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How to pass a uniform inspection

Updated on January 8, 2011

Key tips to passing a uniform inspection

During your time in the military or even law enforcement you will have to undergo a uniform inspection for all of your uniforms to ensure that you know how to wear it, look presentable and professional, and that it fits. Some people you inspect will be very strict, detailed, and thorough with their inspection and others will just do a quick look over, but it is best to be prepared for a very technical and in depth inspection.

I suggest you keep your uniforms in a uniform bag when not being worn to best preserve them. Always have your uniforms cleaned and pressed at the local dry cleaners. If the uniform is one you wear a lot then it will help out a lot if you have a separate set of certain uniform pieces that are used only for inspections like gloves, covers, and shoes/boots. Make sure all of your uniforms are properly marked in the spot intended to be marked with your name by using a uniform marking kit. A lint roller will also be a useful item to have for your uniforms.

Before you leave your house, put your complete uniform on and stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself and make sure you have everything then take it all off one part at a time and place it in your uniform bag. This will ensure that you do not forget to bring items that are easy to forget such as rank, brass pieces, belts, gloves, cover etc.

When making sure your ready you want to go from head to toe including your body. This is what we will do here to make sure you are ready.

Lastly when the person inspecting you steps in front of you make sure to give them the proper greeting of the day.


Lets start at the top. First lest look at your head and face. Is your haircut fresh? make sure you have a clean and proper shave. Brush your teeth. Your teeth are easy to forget, but can be an easy hit on an inspection. Take into consideration your breath too. Next, are your ears clean? The only thing left on your head now is your cover.

Make sure your cover is clean, lint free, and wrinkle free. If it is a soft fabric cover then wash it, starch it if you wish to make it stiffer and more crisp looking. Take a lighter over parts of it to singe away the fuzz and IPs (irish penents) (looses pieces of string). If your cover has a shiny leather/nylon/latex type bill make sure its nice and shiney. Never touch this part or let anyone touch it because the oils from your skin can ruin it. Pledge furniture polish works great to make it shine.


 Make sure you are wearing your dog tags if applicable and make sure you don't have any taco meat (chest hair) hanging out of your shirt or collar.


Make sure your blouse is free of lint and IPs. Make sure you have your current rank sewn or placed on your blouse. Make sure it has no wrinkles. If it has wrinkles then iron them out or put it in the dryer if it wont mess your blouse up. Make sure that your ID card is in your left breast pocket. Make sure all of your buttons are clean, and attatched securley. Make sure your medals are clean, in correct order, and placed correctly. Google medal placement if your not sure of this. If your blouse has a belt make sure it is also clean and free of loose strings. My white dress blues belt tends to get dirty easy, and I think washing it would turn it yellow, so this may be a piece you just have to replace over time. make sure your gloves are clean. Make sure your creases are nice and tight and tucked in.


 Your trousers should be wrinkle free, lint free, IP free, and clean. Make sure they are not too tight and that the pockets don't stick out like elephant ears. This means they are a little tight. your pockets should lie perfectly flat on your thighs. Make sure your belt is on and cut to the proper length for the particular uniform. Make sure your creases are fresh. Make sure the length of your pants is correct too. The bottom edge of the trousers should rest on the sole of your shoes or a quarter inch above the sole. If you fold your trousers in half on the hanger make sure the hanger has a cardboard or foam piece so that it isn't too rigid that it makes a line in the middle of your trousers. If you have a regular hanger you can place a hand towel over the hanger bottom first to alleviate this problem.


 Make sure your shoes are clean, tied properly, and don't have lines or wrinkles from bending your toes. This is where that special set just for uniform inspections will come in handy. Pledge works well to clean nylon/leather shoes (slick and shiny). Make sure they are properly tied. make sure you are wearing dress socks. Do not use edge dressing on the sides of the soles as this is no longer required.


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