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National Uniform Program Frequently Asked Questions Banner

Frequently Asked Questions

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    Q. I just ordered my campaign hat and hatband, but can find nothing telling me how to tie the band. Where would I find this information?
    A. Instructions are as follows:

    1. Take strap fastened to Ring A, slip under Ring B and pull through.
    2. Slip strap end through top of Ring A, pull through underneath.
    3. Bring strap up and over portion connecting rings, adjust distance between rings to fit hat size, then wrap around three to five times loosely.
    4. Thread end of strap through Ring B again from underside to outside, then continue by running end of strap connecting rings but inside loops.
    5. Tighten loops around strap and cut off excess strap at Ring A. Place band on hat, with the braid on the wearer's left.
  • Video - How to tie a Ranger Style Hat Band

    Q. Why doesn't the Corps Uniform Program include shoes like the National Park Service?
    A. The selecting, purchasing, stocking and distributing of shoes would be a very expensive program. The wide variety of shoe sizes, widths, and styles necessary to outfit the rangers across the nation further complicates the issue. The Uniform Committee recommended, and Headquarters has agreed, not to supply shoes with the Uniform Program. (It should be noted that at the joint uniform committee meetings held in October 2001, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service committee recommended that shoes be discontinued in their respective programs for many of the reasons listed above.)

    Q. The lightweight short-sleeved shirts are nice, but do not look very good after the first washing. What can be done to improve this?
    A. The lightweight short-sleeved shirt does require more care than the duty shirt. It is recommended that you iron the shirt when it comes out of the dryer. (The uniform committee is constantly looking into new fabrics to meet the needs of the rangers. A wear test was conducted on a new shirt material in 2001; however, the results were not satisfactory. A new wear test was commissioned at the October 2001 meeting that may improve this situation.)

    Q. I like the new cut of the women's twill trousers, but the color is not the same as the other uniform trousers. What is being done to correct this?
    A. At the October 2001 meeting, the uniform contractor showed the committee a new fabric for the wash/wear type trousers. This new fabric is a lightweight wash/wear type fabric that is a closer match to the duty trousers. The committee is exploring the possible adoption of this fabric.

    Q. My duty belt is constantly being scratched by radioes, and other equipment. What can be done to make the belt hold its color longer?
    A. This is a common occurrence. Your belt will look better and last longer with a little care. Treat your leather belt in much the same way you treat shoes. A little black shoe dye, and shoe polish followed by a quick buffing will restore the shine to your belt.

    Q. My Stratton campaign hat has gotten soiled and warped. I don't want to have to replace it. What can I do to clean it?
    A. One option comes from Stratton Hats, Inc. They offer a renovation service for their hats. The renovation includes a new leather sweat band and a thorough cleaning and re-blocking on its original form. All you need to do is box it up (the original box will work) and ship it back to Stratton. The cost for the cleaning, renovation, and re-blocking is about $35.00. If several rangers need this service, it is suggested that send a fax on government letterhead to George Stratton and the company may come back with a better price. Pertinent information:

    Q. Will I be able to order my nameplate through the uniform allowance web site
    A. Yes, nameplates can now be ordered through the individual's uniform account as well as the Special Purchase section. Corps employees who need a nameplate but who are not authorized a uniform allowance will still be able to purchase nameplates with a valid credit card in the Special Purchase section.

    Q. Does the remaining allowance I don't spend at the end of the year go to the contractor?
    A. No. The contractor does not receive funds until the item has been "purchased" by the employee. For example, if Employee A is authorized a $350.00 replacement allowance for the FY, but only orders items totaling $300.00, the contractor only receives the $300.00. The remaining $50.00 are merely potential, not actual funds for the contractor.

    Q. Can I purchase an orange vest, life jacket, or Nomex fire gear with my uniform allowance?
    A. No, they are considered safety equipment and should be purchased locally with project funds.

    Q. When I transfer to another duty station what needs to be done to make sure I still receive my uniform allowance?
    A. Transferring an account is a two step process. The uniform coordinator at the "losing" duty station needs to transfer the UAA to the new "gaining" duty station. The "gaining" duty station uniform coordinator will need to approve the UAA before an order can be placed.

    Q. Why does it take so long for new items to get into the system?
    A. When a new item is considered at the annual Uniform Meeting, the uniform committee votes on whether or not to recommend the item. If the item is accepted, the committee then recommends it to Headquarters for approval. Headquarters will determine if the committees' recommendation fits with national policy to determine if the new item can be added into the program. The Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (in HQ) then contacts the Contracting Officer requesting a modification to the contract to add the item. Specifications for the item must then be established. Once these specifications are complete, and the modification is processed, the contractor then incorporates it into their manufacturing process. As you can see, the process can take a while.

    Q. I am expecting and was wondering if there is a maternity uniform I can purchase?
    A. Yes, there is a maternity shirt and trousers that can be purchased. Be sure to contact your uniform coordinator to increase your allowance for the maternity wear. You may also wear trousers obtained through local purchase of a grey, black, or forest green color. Another source for maternity uniforms is the Corps' maternity loaner program. Loaner items can be hemmed but not cut, as they are a personal loan to you. Questions about the loaner program should be directed to Park Ranger Carrie Richardson (

    Q. What is the difference between Made-to-Wear, Cut-to-Order, and Made-to-Measure?
    A. Made-to-Wear uniform items are kept in stock and are sizes that fit the majority of uniform wearers. For instance size 36 short rise trousers would be Made-to-Wear. Cut-to-Order uniform items are items for which patterns exist, but are outside the sizes in stock. For instance, size 42 short rise trousers would be Cut-to-Order. These take 60+ days to manufacture.

    Made-to-Measure uniform items are items for which a pattern must be made. For instance, size 28 extra long rise trousers would be Made-to-Measure. For the purposes of the contract, the Cut-to-Order and Made-to-Measure are both referred to as Made-to-Measure. The Duty Jacket (Ike Jacket) is also a Made-to-Measure item.

    Q. What is a hat trap?
    A. The hat trap is a new item that will protect your campaign hat while being stored. It can be found on the uniform web site in the Special Purchase section. These can be purchased with project funds, or by credit card.

    Q. What if I make an order and decide I want to change it after I have submitted it?
    A. Contact the Contractor immediately. If you wait more then one day your order will be processed.

    Q. Are we authorized to wear a utility belt?
    A. The Uniform Committee and Visitor Assistance Committee have both recommended approval of a black nylon utility belt that may be worn with the uniform. The utility belt would be purchased locally and not through the uniform allowance.

    Q. What is the difference between "MTM" and "Non-stock"?
    A. MTM is an abbreviation for Made-To-Measure. Made-To-Measure simply means that the uniform contractor does not currently have a pattern that will fit your size specifications, and they will make it to your dimensions once they receive all of the required measurements. This process does take approximately 90-120 days. The reason for the long turnaround time is because first the measurements are sent to the pattern maker, who in turn creates a new pattern to your measurements, then the pattern gets delivered to the cutting facility. Once received into cutting, the specific cut then gets worked into the sewing and trim department and the completed garment is then shipped back to the Distribution Center in Virginia, received in and then processed to your original order. There are no returns on a MTM garment, so measurements that are submitted to the contractor should be taken by a professional. There is no additional cost to the agency or employee for MTM items.

    Non-stock means that the contractor does have patterns already available, but the particular size requested does not generate enough volume to require the contractor to stock it on the shelf with inventory readily available for shipment. The normal turnaround time is 60-90 days from date of order. The process involves making the special cut in our manufacturing facility and then working this special cut into our sewing and trim department. Then, the completed garment gets shipped back to the Distribution Center in Virginia, received in and then processed to your original order. These items can be returned. There is no additional cost to the agency or employee for a Non-stock item.

    Q. Why are some of the uniform items from countries other than the USA?
    A. The FAR Clauses in the Uniform Contract allow the contractor to utilize NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) countries and included the Caribbean Basin countries to manufacture the uniforms. Specifically, these are the United States, Canada, and Mexico (NAFTA). The Caribbean Basin countries include: Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands, Nicaragua, St Kitts, St. Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago. Certain countries such as Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea and Sudan are considered restricted and will not be utilized.

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