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Physical training uniform

A physical training uniform is a military uniform used during exercise, calisthenics, drills, and in some cases, very casual periods of time (off-duty time during Initial Entry Training in the U.S. Army, for example). The United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard require use of a physical training (PT) uniform during unit exercise (including formation runs, calisthenics, and conditioning exercises). Some military units produce unique T-shirts with their unit insignia and motto, and for special events, this shirt is part of the uniform. Occasionally, exercise will be conducted in that branch's utility uniforms, normally with the blouse removed and the undershirt exposed (also known as "boots and utes").

Physical Training Uniforms of the U.S. Armed Forces

U.S. Army

Minnesota Army National Guardsmen wearing the Army's alternate IPFU

From 2014 to 2017, the U.S. Army will use the recently introduced Army Physical Fitness Uniform (APFU), and the Army Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU) first released in 2000. For the first time, the Army has introduced a temporary use of two physical fitness uniforms: the APFU and the alternate IPFU. The APFU is also sold at Army Military Clothing Stores and costs slightly less than the IPFU. The two uniforms are similar in appearance and features, with the exception of shirt and jacket color. However, the APFU is made from different fabrics, has a pant liner and a brief-style trunk liner, and includes unisex or female sizes for the jacket and pants. The APFU was released on 01 October 2014 and the uniform's mandatory possession date will be on the same day in 2017. [1]

The APFU consists of:

  • Shirts: Black long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts with gold ARMY lettering on the front. A Physical Fitness Badge may be worn for soldiers who excel at the A.P.F.T (270 or higher, with a 90 in each event).[2]
  • Shorts: Black with same gold ARMY lettering on lower left leg. multipurpose: can be worn alone for swimming and exercise, worn with shirts or under the black trousers.
  • Pants: Black with Army Star logo on the left leg.
  • Jacket: Black with gold chevron across chest and back and Army Star logo on upper left chest. The Physical Fitness Badge can be worn on this as well.[3]
  • Socks: Commercial calf-length or ankle-length, plain white socks with no logos.
  • Shoes: Approved, well-fitting, comfortable running shoes. No five-toed shoes allowed.[4]
  • Black micro fleece cap and black gloves: optional for inclement weather.[5]

The alternate IPFU consists of:

  • Shirts: Grey long and short-sleeve shirts with dark grey ARMY lettering on front and stylized "A" on back.
  • Shorts: Black with white ARMY lettering on lower left leg.
  • Pants: Plain black and lined with breathable, pored nylon fabric.
  • Jacket: Greyish-green and zipped with ARMY lettering embroidered on left chest, and an inverted reflective chevron across chest and back, with hidden vents in back and zippable hidden vents in armpits.

The retirement date for the IPFU is 30 September 2017.[6] Afterward, the uniform will be phased out and replaced by the APFU. For the time being, Optional compression shorts (called "spankies" by soldiers) may be worn under the IPFU trunks provided they are black or do not extend past the trunks.

Army soldiers wearing customized unit T-shirts

For unit runs, Esprit de Corps or special occasions, Commanders may have soldiers wear unique T-shirts with the Distinctive unit insignia and unit colors.

U.S. Marine Corps

File:USMC running suit.jpg
Marines from the Wounded Warrior Regiment model the Marine Corps PT track suit

All items worn by U.S. Marines conducting PT as a group are subject to uniformity, at the commander's discretion.

  • Shirt: Plain green short-sleeve T-shirt (unit logos can be authorized.)
  • Shorts: Plain green shorts ("silky" shorts are not authorized; however, unit logos can be, as well as on the shirts.)
  • Sweats: Green with black USMC lettering and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on left chest of hoodless sweatshirt, and the same design on left thigh of sweatpants.
  • Track suit: Green with Marines logo in reflective trim on left chest, MARINES in red lettering on back of jacket, and "USMC" in same lettering on lower right leg of pants.
  • Shoes: appropriate civilian design, excessive bright coloring or designs are prohibited.
  • Socks: commercial calf-length or ankle-length, plain white or black socks with no logos.
  • Watch cap: fleece, coyote brown, black, or OD green (replaced the black wool knit cap)
  • Hydration pack: green or coyote brown (or subdued colors if personally owned packs are authorized)

U.S. Navy

The Navy PTU's nylon moisture wicking and odor resistant Navy blue shorts come in six and eight inch lengths, providing standard appearance among different height sailors. It also has side pockets with a hidden ID card pocket inside the waistband, which is something that all of the branches' PTUs have in common. As with the Army uniform, optional compression shorts may be worn under the PTU shorts provided they are black or navy blue in color.

Wear and Appearance of Navy Uniforms and Insignia consists of:

  • Shirts: Gold long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts with small reflective NAVY lettering on left chests and same lettering on back, only larger.
  • Shorts: Navy blue with same reflective NAVY lettering on the left leg.
  • Sweats: Navy blue with Navy emblem and United States Navy lettering printed in dark reflective trim and yellow lining centered on front and Navy lettering in the same design centered on back of sweatshirt with an optional hood, and Navy lettering on both sides of the legs in the same design on sweatpants.
  • Shoes: Approved, well-fitting, comfortable running shoes.

The Navy is successfully proposing a new track suit similar to the Marines', which is planned to be released by fall of 2015, after a couple of earlier tries in 2008 and 2009.[7]

U.S. Air Force

File:USAF PT Uniform.jpg
Air Force airmen wearing the Air Force Physical Training uniform.
  • Shirts and Sweatshirt: Light-grey short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts and hoodless sweatshirts with moisture wicking fabric with reflective U.S. Air Force logo and lettering on the left chest and logo centered on the back.[8]
  • Shorts: Air Force blue with silver reflective stripes on the sides and the same AF logo and lettering on the left leg.
  • Pants: Air Force blue with silver reflective stripes on the lower legs.
  • Jacket: Air Force blue with a silver reflective chevron outlined by white piping on the front and back and same Air Force logo and lettering on the left chest. A hood is hidden in the collar and can be pulled out during inclement weather.
  • Shoes Athletic styles shoes, with no color restrictions.[9]
  • Socks: White and black socks, small logos are authorized.[9]

U.S. Coast Guard

  • Shirt: Light-grey short-sleeve shirt with Coast Guard logo and lettering in reflective trim and black lining on the left chest and embroidered on the left sleeve in a smaller size, and Coast Guard lettering with the same design as the front centered on back.
  • Shorts: Mesh-designed navy blue shorts with small Coast Guard logo embroidered on the top of the left leg, and white Coast Guard lettering printed on the bottom of the left leg.
  • Sweats: Navy blue with COAST GUARD lettering printed in orange with white trim centered on front and 7 reflective stripes on back of hoodless sweatshirt, and USCG lettering with same design as the front of sweatshirt printed on both legs of sweatpants.
  • Swimming gear: Plain Coast Guard blue gender-standard swimsuits.[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ AR 600-8-22, Army Awards, para. 8-51
  3. ^ AR 670-1, para. 14-5 Insignia (on the Physical Training Uniform)
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  8. ^ Air Force Instruction 36-2903
  9. ^ a b "AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION 36-2903" (PDF). United States Air Force. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  10. ^

New AR 670-1 14–3. Accessories= a. Commanders may authorize the wear of commercial running shoes, calf-length or ankle-length, plain white socks with no logos, gloves, reflective belts or vests, long underwear, and other items appropriate to the weather conditions and type of activity.