SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — U.S. Naval Forces Japan officials early this summer said civilians at Navy installations are subject to the rules set forth in its dress code — and that includes teachers, administrators, other staff and students.

However, the Navy dress code should not cause much stress among the school populations, according to Linda Connelly, Sasebo’s Ernest J. King High School principal.

The dress code’s intent is to “present a good public image and reinstall a sense of pride and professionalism,” said Cmdr. David Wells, CNFJ spokesman.

The dress code applies to all military personnel and their family members, retirees, DOD civilians, DODDS teachers and students, federal employees, contract civilians and their family members at CNFJ facilities, Wells said.

“All of us here in Japan, both military and civilian, are ambassadors of the United States and the United States Navy, and as such, must look and dress the part,” he added.

CNFJ and DODDS officials have not met to discuss any potential conflicts, misunderstandings or exclusions.

“No formal communications or discussions have taken place,” Wells said. “CNFJ believes that DODDS should determine how to best ensure compliance with the civilian clothing policy within their facilities.”

The details of the dress code are exactly the same for the schools and the rest of a base community.

The schools typically have their own dress codes. The CNFJ dress code differs very little from school dress codes already in place, Connelly said.

“The teachers and students will be subject to the dress code, and we will continue to monitor appropriate dress at school — like we always have,” she said.

The CNFJ dress code forbids clothing such as severely baggy shorts, torn jeans, bandanas or do-rags, and any hat, T-shirt, tattoo or piercing that a “reasonable person” would find offensive.

Connelly said the only difference between her school’s rules and the CNFJ policy pertains to bandanas or do-rags.

“Students were not permitted to wear those in class, but they were allowed to be worn before and after school,” she said. “Now, they won’t be allowed at all.”

Under the guidelines, “persons whose appearance does not comply with this regulation/policy, and who cannot correct the discrepancy on the spot, will be directed to return to their command, quarters or residence to improve their personal clothing/appearance.”

A full list of the guidelines is spelled out in CNFJ Instruction 1020.3a. Among other popular fashions banned are tank tops (for men), white T-shirts worn as outer garments and midriff-baring shirts.

Sasebo Naval Base officials say enforcement will largely be left up to the schools.

“Enforcement of the new dress code is much less a security department issue than it is a leadership issue,” said base spokesman Chuck Howard. “For school students, the first and most important link in the leadership chain is the parents.”

If a female student arrives for classes wearing a tube shirt, or other midriff-baring shirt, the school might loan the student a T-shirt to wear for the remainder of the day, the King principal said. The student could also be sent home to change.

“If the situation becomes repetitive, then it becomes a disciplinary issue, but telling them once is almost always enough. They and their parents get the point,” Connelly noted.

“I really don’t think this will be a stressful issue,” she added. “It’s just another way to reinforce the principles of good grooming, which is something we focus on anyway.”

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now