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Commander, Naval Forces Japan, the parent command for all U.S. Navy bases in the country, issued a revised and more specific civilian clothing instruction this month that includes a photographic slide show aimed to remove any doubt about what’s appropriate.

Specifically, the guidance explains what athletic wear is and the difference between prohibited shower shoes — made of rubber — and approved shoes, which can look similar but must be made of materials other than rubber.

The guidance is designed to ensure sailors, civilians and family members portray a look of professionalism on and off base, even if the regulations are stricter than what might be worn by Japanese nationals or other foreigners in Japan.

The rules apply to guests on bases as well.

“We’re looking to have everyone dress appropriately in our host nation,” said CNFJ Command Master Chief Mike Driscoll. “There’s really nothing new. We took out a lot of the guesswork.”

Certain items, such as swimsuits, can be worn at recreational facilities and pools, but not in commercial buildings such as galleys, schools or exchanges, according to the rule.

Off-duty clothing guidance began with a rule for sailors created in 2001, which was modified and extended to all U.S. personnel and guests on Navy bases in 2003.

The clarifications were made this year to clear up confusion over certain items, such as sleeveless shirts and halter tops.

To illustrate the points, CNFJ created a 15-page online slide show showing examples of approved and prohibited clothing.

The slide show can be viewed through the CNFJ Web site at www.cnfj.navy.mil/clothing.html.

The slide show helps illustrate the difference between athletic and casual wear. For example, if clothing was worn while working out, it’s athletic wear and prohibited outside athletic locations like the gym.

According to the slide presentation: “There are some clothes that can be worn in public and also be worn to work out in. If those clothes are neat, clean and presentable, they can possibly be casual wear.”

The rules apply on and off base except when going to and from a recreation or athletic area.

In places where a Navy command exists on another service’s installation, such as Naval Air Facility Misawa on Misawa Air Base, sailors are expected to follow the Navy rules.

The instruction, signed by CNFJ commander Adm. Frederic Ruehe, asks leaders to set an example for junior sailors and to help enforce the rules.

Military police, shore patrol and leaders including store managers and school principals also will keep an eye out for clothing infractions, according to the regulation.

Violators will be asked to correct an infraction on the spot or can be sent home to correct it.

Leadership also can send a notice to the sponsor’s or violator’s command.

“We are guests here in this country and we want to present a good front,” Driscoll said.

Tie your shoes, hide those undies

A look at the Commander, Naval Forces Japan revised civilian clothing policy. For more detailed information, see the instruction, 1020.3B, signed June 16 and available on the CNFJ Web site.

Prohibited clothing includes:

¶ Clothes altered to be sexually revealing.

¶ Anything that is profane or obscene or that glamorizes alcohol, illicit drugs or any illegal activity.

¶ Soiled or frayed clothing.

¶ Hairnets, do-rags and handkerchiefs, even under a hat (women may wear headscarves).

Additional guidelines:

¶ Shoes: Laces must be tied if applicable. Sandals, including flip-flop varieties, are acceptable, but waterproof rubber shower shoes are not.

¶ Shirts: T-shirts are acceptable but undershirts, tank top-style athletic jerseys (unless over a T-shirt) and bathing suit tops are not. Professional sports shirts with sleeves are approved if not too large. For women, sleeveless shirts and dresses are OK, as are modest halter tops and strapless shirts showing no more than 1 inch of midriff.

¶ Pants: Should fit well (size and length) and not show undergarments or buttocks.

¶ Skirts/dresses/shorts: Should be mid-thigh or longer.

To view the slide show and the instruction, go to: www.cnfj.navy.mil/clothing.html.

— Juliana Gittler


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