon the navy button, [except the stars] placed half way between the elbow and shoulder, upon the front of the sleeve. It shall be white when worn on a blue garment, and blue when worn on a white garment.
The outside clothing of the petty officers, seamen, and ordinary seamen, landsmen, and boys, for muster, shall consist of blue woolen frocks, with white linen or duck collars and cuffs, or blue cloth jacket and trousers, blue vest when vests are worn, black hat, black handkerchief and shoes, when the weather is cold; when the weather is warm, it shall consist of white frock and trousers, and black or white hats, as the commander may direct, having regard to the convenience and comfort of the crew, black handkerchiefs and shoes. The collars and breasts of the frocks to be lined or faced with blue cotton cloth, stitched with white thread or cotton.
The hair of all persons belonging to the Navy, when in actual service, is to be kept short. No part of the beard is to be worn long excepting whiskers, which shall not descend more than one inch below the tip of the ear, and thence in a line towards the corners of the mouth.
Source: General Regulations for the Government of the Navy of the United States. Washington?: J.&G.S.Gideon, Printers, 1841. [See chap. 42, pp.5-14].
Note: The text is reproduced here exactly as in the original, following the original use of capitalization and italics.
5 November 1999