Standards for Uniforms and Appearance
Part One: Philosophy
The OMI uniform standards are intended to further the mission of the Institute, to minimize disruption and promote the health, safety and welfare of all cadets. Any deviation from the uniform standards is incompatible with the mission of the Institute. Parents are expected to support this philosophy and are encouraged to discuss it with their TAC Teams.
Because OMI is a military academy and standards of personal appearance are integral to the successful operation of any military organization, a cadet’s refusal to comply with established grooming and uniform regulations is regarded as an act of defiance. Therefore, all such acts of non-compliance are grounds for suspension and/or expulsion. OMI reserves the right to send home any cadet whose appearance, in the opinion of the school administration, constitutes a blatant disregard for the spirit and/or letter of these appearance/uniform standards. The administration is the final authority in determining whether a cadet’s appearance warrants being sent home to correct deficiencies, suspension, or expulsion.
OMI expects cadets to wear the complete and proper uniform from the time they leave their homes in the morning, until the time they return to their homes after school hours, except in cases where a cadet changes for school-sponsored athletic practices or games. Cadets are held accountable for their appearance and conduct both on and off campus when in uniform. OMI cadets represent themselves and the Institute at all times and are expected to do so with pride and integrity.
Part Two: Basic Descriptions
The OMI Corps of Cadets has seven basic uniforms. Special Event/Spirit Uniforms will be announced and worn as determined by the OMI Administration and/or the Director of Student Activities.
Class A Uniform:
The Class A Uniform is worn by select cadets for all formal occasions during the school year, including Pass in Reviews, Senior Ceremony/Change of Command and other times as directed. The Class A Uniform includes the Four-Button Coat, dress pants, white short or long-sleeved shirt, black four-in-hand tie or female neck tab, black dress shoes, black dress belt with brass buckle and black garrison cap. Accessories worn include a plain white crewneck T-shirt, black dress socks, and appropriate undergarments. Female cadets may wear an optional black skirt and may use an authorized plain black purse only. Cold weather accessories (with the exception of the beanie and ear caps) are allowed as explained in this handbook.
Class B Uniform:
The Class B uniform is worn by all cadets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the school year (except as directed). The Class B Uniform as issued includes the dress jacket, pants, white or khaki short-sleeved shirt, black dress shoes, black dress belt with brass buckle and black garrison cap. Accessories worn include a plain white crewneck T-shirt, black dress socks, and appropriate undergarments. Female cadets may use an authorized plain black purse only. Cold weather accessories are allowed as explained in this handbook. On Wednesdays all cadets wear a tie with their Class B uniform.
Physical Training (PT) Uniform:
The Physical Training (PT) Uniform is worn by all cadets each Tuesday and Thursday (and as directed). The PT uniform includes a windbreaker set with OMI logo (jacket and pants), and a tan/sand colored crew neck t-shirt with OMI logo. Accessories worn include a pair of black shorts with the OMI logo, all black lace-up athletic shoes without design or logo (with all black shoe laces), crew length all white athletic socks, and appropriate undergarments. Female cadets may use an authorized plain black purse only. Cold weather accessories are allowed as explained in this handbook.
Relaxed Dress Uniform:
A Relaxed Dress Uniform is worn by selected cadets as directed. This uniform is not an item of issue. It includes conservative blue jeans, conservative belt and buckle, the tan/sand PT shirt, all black lace-up athletic shoes (with all black shoe laces), white crew length athletic socks, the OMI PT jacket and appropriate undergarments. No headgear is required with this uniform. Female cadets may use a plain black purse only.
A utility uniform (known as the Class C uniform) is occasionally issued for field activities. This uniform includes a tan BDU-style shirt and trousers and tan BDU cap. Accessories include black or sand colored boots, crew length athletic socks, a white or tan/sand crew neck t-shirt, and appropriate undergarments.
This uniform is not an item of initial issue. The Pledge Uniform is worn by prospective cadets who have completed all phases of the application process. It is worn during the OMI Summer Camp. Cold weather outerwear and accessories are authorized for purchase and wear by pledges as explained in this handbook.The Pledge Uniform is composed of the following:
Grizzly Dress Uniform:
This uniform is not an item of issue. The Grizzly Dress Uniform will be worn by members of good standing in the REG, on the last Friday of every month unless otherwise announced. Cadets must wear any OMI approved apparel as an outer layer AND an inner layer. Cadets are authorized to wear any non ripped color jeans, sweatpants/joggers. Cadets are authorized to wear any color shoes. Female Cadets are authorized to wear their hair in the hairstyle of their choice within authorized color guidelines.
Requests for assistance to procure non-issued uniforms can be made to the Commandant. Requests will be kept confidential.
Uniform regulations apply at all times a cadet is in uniform, whether on campus or off campus, during school time and during non-school time.
Part Three: Manner of Wear
Class A Uniform:
Cadet Regulation 1-8 governs the proper wear of Cadet Class A Uniforms. The following information is designed to summarize standards for wear outlined in that regulation. Cadets and parents may obtain a copy of the complete regulation at https://cacadets.org/sites/default/files/Regulations/CR1-8_1Dec13.pdf.
Class B Uniform:
Cadet Regulation 1-8 governs the proper wear of Cadet Class B Uniforms. The following information summarizes standards for wear outlined in that regulation. Cadets and parents may obtain a copy of the complete regulation at https://cacadets.org/sites/default/files/Regulations/CR1-8_1Dec13.pdf.
The PT uniform is purchased by cadets/families at the Grizzly Exchange, and consists of the following.
Special Rules for Cold Weather:
Relaxed Dress Uniform:
A Relaxed Dress Uniform is worn by selected cadets as directed. It consists of the following:
Cadet Regulation 1-8 governs the proper wear of Cadet Class C (Utility) Uniforms. The following information is designed to summarize standards for wear outlined in that regulation. Cadets and parents may obtain a copy of the complete regulation by visiting https://cacadets.org/sites/default/files/Regulations/CR1-8_1Dec13.pdf.
The Pledge/Candidate Uniform is worn every day of summer camp and the school year until the pledge becomes a cadet.. The Pledge Uniform consists of the following:
2) Cadets must wear any of the following shirts:
3) Cadets are authorized to wear any pair of non-ripped jeans, shirt, OR sweat pants.
4) Cadets are authorized to wear any pair of shoes with socks.
5) Female Cadets are authorized to wear their hair in the hairstyle of their choice within authorized color guidelines.
6) Jewelry is NOT authorized.
7) Sleepwear of any type is NOT authorized.
8) Students are NOT allowed to wear "slides" OR "flip-flops"
9) Students MUST wear their OMI ID. Nonnegotiable
10) Students ARE allowed to wear joggers and sweat pants.
11) Students are NOT allowed to wear shorts
12) If a student chooses to wear any of the OMI Uniforms, they MUST follow ALL of the wear and appearance standards.
13) Students MUST wear a VISIBLE outer layer OMI shirt, sweatshirt, jersey etc.
14) Only those who have earned the Cadet Status, are authorized to wear the Grizzly Dress Uniform on designated days.
Part Four: General Wear and Appearance Policies and Standards
Uniform regulations apply at all times a cadet is in uniform, whether on campus or off campus, during school time and during non-school time.
Definition of “UNSERVICEABLE”
When an item becomes “unserviceable” it means that it is no longer fit to be worn. Because OMI is built on a military structure, we have HIGH EXPECTATIONS as to how our cadets should look and present themselves. What may be “OK” to wear somewhere else may not be acceptable to wear as a uniform. Examples of “unserviceable” items are: frayed, torn, stained, ripped, scuffed, broken, etc. Issued items may be replaced at Supply; replacement purchased items may be purchased at the GX. Cadets who need financial assistance replacing uniform items should speak to the Commandant, Principal, or Counselor.
When entering campus wearing or carrying an unauthorized uniform item, ALL CADETS will be (1) asked to remove the item and turn it in for parent pickup, and (2) be given EMI for wearing the unauthorized uniform item.
The OMI administration is the final authority in determining whether a cadet’s appearance is within the spirit of the OMI policies and standards. Cadets who are in violation of uniform wear and appearance standards will be assigned EMI.
Prescription eyewear is authorized with all uniforms. Sunglasses or non-prescription eyewear is not authorized at any time in uniform on campus. Contact lenses, if worn, must be a natural eye color and may not have designs or other symbols, logos, inscriptions, etc on them. Eyeglasses should be conservative in design and color.
Both female and male cadets are not allowed to wear any jewelry in their ears, nose, face, eyebrow, neck, or other visible area while in any OMI uniform. No other body pierced items are authorized (e.g., nose/lip rings, tongue rings, eyebrow ring, etc.). Rings, necklaces, rosary beads, or bracelets of any type are not authorized. A discrete religious medallion on a chain may be worn under t-shirts such that neither the chain nor medallion are visible. An inexpensive watch that is black or neutral in color may be worn with all uniforms. In lieu of jewelry, plastic transparent “spacers” no larger than 1/8 inch in diameter may be worn for a period not to exceed two weeks if a cadet gets a piercing during the school year. Cadet must obtain explicit permission from the TAC Team PRIOR to the piercing and no extensions are allowed beyond the two-week period. No “gauges” may be worn at any time. No bandages or band-aids or other “disguises” may be worn to hide piercings or jewelry. An official or authorized OMI class ring may be worn by juniors or seniors.
(1) General The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative. It is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to exercise good judgment when enforcing Cadet Corps policy. All Cadets will comply with hair, fingernail, and grooming policies while in any cadet uniform.
(a) Leaders will judge the appropriateness of a particular hairstyle by the guidance in this chapter and by the ability to wear all types of headgear (such as beret, patrol cap, or service cap/hat) properly. Hairstyles (including bulk and length of hair) that do not allow Cadets to wear any headgear properly are prohibited. Headgear will fit snugly and comfortably, without bulging or distortion from the intended shape of the headgear and without excessive gaps.
(b) Extreme, eccentric, or faddish haircuts or hairstyles are not authorized. If Cadets use dyes, tints, or bleaches, they must choose a natural hair color.
(c) Cadets who have a texture of hair that does not part naturally may cut a part into the hair or style the hair with one part. The part will be one straight line, not slanted or curved, and will fall in the area where the Soldier would normally part the hair. Cadets will not shape or cut designs into their hair or scalp.
(2) Male haircuts:
The hair on top of the head must be neatly groomed. The length and bulk of the hair may not be excessive and must present a neat and conservative appearance. The hair must present a tapered appearance. A tapered appearance is one where the outline of the Cadet’s hair conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point at the base of the neck. When the hair is combed, it will not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the neck. The block-cut fullness in the back is permitted to a moderate degree, as long as the tapered look is maintained. Males are not authorized to wear braids, cornrows, twists, dreadlocks, or locks while in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty. Haircuts with a single, untapered patch of hair on the top of the head (not consistent with natural hair loss) are considered eccentric and are not authorized. Examples include, but are not limited to, when the head is shaved around a strip of hair down the center of the head (mohawk), around a u-shaped hair area (horseshoe), or around a patch of hair on the front top of the head (tear drop). Hair that is completely shaved or trimmed closely to the scalp is authorized.
Sideburns are hair grown in front of the ear and below the point where the top portion of the ear attaches to the head. Sideburns will not extend below the bottom of the opening of the ear. Sideburns will not be styled to taper, flair, or come to a point. The length of the individual hairs of the sideburn will not exceed 1/8 inch when fully extended.
(b) Facial hair:
Male cadets will keep their face clean-shaven when in uniform. Mustaches are permitted. If worn, males will keep mustaches neatly trimmed, tapered, and tidy. Mustaches will not present a chopped off or bushy appearance, and no portion of the mustache will cover the upper lip line, extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corners of the mouth, or extend above a parallel line at the lowest portion of the nose. Handlebar mustaches, goatees, and beards are not authorized. If appropriate medical authority allows beard growth, the maximum length authorized for medical treatment must be specific. For example, “The length of the beard cannot exceed 1/4 inch”. Cadets will keep the growth trimmed to the level specified by the appropriate medical authority, but are not authorized to shape the hair growth.
(c) Wigs and hairpieces:
Males are prohibited from wearing wigs or hairpieces.
(3) Female haircuts and hairstyles:
The requirements for hair regulations are to maintain uniformity within a military population for female Cadets while in uniform. Female hairstyles may not be eccentric or faddish and will present a conservative, professional appearance. For the purpose of these regulations, female hairstyles are organized into three basic categories: short length, medium length, and long length hair.
(a) Short length:
Short hair is defined as hair length that extends no more than 1 inch from the scalp (excluding bangs). Hair may be no shorter than 1/4 inch from the scalp (unless due to medical condition or injury), but may be evenly tapered to the scalp within 2 inches of the hair line edges. Bangs, if worn, may not fall below the eyebrows, may not interfere with the wear of all headgear, must lie neatly against the head, and not be visible underneath the front of the headgear. The width of the bangs may extend to the hairline at the temple.
(b) Medium length:
Medium hair is defined as hair length that does not extend beyond the lower edge of the collar (in all uniforms), and extends more than 1 inch from the scalp. Medium hair may fall naturally in uniform, and is not required to be secured. When worn loose, graduated hair styles are acceptable, but the length, as measured from the end of the total hair length to the base of the collar, may not exceed 1 inch difference in length, from the front to the back. Layered hairstyles are also authorized, so long as each hair’s length, as measured from the scalp to the hair’s end, is generally the same length giving a tapered appearance. No portion of the bulk of the hair, as measured from the scalp, will exceed 2 inches.
(c) Long length:
Long hair is defined as hair length that extends beyond the lower edge of the collar. Long hair will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned above the lower edge of the collar, except that bangs may be worn. No portion of the bulk of the hair, as measured from the scalp as styled, will exceed 2 inches (except a bun, which is worn on the back of the head and may extend a maximum of 3 1/2 inches from the scalp and be no wider than the width of the head).
(d) Additional hairstyle guidelines:
Faddish and exaggerated styles, to include shaved portions of the scalp other than the neckline, designs cut in the hair, unsecured ponytails (except during physical training), and unbalanced or lopsided hairstyles are prohibited. Hair will be styled so as not to interfere with the proper wear of all uniform headgear. All headgear will fit snugly and comfortably around the largest part of the head without bulging or distortion from the intended shape of the headgear and without excessive gaps. When headgear is worn, hair should not protrude at distinct angles from under the edges. Hairstyles that do not allow the headgear to be worn in this manner are prohibited. Examples of hairstyles considered to be faddish or exaggerated and thus not authorized for wear while in uniform include, but are not limited to hair sculpting (eccentric texture or directional flow of any hairstyle to include spiking); buns with loose hair extending at the end; hair styles with severe angles or designs; and loose unsecured hair (not to include bangs) when medium and long hair are worn up.
Hair holding devices are authorized only for the purpose of securing the hair. Cadets will not place hair holding devices in the hair for decorative purposes. All hair holding devices must be plain and of a color as close to the Cadet’s hair as is possible or clear. Authorized devices include, but are not limited to, small plain scrunchies (elastic hair bands covered with material), barrettes, combs, pins, clips, rubber bands, and hair/head bands. Such devices should conform to the natural shape of the head. Devices that are conspicuous, excessive, or decorative are prohibited. Some examples of prohibited devices include, but are not limited to: large, lacy scrunchies; beads, bows, or claw or alligator clips; clips, pins, or barrettes with butterflies, flowers, sparkles, gems, or scalloped edges; and bows made from hairpieces. Foreign material (for example, beads and decorative items) will not be used in the hair. Cadets may not wear hairnets unless they are required for health or safety reasons, or in the performance of duties (such as those in a dining facility).
(f) Braids, cornrows, and twists:
Medium and long hair may be styled with braids, cornrows, or twists (see glossary for definitions). Each braid, cornrow, or twist will be of uniform dimension, have a diameter no greater than 1/2 inch, and present a neat, professional, and well-groomed appearance. Each must have the same approximate size of spacing between the braids, cornrows, or twists. Each hairstyle may be worn against the scalp or loose (free-hanging). When worn loose, such hairstyles must be worn per medium hair length guidelines or secured to the head in the same manner as described for medium or long length hair styles. Ends must be secured inconspicuously. When multiple loose braids or twists are worn, they must encompass the whole head. When braids, twists, or cornrows are not worn loosely and instead worn close to the scalp, they may stop at one consistent location of the head and must follow the natural direction of the hair when worn back, which is either in general straight lines following the shape of the head or flowing with the natural direction of the hair when worn back with one primary part in the hair (see para 3–2a(1)(c)). Hairstyles may not be styled with designs, sharply curved lines, or zigzag lines. Only one distinctive style (braided, rolled, or twisted) may be worn at one time. Braids, cornrows, or twists that distinctly protrude (up or out) from the head are not authorized.
(g) Dreadlocks or locks:
Any style of dreadlock or lock (against the scalp or free-hanging) is not authorized.
(h) Hair extensions:
Hair extensions are authorized. Extensions must have the same general appearance as the individual’s natural hair and otherwise conform to this regulation.
Wigs, if worn, must look natural and conform to this regulation. Wigs are not authorized to cover up unauthorized hairstyles.
(j) Physical Training:
Long length hair, may be worn in a pony tail during physical training. A single pony tail centered on the back of the head is authorized in physical fitness uniforms only when within the scope of physical training, except when considered a safety hazard. The pony tail is not required to be worn above the collar. Hairstyles otherwise authorized in this chapter (such as braids and twists) may also be worn in a pony tail during physical training.
(1) Males are prohibited from wearing cosmetics, except when medically prescribed. Females are authorized to wear cosmetics with all uniforms, provided they are applied modestly and conservatively, and that they complement both the Cadet’s complexion and the uniform. Leaders at all levels must exercise good judgment when interpreting and enforcing this policy.
(2) Eccentric, exaggerated, or faddish cosmetic styles and colors, to include makeup designed to cover tattoos, are inappropriate with the uniform and are prohibited. Permanent makeup, such as eyebrow or eyeliner, is authorized as long as the makeup conforms to the standards outlined above. Eyelash extensions are not authorized unless medically prescribed.
(3) Females will not wear shades of lipstick that distinctly contrast with the natural color of their lips, that detract from the uniform, or that are faddish, eccentric, or exaggerated.
(4) Females will comply with the cosmetics policy while in any cadet uniform.
All personnel will keep fingernails clean and neatly trimmed. Males will keep nails trimmed so as not to extend beyond the fingertip unless medically required and are not authorized to wear nail polish. 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 Commandant determines that the longer length detracts from a professional appearance, presents a safety concern, or interferes with the performance of duties. Females may only wear clear polish when in uniform. Females may wear clear acrylic nails provided they have a natural appearance.
Hygiene and body grooming:
Cadets will maintain good personal hygiene and grooming on a daily basis and wear the uniform so as not to detract from their overall military appearance.
Non-uniform items of clothing are not authorized to be worn at any time on campus or with any of the above uniforms.
Religious Head Coverings: Cadets are authorized to wear religious head coverings including, but not limited to, hijabs (head scarfs), turbans, and yarmulkes. Head coverings must be plain black in color without adornment, and shall be worn underneath military headgear, unless doing so interferes with a proper military appearance. Accommodations may be authorized by the Commandant to adjust for an appropriate fit and/or appearance.
Tattoos/Writing on Body Parts: Tattoo policies will mirror current Army Regulations.
Pockets: Articles carried in pockets will not protrude from the pocket or present a bulky appearance. Keys or key chains will not be attached to the uniform, belt, belt loops, or waistband. Cadets will also not generally keep their hands in their pants pockets except as needed to retrieve an item.
Electronic Devices and Items on the Belt: Cadets may not wear electronic or other items clipped to their belts, nor may they have a chain with a wallet attached to the uniform, belt, belt loops, or waistband.
Lanyards: Cadets may not wear lanyards with any uniform..
Vulgar Language: At all times, cadets are expected to comport themselves in a professional and appropriate manner. Use of vulgar language is prohibited at all times. Such language significantly detracts from the outward appearance of cadets.
Red Beret: Cadets who earned the red beret for successfully completing a survival training program, are authorized to wear the beret with the Class A, B, or C uniforms.
Gang Attire: Generally, all clothing that constitutes gang-related apparel is prohibited. Such apparel may include, but is not limited to the following:
Backpacks: If available, OMI will stock OMI logoed backpacks for purchase for school textbooks and supplies. In the event that no OMI logoed backpacks are available at the school store, an alternate backpack that is all black in color (without design or logo) may be purchased at the individual’s own expense. OMI sanctioned buttons may be worn on the backpack. Writing, drawing, and marking on backpacks, other than a simple, plain notation of the cadet’s name, is not allowed. If the OMI provided backpack is lost or becomes unserviceable, it must be replaced at the individual’s own expense.
Umbrellas and Ponchos: Cadets may not use umbrellas or ponchos on campus for safety reasons. Instead, they are allowed to purchase and wear the OMI Cold Weather Jacket. If cadets bring an umbrella on campus, they must store it in their company classrooms or Main Office until the end of the school day.
Writing of Names in/on Uniform/other Items: Each company has permanent fabric markers in gold that should be used to write cadet names inside hats, jackets, sweaters, etc. There should be no writing other than a cadet’s name on such items (this includes drawings, symbols, nicknames, etc). Company TAC Teams can assist cadets with writing names in these uniform items. In addition, these markers can be used to mark names on backpacks, purses, and other personal belongings. Items with other than authorized writing or markings are subject to confiscation.
Wristbands: When available, cadets are allowed to wear authorized Class Color Wristbands or Birthday Month Wristbands. These items are authorized for wear with the PT, Relax Dress,Grizzly Dress, and any type of Spirit Uniforms.