The Navy has issued new guidelines to sailors regarding the wear of Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type II and III. Beginning next month, Navy Exchanges will sell “Don’t Tread On Me” and reverse U.S. flag patches, which can be worn on optional non-tactical NWU II/III uniforms – subject to the discretion of garrison commanders.

The Navy’s “Don’t Tread on Me” patch is not the same as the Gadsden flag (above), which has origins in the Revolutionary War era and has political associations with the Tea Party and libertarian and other groups.

The Navy points out that NWU II/III uniforms are not authorized for “liberty”. Rather, sailors can wear the uniforms for “commuting and all normal tasks and associated short stops … before, during and after the workday.” Sailors should not wear NWU II/III uniforms while conducting official business that otherwise would require normal business attire.

Other new guidelines:

  • Sailors attached to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) have the option of wearing a NORAD identification badge for the duration of their assignment there.
  • Full Time Support instructors in the two-week Reserve Career Information Course can wear the Navy Career Counselor identification badge.
  • Engineering Duty Officers (EDOs) who have completed engineering duty qualification requirements can wear the EDO breast insignia.
  • Both male and female sailors can wear the black V-neck pullover sweater.