US Navy Enlisted Dress Uniforms: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to military uniforms, few are as noteworthy as those of the United States Navy. Navy enlisted personnel wear a variety of different uniforms for different occasions and for different classifications of personnel. One of the most distinctive dress uniforms of any branch of the US military is worn by enlisted US Navy personnel. In this blog, we will go over all the details of US Navy enlisted dress uniforms.

History of US Navy Enlisted Dress Uniforms 

The history of the US Navy dress uniform goes all the way back to the 19th century. The current variant of the dress uniform was first adopted in 1817, when the Navy switched from blue coats with brown trousers to a more formal blue coat with a white waistcoat and white trousers. Since then, the uniform has been modified a few times and is now referred to as the Service Khaki or Uniform Combo Alpha.

The Uniform 

The US Navy enlisted dress uniform is based on the traditional US Navy design, with a few updates. It consists of a Khaki shirt, white undershirt and a black tie, with a khaki skirt or trousers and black shoes. The uniform also features a belt, rank insignia and name tags. The shirt has two pockets, one on the front and one on the left side, while the trousers have one pocket on each side. Additionally, the service cap is optional and may be worn with the uniform.

The Rank Insignia 

On the uniform, enlisted personnel wear rank insignia on the shirt collars, indicating their rank and rate. The insignia for enlisted personnel consists of a combination of chevrons and stripes. The chevrons indicate the personnel’s rank and paygrade, while the stripes indicate their rate.


Below are a few examples of the dress uniform worn by Navy personnel:

  • A petty officer wearing the khaki shirt and white undershirt with black trousers and shoes. The petty officer is also wearing a black tie, rank insignia and name tag. 
  • An ensign wearing the same Khaki shirt with white undershirt and black trousers, but with a different tie and rank insignia. 
  • An officer wearing the dress uniform with a service cap and the rank insignia on the collars of the shirt. 


The dress uniform of the United States Navy is a distinctive, formal uniform worn by enlisted personnel and officers. The uniform consists of a white undershirt, khaki shirt, black trousers, and black shoes and includes optional service cap and rank insignia. The uniform is both comfortable and professional and is worn for official Navy duties and functions, as well as at the discretion of the commanding officer.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the US Navy enlisted dress uniform? 

The US Navy enlisted dress uniform is a formal, military uniform worn by enlisted personnel of the United States Navy. The uniform consists of a khaki shirt, white undershirt and a black tie, with khaki trousers or skirt and black shoes. Additionally, the service cap and rank insignia are optional. 

  1. Are female Navy personnel required to wear the dress uniform? 

Yes, both male and female Navy personnel are required to wear the dress uniform at the Navy’s specified functions and occasions. 

  1. How often are enlisted personnel required to wear the dress uniform? 

Enlisted personnel in the Navy are required to wear the dress uniform during official Navy functions, including formal events and ceremonies. They are also required to wear the uniform whenever directed by their commanding officers. 

  1. Is the dress uniform comfortable to wear? 

Yes, the dress uniform is designed to be comfortable, while still providing a professional and military look. The material used for the shirt and trousers is lightweight yet durable, and the uniform is designed to be breathable and provide ample ventilation for the wearer.