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Operations Duty Uniform (ODU) Archive |

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Operations Duty Uniform (ODU) Archive


United States Coast Guard, Operational Duty Uniform (ODU)

Operations Duty Uniform (ODU)
The ODU is the normal work uniform of the United States Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.   It is typically worn when on patrol, conducting vessel examinations and any other event where another specific uniform is not prescribed.  Important sizing information can be found on the Coast Guard’s uniform site.

Required Items:
ODU Trousers.
ODU trousers are a CG blue variation of the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). They have two hip pockets, two back pockets with flaps, and two expandable cargo pockets with flaps. Trouser waist is adjustable. They are bloused between the second and third eyelets from the top when worn with high-topped (8 – 10 inch high) black safety-toe boots. Elasticized or Velcro™ type blousing bands will be used. Blousing bands should not be visible. Blousing bands are optional; if not used, trousers can be tucked into boot and then adjusted to appear bloused.

The ODU top is a Coast Guard blue variation of the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). It has two flap closure pockets on each side of the chest and a flap covering the buttons.
Sleeves may be worn long or rolled neatly and evenly to the width of the cuff to the mid bicep portion of the upper arm. Sleeves are rolled accordion fashion, so as to leave the outer cuff and button showing on the surface of the roll.

ODU Cuff

To fold sleeves: start by folding cuff over itself creating a neat fold up to the armpit. Then fold the sleeve up again, leaving about 3” of the first fold exposed. Finally, pull the cuff back down over the entire fold. This results in a 3” cuff about 2” above the elbow. Folds will vary based on the size and length of the arm. No portion of the rolled sleeve should be visible above or below the cuff of the sleeve.

Coast Guard Blue T-Shirt:

The ODU Top is worn over a blue Coast Guard undershirt.  To ensure the blue matches the ODU outerwear, it is important to purchase the Gildan blue shirts sold either at the base exchange or from the Uniform Distribution Center.

The ODU uniform is worn with black 8-10″ duty boots.  These are availble from the base Exchange, district stores or from www.Galls.com.  Boots are worn with standard black cotton socks.  Shoe laces must be tucked in and not visible.  Blousing bands are optional; if not used, trousers can be tucked into boot and then adjusted to appear bloused.
Boots should be in good condition and well blackened and/or shined with standard black shoe polish.

There are only two belts authorized for wear with the ODU uniform.
Options 1: Rigggers Belt
The Basic Riggers belt (NSN: 8415-01-526-5551) is made of 1 ¾ inch wide black nylon fabric with a sewn on subdued, fast cinch buckle. When worn the bitter end should be behind but not past the first belt loop on the wearer’s left.

ODU Uniform Gig Line

Option 2: Coast Guard Web Belt
The black web belt is made of1 ¼ inch wide (Cotton) black webbing with an attached subdued (black) clip end (metal tip). These are sold at the base Exchange and the Uniform Distribution Center.

Alignment (Gig Line):

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 women).
Standard Coast Guard Ball Cap:
Auxiliarists should wear hats and caps squarely on the head.  The ball cap has a full front panel that should display “USCG Auxiliary” spelled out or “U.S.C.G.” arched over “Auxiliary”. Letters are silver colored, ½ inch high. Auxiliarists wear their member device or miniature office insignia device between the “U.S. Coast Guard” and “Auxiliary.” Embroidered/sewn-on insignia may be used on this cap. Beneath this lettering Auxiliarists may have inscribed, in the same type lettering, the number of their flotilla, division or district/region. An example would be “FLOT 11-4”. The cap for DCPs and above may have a silver embroidered visor ornamentation, similar to that on the combination cap visor. Caps may have mesh backs.
Coast Guard Command ball caps are authorized when working on base and not directly with the public.
Covers must be worn while outdoors only or when specifically prescribed by the commanding officer for special events such as indoor ceremonies where saluting will be expected.  Covers should be removed immediately upon entering a building.
An enhanced wool blend Coast Guard Auxiliary cover can be purchased at http://www.cutteragent.com/.

Nametapes and Collar Insignia:

Operation Duty Uniform (ODU) nametape placement

Both the wearer’s nametape and the “U.S.C.G. Auxiliary” nametape will be worn on the ODU. The cloth nametape with the wearer’s name will be centered directly above the wearer’s right chest pocket. The “U.S.C.G. Auxiliary” nametape will be centered directly above the wearer’s left chest pocket. Nametapes will not be shorter than or extend beyond the width of the ODU breast pocket. The cloth nametapes will consist of a nylon/cotton poplin material matching the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) in CG Blue 3362 and white block letters 5/8 + 1/16 inch high by 5/16 inch wide military block letters. Only the last name will be represented on the wearers right name tape. Surnames that have a combination of upper and lower case letters are authorized (i.e. McDONALD). Both nametapes will be one inch in height and eight inches wide. For last names that exceed 15 characters, the letter width will be reduced to allow the name to fit on the tape. Tapes will be sewn on with matching blue thread 1/16 inch from the edge with a minimum of six stitches per inch. Sew-on stitching will not run through the embroidered lettering.

All collar rank insignias, with exception of O3 and O6 shall be placed on the imaginary line bisecting the angle of the collar with the base of the insignia (not the embroidered patch) approx 1 1/8 inch from collar point, due to their horizontal format, embroidered O3 and O6 rank insignia shall be placed 1 1/2 inches from the point.

Both collar insignia and nametapes are available from The Bent Needle in Astoria.