Flotilla 25-8 Uniform Information

Group of Military personnel standing together


CG Auxiliary Uniforms

Tue, 03 Apr 12  

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed, volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard. As such, we have the right and the privilege to wear the official uniforms of the Coast Guard, with subtle differences in insignia to identify us to one another, and to active duty Coast Guard members. The most obvious differences: their buttons and braid are gold; ours are silver, and our collar and shoulder insignia all have a small "A" signifying "Auxiliary".

Since, to most of the general public, we are virtually indistinguishable from our active-duty shipmates on the "gold side", we are held to the same high standards of dress, grooming, and comportment. We wear the uniform with pride.

Uniform of the Day

Different uniforms are worn for different tasks and different levels of formality. With the exception of operational tasks such as safety patrols, or working alongside the Coast Guard, a blue blazer with dress slacks or a skirt will serve on formal occasions, and many Auxiliarists, particularly new members, wear ordinary civilian clothing to flotilla meetings

Most auxiliarists can be found owning three basic uniforms: the tropical blue ("trops"), the operational dress uniform, or "ODU", and the service dress blue uniform. These uniforms are usually acquired in that order.  The following gives a brief overview of each of the uniforms.  Click on the name for a further description of the uniform and its components.


The Tropical Blue (Trops) uniform is the typical uniform of the day for flotilla meetings, public education classes, boat shows or other public events, and Auxiliary member training courses. It consists of a light-blue, short-sleeve dress shirt, worn open at the collar, with insignia of office worn on shoulder boards. Complementing this are navy blue dress slacks or skirt, black socks, belt, and black dress shoes. Nametags are worn on the right breast, as on virtually all uniforms, with ribbons and other insignia on the left. Finishing off the uniform are a choice of hats, or "cover" including the formal, military "combination" cover, with the distinctive flared brim, chin strap and buttons, and pancake-like white top; or the  cloth "garrison cap".


Auxiliarists who wish to dress appropriately for more formal occasions add the Service Dress Blue uniform to their kit. The uniform consists of a tailored, four-button, single-breasted jacket with silver lace on the sleeves, flap pockets with silver buttons, matching trousers, a pale blue dress shirt with navy blue four-in-hand necktie (or tab tie for women), and the white and blue combination cover (hat). Although the uniform is considered appropriate for meetings, classrooms, etc., it is rarely seen in such uses, which favor the "trops", and when authorized, the ODU. It is seen, however, at public ceremonies and in honor guards. Nametag and ribbons are worn identically to the tropical blue uniform.


Some auxiliarists own this uniform, because with the substitution of a white shirt for blue, and a bow tie (men) for the four-in-hand tie, the uniform is transformed into the Dinner Dress Blue uniform, worn for formal occasions such as dinners, changes of watch ceremonies, and the like. The nametag is removed, and miniature medals and other insignia substitute for ribbons, etc. Although the tuxedo-like, very formal dinner dress blue jacket or dinner dress white jacket uniforms, depending upon the season, are preferred for such occasions, they are very expensive, and many auxiliarists, as volunteers, cannot justify the purchase.


The Winter Dress Blue uniform, authorized from November 1 through March 31, and can be worn in place of the tropical blue, adding a "touch" of formality. It is specifically authorized as a substitute for the Service Dress Blue uniform, except on occasions when civilians would wear a coat and tie, which is, in turn specifically authorized to be worn as a substitute for the tropical blue.  It features a navy blue, long-sleeve "CPO" shirt with collar insignia, navy blue necktie (men and women), and matching blue dress trousers, with black socks and black dress shoes. The garrison cap and the combination cover are authorized with this uniform, as are the windbreaker and trench coat.


The current working uniform of a majority of Auxiliarists is the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU). The ODU is similar to the Battle Dress Uniform of other armed services, both in function and style. However, the ODU is in a solid dark blue with no camouflage patterns and does not have lower pockets on the blouse. The ODU is worn with composite toe boots in most circumstances, but low-cut black or brown boat shoes may be prescribed for certain situations. The former dark blue working uniform has been withdrawn from use by the Coast Guard but may be worn by Auxiliarists until no longer serviceable. In the fall of 2008 a second generation Operational Dress Uniform was introduced. It resembles the current Battle Dress blouse, which is worn on the outside, rather than tucked in. In addition it has a black Coast Guard insignia embroidered on the left shirt pocket as well as the side pockets of the trousers. This next generation ODU is an optional uniform item until 31 December 2012. A standard Auxiliary baseball-style cover is worn with the ODU uniform, embroidered in silver block lettering with "U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary" and a metal cap device.  Authorized outerwear for the ODU are the Foul Weather Parka and/or the ODU Utility Jacket.


Though no longer authorized for active duty personnel, the Hot Weather Uniform remains authorized for Auxiliary wear. The prescribed shirt for the Hot Weather Uniform is the Coast Guard dark blue crew neck T shirt shall be worn stenciled or embroidered with the words “USCG AUXILIARY” across the front left chest in white ¾-inch tall block-style letters.  It shall be in good condition with no tears or stains. It may be 100 percent cotton or may be made of a cotton-polyester blend to facilitate moisture wicking.  The Auxiliary operations polo shirt may be worn with this uniform as an alternative (note – the Auxiliary operations polo shirt may be worn as an alternative to the Coast Guard working blue uniform shirt, the ODU top, and the Hot Weather Uniform shirt). Additionally, the Vessel Examiner shirt may be worn with this uniform as an alternative when conducting vessel safety checks.  The standard Coast Guard light blue (Air Force) short sleeve shirt (undress blue) and the standard Coast Guard dark blue short sleeve shirt (working blue) will no longer be authorized for Auxiliary wear with the Hot Weather Uniform as of December 31, 2012.

For further information, please consult either the CG AUXILIARY UNIFORM PROCUREMENT GUIDE or Chapter 10 of the COAST GUARD AUXILIARY MANUAL.

Uniform Chart

Sat, 18 Feb 12  
U S C G Uniform Chart

Cover Chart

Tue, 10 Apr 12  
U S C G Uniform Cover Chart