Military Uniform Rules by Military Retirees and Veterans

Rules of the Uniform What Retires and Veterans Can Wear

96th Staten Island Memorial Day Parade
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The rules for wearing military uniforms as a retired military member or a discharged veteran are similar for all the services.  There are certain rules for those seeking to wear the uniform for formal functions, national holidays, parades, military funerals and weddings and other military occasions.  Only the Service Dress Uniform can be worn.  No work, Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), or PT uniform shall be worn by retired or veteran members.

Typical places and events where the the uniform is prohibited to be worn by discharged and retired members of the military:

At any meeting or demonstration which is anti-government in nature.

During political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity could be drawn.

Except when authorized by competent Service authority, when participating in activities such as public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration (including those pertaining to civil rights), which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.

When wearing of the uniform would tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces such as criminal trials.

Rules of Each Branch of Service

Retired military members and honorably discharged veterans may wear the US Military uniform on certain occasions.

This authority is authorized by Federal law (10 USC, 772). It allows certain veterans and retirees to wear the US Military uniform, as prescribed by the individual services.

In all cases, veterans and retirees can wear the rank and insignia currently in use, or the rank and insignia in use at the time of their discharge/retirement, but cannot mix the two.

Medal Of Honor Recipients

There are special members of the military who received the Medal of Honor  Those members may wear the medal and / or the uniform on any occasion except the following:

(1) participating in public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches or rallies, or in any public demonstration when the Air Force sanction of the cause for which the activity is conducted may be implied.

(2) furthering political activities, private employment, or commercial interests.

(3) working in an off-duty civilian capacity.

(4) participating in civilian court proceedings when the conviction would bring discredit

Note: Any individual wearing a US Military uniform is expected to reflect the high personal appearance standards and esprit de corps that the US Military in uniform represent. To this end, particular attention will be paid not only to the correct and military wear of uniform components, but also to the individual’s personal and physical appearance. All personnel exercising the privilege of wearing a US Military service or dress uniform will comply fully with their service's grooming and weight control standards.

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