Vermont State Militia (VSM) Uniform Policy
February 10 2010
The proud history of members of the Norwich staff and faculty serving as uniformed members of the VSM continues today. While the cadets wear a distinctive traditional “Cadet Gray” uniform, the staff and faculty proudly wear the uniform of the United States Army as adapted in the Staff and Faculty Uniform Manual (PDF). We continue to refer to the U.S. Army’s Uniform Policy, AR 670–1 (PDF), as a basis for our policy at Norwich. Uniformed faculty and staff members must continue to uphold the rich heritage and tradition behind the wearing of the uniform. This means that each uniformed member of the faculty and staff must present a neat, professional military appearance. The uniform must fit and be worn properly. It must be clean, pressed and maintained in a well-fitting and serviceable condition. Grooming standards must present a neat, conservative military appearance. Brass and shoes should be shined. Any mixture of uniform items and civilian apparel is improper.
Members of the VSM will wear the uniform during each duty day, which is generally defined as the hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while present on campus, and always while instructing students, regardless of the time of day. Members of the VSM may change into/out of civilian attire to accommodate travel to and from campus.
VSM members will wear an appropriate VSM Green Service (Class A or B) uniform in the performance of their normal duties and during such periods that the Corps of Cadets or its major elements participate in uniform. Such events include military ceremonies, and other occasions when prescribed by the Office of the President. Members of the faculty and staff need not be in uniform if they are working within the confines of their offices or laboratories on weekends and evenings.
Wearing a military uniform also imposes standards of personal grooming. Hair length should conform to military rather than civilian standards; neatly trimmed mustaches are acceptable, but beards and eccentric hairstyles are not. Members of the VSM are authorized to receive haircuts at the university barbershop free of charge.
Members of the Vermont State Militia should avoid behavior or uniform wear that detracts from an appropriate military appearance. Examples of inappropriate behavior and/or appearance include:
- Unfastened garments: when any coat is worn, it should be fully buttoned or zipped. The shirts of officers are to be tucked in at all times, with the exception of the female overblouse version of the green dress class A and Class B shirt.
- Walking or standing with hands in pockets or slouching; eating or smoking while walking.
- Wearing headgear inside or wearing it improperly.
- Wearing improper uniform combinations and wearing unauthorized items such earmuffs, civilian jackets or improper footgear with the uniform.
- Female members (only) of the VSM may carry and use an umbrella, only during inclement weather. The umbrella is black, plain, with no logos or designs, and is an optional purchase item.
- Jewelry may be worn as prescribed. Members may wear a wristwatch, a wrist identification bracelet, and a total of two rings (a wedding set is considered one ring) with uniforms. Any jewelry members wear must be conservative and in good taste. Identification bracelets are limited to medical alert bracelets and MIA/POW identification bracelets. Members may wear only one item on each wrist. Females are authorized to wear prescribed earrings with the service, dress, and mess uniforms. Earrings may be screw-on, clip-on, or post-type earrings, in gold, silver, white pearl, or diamond. The earrings will not exceed 6 mm or 1/4 inch in diameter. When worn, the earrings will fit snugly against the ear. Females may wear earrings only as a matched pair, with only one earring per earlobe. No jewelry, other than that described above, will appear exposed while wearing the uniform. Ankle bracelets, necklaces, faddish (trendy) devices, visible body piercings, medallions, amulets, and personal talismans or icons are not authorized for wear in any military uniform, or in civilian clothes on duty.
- Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A or class B uniform collar are prohibited. Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist are prohibited, regardless of location on the body, as they are prejudicial to good order and discipline. Existing tattoos or brands on the hands that are not extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist, but are visible in the class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), are authorized.
- All personnel will keep fingernails clean and neatly trimmed. Males will keep nails trimmed so as not to extend beyond the fingertip. Females will not exceed a nail length of 1/4 inch, as measured from the tip of the finger. Females will trim nails shorter if the longer length detracts from the military image, presents a safety concern, or interferes with the performance of duties.
- Conservative civilian prescription eyeglasses are authorized for wear with all uniforms. Conservative prescription and non-prescription sunglasses are authorized for wear while on campus, except when in formation and while indoors. Eyeglasses or sunglasses that are trendy, or have lenses or frames with initials, designs, or other adornments are not authorized for wear. Members may not wear lenses with extreme or trendy colors, which include but are not limited to, red, yellow, blue, purple, bright green, or orange. Lens colors must be traditional gray, brown, or dark green shades. Members will not wear lenses or frames that detract from the appearance of the uniform. Personnel will not attach chains, bands, or ribbons to eyeglasses. Personnel will not hang eyeglasses or eyeglass cases on the uniform, and may not let glasses hang from eyeglass restraints down the front of the uniform.
- All service uniform combinations are authorized for year-round wear. However, appropriate discretion should be used based on weather conditions and duties.
The Manager of the Uniform Store is authorized to order and issue all uniform articles, and can assist with proper sizing, fitting, and replacement of unserviceable items. All VSM members will judiciously replace unserviceable, ill-fitting, and worn uniform items as necessary. The Uniform Store extension is 2206.
Photos of both male and female staff and faculty members in uniform have been placed in the column on the right to further simplify the task of complying with the VSM Uniform Policy. Direct any questions concerning this executive summary or the full uniform policy to the Office of the Commandant, Jackman Hall room 233, ext. 2135.