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USCG Operational Dress Uniform

USCG CWO2 wearing ODU (untucked), circa 2010

US Public Health Service Operation United Assistance 2014.jpg
USPHSCC officers wearing ODUs, circa 2014
United States Coast Guard recruits, Cape May (October 2010).png
USCG graduates wearing ODUs, circa 2010

The Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) is the normal work uniform of the United States Coast Guard, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.



The Coast Guard introduced the new "Operational Dress Uniform" (ODU) uniform in 2004 to replace the winter and summer "Undress Duty" uniform. Resembling both law enforcement SWAT fatigues and the old-style Battle Dress Uniforms, the ODU differs with the lower pockets on the blouse being eliminated and the uniform being worn tucked into the trousers, similar in nature to older style fatigues. The sleeves can be worn folded up and the trousers bloused above the boots, with the ODU black web belt and blackened buckle being worn with the metal tip 2 to 4 inches from the buckle. A dark blue Coast Guard unit ballcap is worn with this uniform. The ODU also has all of its insignia sewn on, eliminating the chance of puncture wounds created by the pins if an individual suffers a blow to the chest while wearing a PFD.

In 2008, a new version of the ODU, which featured an untucked shirt blouse, was approved and is gradually replacing the tucked version through 2012. The untucked blouse bears the Coast Guard insignia above the left breast pocket, and is worn with trousers featuring the same Coast Guard insignia on the cargo pockets.

Coast Guard units that engage in combat operations generally wear the Combat Utility Uniform (CUU) in a woodland or desert pattern and color scheme rather than ODUs.

A 2006 issue[1] of the Reservist magazine[2] was devoted to a detailed and easy-to-understand graphical description of all the authorized uniforms.

In 2008, ODUs were authorized for wear by the Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The uniform replaces the U.S. Navy working khakis NOAA Corps officers formerly wore. Sewn on insignia is worn in a fashion similar to the Coast Guard.


In 2015, the ODU uniform became the daily work uniform on the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, replacing the old Battle Dress Uniform used by the U.S. Department of Defense from the 1980s to the mid-2000s.[3]

See alsoEdit


  3. It’s New, It’s Blue, It’s the PHS ODU!,, dated 11 September 2013, last accessed 10 September 2016

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