Physical training uniform

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The physical training uniform is a military uniform used during 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 units will produce a unique t-shirt with the unit insignia and motto. 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[edit]

U.S. Army[edit]

Minnesota Army National Guardsmen wearing the soon-to-be retired Army Improved Physical Fitness Uniform

The U.S. Army uses the Army Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU), manufactured by UNICOR. It is essentially a tracksuit, marked with the ARMY name. 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. The main advantage of this new uniform over its older counterpart is being highly reflective at night while keeping its tactical colors during the daytime hours. The other noticeable advantages are more water- and windproof, and a bit lighter.

The U.S. Army physical training uniform[1] consists of:

  • T-shirts: Grey long-sleeve and short-sleeve T-shirts with dark grey ARMY lettering on front of shirt and stylized "A" on back. 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 ARMY lettering on lower left leg, multipurpose: can be worn alone for swimming and exercise, worn with longsleeve or shortsleeve shirt or under the black IPFU trousers.
  • Trousers: Black trousers, lined with breathable, pored nylon fabric.
  • Jacket: Greyish-green jacket, zipped, with ARMY embroidered on left chest, and an inverted chevron extending from shoulders to mid-stomach and lower back, with hidden vents in back and zippable hidden vents in armpits. 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]
  • Foliage green microfleece cap and black leather gloves (with gray-green wool inserts) : optional for inclement weather.

All of these items are issued to a soldier while in processing through BCT (Basic combat training) but replacements must be purchased from AAFES stores. In 2012, a change to the Army PT uniform was proposed, and an army-wide vote was sent out for soldiers to vote on 6 different options for the new uniform, which will replace and phase out the uniform described above. So far, the results of the vote show that all parts of the uniform are planned to be styled in black and gold. The new PT uniform design has been partially released, but it will be officially phased in for expected wear in 2015.

Army soldiers wearing unit T-shirts

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

U.S. Marine Corps[edit]

Marines from the Wounded Warrior Regiment model the 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 shortsleeve cotton t-shirt without any logos
  • Shorts: Plain green shorts (as of October 2011, "silky" shorts are no longer authorized.)
  • Sweats: Green with black USMC lettering and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on left chest of hoodless sweatshirt, and same black design on left thigh of sweatpants
  • Track suit: Green with Marines logo in reflective trim on left chest and MARINES in red lettering on back of jacket, and "USMC" in same lettering on lower right pantleg 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[edit]

Navy sailors wearing the Navy Physical Training Uniform

The U.S. Navy's physical training uniform (PTU), first approved in 2007, consists of gold short and long sleeved shirts and navy blue shorts. The shirt is moisture wicking and odor resistant polyester with Navy in reflective lettering on back and front.[5]

The 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 reflective Navy lettering and side pockets with a hidden ID card pocket inside the waistband. 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:

  • T-shirts: Gold long-sleeve and short-sleeve T-shirts with small reflective NAVY lettering on front of shirt and same lettering on back, only larger.
  • Shorts: Navy blue with reflective NAVY lettering on front left leg.
  • Sweats: Navy blue with Navy logo printed in dark reflective trim and yellow lining centered on front and Navy lettering in the same design centered on back of sweatshirt which has 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.

A matching gold and black warmup suit was proposed in 2009, but has not yet been released.[6]

U.S. Air Force[edit]

Air Force airmen wearing the Air Force Physical Training uniform.
  • T-shirts: Grey shortsleeve and longsleeve shirts with moisture wicking fabric with reflective U.S. Air Force logo and lettering on the upper left corner on chest and centered on the back.[7]
  • Sweater: Grey with the same design as the t-shirts.
  • Shorts: Air Force blue with silver reflective stripes on the sides and the AF emblem on the front left leg.
  • Trousers: Air Force blue with white reflective stripes.
  • Jacket: Air Force blue with a silver reflective chevron on the front and back outlined by white piping; Has Air Force symbol on the upper left portion of the chest. A hood is hidden in the collar and can be pulled out during inclement weather.
  • Shoes Athletic styles shoes, with no color restrictions.[8]
  • Socks: White and black socks, small logos are authorized.[8]

U.S. Coast Guard[edit]

  • Shirt: Grey shortsleeve shirt with moisture wicking fabric with the Coast Guard logo in reflective trim with black lining on the left chest, embroidered on the left sleeve, and Coast Guard lettering with the same design as the front centered on back.
  • Shorts: Netting-designed navy blue shorts with Coast Guard logo embroidered on the top of the left leg, and 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 printed on both legs of sweatpants.[9]


  1. ^ AR 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia
  2. ^ AR 600-8-22, Army Awards, para. 8-51
  3. ^ AR 670-1, para. 14-5 Insignia (on the Physical Training Uniform)
  4. ^
  5. ^, CNO Approves Physical Fitness Uniform
  6. ^,
  7. ^ Air Force Instruction 36-2903
  8. ^ a b "AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION 36-2903". United States Air Force. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  9. ^

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.