The NVMI uniform standards are intended to further the mission of the Institute, to minimize disruption and promote the health, safety and welfare of all students. Any deviation from the uniform standards is incompatible with the mission of the Institute.
Because NVMI 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. NVMI 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, being suspended or expelled.
NVMI 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. NVMI cadets always represent themselves and the Academy and are expected to do so with pride.
The NVMI Corps of Cadets has seven basic uniforms.
Class A Uniform:
The Class A uniform is worn by high school cadets for all formal occasions during the school year, including Pass in Reviews, the Cadet Ball, and other times as directed. It may also be worn by middle school students assigned to special duties or situations/leadership roles. The Class A Uniform as issued includes the Four- Button Coat, dress pants, white or gray 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 use an authorized plain black purse and may wear a black skirt of adopted design. 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 as issued includes dress pants, dress 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. Cold weather accessories are allowed as explained in this handbook.
Physical Training (PT) Uniform:
The PT uniform includes authorized black NVMI logoed shorts, black NVMI logoed PT pants, red NVMI logoed t-shirt, and black NVMI logoed PT jacket. Accessories worn include all black athletic shoes without design or logo (with all black shoelaces), crew length all white athletic socks, and appropriate undergarments. Female cadets may use an authorized plain black purse. Cold weather accessories are allowed as explained in this handbook.
Relaxed Dress Uniform:
A Relaxed Dress Uniform is worn by selected cadets approximately three times a year. This uniform is not an item of issue. It includes conservative blue jeans, conservative belt and buckle, the red NVMI t-shirt, all black athletic shoes, white crew length athletic socks, the PT jacket in cold weather, and appropriate undergarments. No headgear is worn with this uniform. Female cadets may use an authorized plain black purse.
A Utility uniform (known as the Class C uniform) is occasionally issued to and worn by cadets for field activities only. This uniform includes a tan (middle school) or OCP (high school) BDU shirt and trousers and BDU or another cap as issued. Accessories include black or sand colored boots, crew length athletic socks, a white or black crew neck t-shirt, and appropriate undergarments.
This uniform is primarily not an item of initial issue. The Candidate uniform is worn by prospective students who have completed all phases of the application process. It is worn during the NVMI entrance camp. The Candidate uniform is composed of a NVMI entrance camp cap, a plain heather gray crew neck t-shirt, heather gray shorts, heather gray sweatshirt and heather gray sweatpants (if necessary), all-white crew-length athletic socks, and all-black athletic shoes.
This uniform is primarily not an item of initial issue. The Pledge uniform is worn by prospective students who have completed entrance camp but have not yet successfully joined their companies by passing Promotion Boards. The Pledge uniform is identical to the Candidate uniform. Approved cold weather outerwear and any available NVMI accessories are authorized for purchase and wear by Pledges.
Requests for assistance to procure non-issued uniforms can be made to the Commandant. Requests will be kept confidential.
Uniform regulations always apply when a cadet is in uniform, whether on campus or off campus,
during school time and during non-school time.
Class A Uniform:
NVMI Cadet SOP and Army Regulation 670-1 govern the proper wear of Cadet Class A Uniforms. The following information is designed to summarize standards for wear outlined in that regulation. Garrison Cap – the cap is worn centered square on the head one inch above the eyebrows. It fits snugly and comfortably without distortion or gaps. The garrison cap will have no writing or adornments except the cadet’s name, which will be written in special marker at the time of initial issue. When the cap becomes frayed or torn or there is additional writing on the cap, it must be replaced at cadet/parent expense.
Class B Uniform:
NVMI SOP and AR 670-1 govern the proper wear of Cadet Class B Uniforms. The following information is designed to summarize standards for wear outlined in that regulation.
The PT uniform consists of the following.
Special Rules for Cold Weather:
Relaxed Dress Uniform:
The Relaxed Dress Uniform is worn approximately three times a year as published in the school calendar. It consists of
NVMI SOP and AR 670-1 governs the proper wear of Cadet Class C (Utility) Uniforms. The following information is designed to summarize standards for wear outlined in that regulation.
The Candidate uniform is worn every day of summer/entrance camp and consists of the following items.
Special exceptions for Extreme Cold Weather:
Extreme cold weather is defined as weather that drops to and maintains at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. In the event the temperature climbs above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the Commandant, at his discretion, may require students to change out of their extreme cold weather gear.
Long sleeve shirts worn with uniforms
Note that long sleeved shirts of any type may NEVER be worn such that they are visible under any NVMI uniform.
After successful completion of NVMI summer camp, the Pledge uniform is worn every day until a pledge passes their Promotion Boards and becomes a full-fledged member of NVMI. The Pledge uniform is identical to the Candidate uniform, with the following additions and adaptations.
Special exceptions for Extreme Cold Weather.
ALL UNIFORM ITEMS should be kept and worn CLEAN always.
General wear and appearance policies and standards ALWAYS APPLY WHILE WEARING ANY UNIFORM.
Whenever ANY UNIFORM ITEM is lost or becomes unserviceable, it must be replaced at the individual’s own expense.
Definition of “UNSERVICEABLE”
When an item becomes “unserviceable” it is no longer fit to be worn. Because NVMI is built on a military structure, we have HIGH EXPECTATIONS as to how our students 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.
Non-uniform (non-authorized) items of clothing or equipment
ARE NOT ALLOWED at any time with ANY UNIFORM.
When entering campus wearing or carrying an unauthorized uniform item, ALL STUDENTS will be (1) asked to remove the item and turn it in for parent pickup, and (2) be given demerits for wearing the unauthorized uniform item.
The NVMI administration is the final authority in determining whether a cadet’s appearance is within the spirit of the NVMI policies and standards.
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 NVMI uniform. No other body pierced items are authorized (e.g., nose/lip rings, tongue rings, eyebrow ring, etc.). Rings, necklaces, rosary beads, or bracelets are not authorized. A discrete religious medallion on a chain may be worn under t-shirts such that it is not visible. An inexpensive watch that is black or neutral in color (less than $15) may be worn with all uniforms. A “smart watch” maybe worn if it is all black, but NVMI is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged smart watches.
No earrings of any type are allowed in an NVMI uniform at any time. 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. Such passes must be obtained from the TAC team IN ADVANCE; if a cadet fails to get this permission in advance, the cadet will be denied the opportunity to wear the spacer. 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.
NVMI Cold Weather Uniform Policies
Students at NVMI should have ALL BLACK ATHLETIC SHOES for the purposes of physical training. Athletic shoes are designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise to help with comfort and safety. They are more flexible, with extra cushioning to handle the greater impact of physical activity and have arches. Even if a shoe is all black, it may not be acceptable for physical activity. Students who are not wearing athletic shoes will be assessed demerits and have parents contacted for repeated offenses. The shoes pictured below are some examples of styles that DO NOT qualify as athletic shoes.
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.
General Hair Style Policies:
The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain military uniformity. Many hairstyles are acceptable if they are neat and conservative. Hairstyles that do not allow cadets to wear the headgear properly are prohibited. Please note that NVMI complies with the provisions of SB 188 (The Crown Act) which went into effect January of 2020, which defines race in Education Code 212.1 as “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Protective hairstyles include, but are not limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists. Extreme, eccentric, or trendy haircuts or hairstyles are not authorized. Dyes, tints, or bleaches are strongly discouraged but if used, they must choose those that result in natural hair colors and look like human hair. Colors that detract from a military appearance are prohibited. Applied hair colors that are prohibited include, but are not limited to, purple, pink, blue, green, orange, bright (fire-engine) red, and fluorescent or neon colors. Hair gels or sprays may not be used to spike or otherwise shape the hair in an extreme fashion, including making the hair stand straight up, Mohawks, faux-hawks, patches, etc. Cadets will not cut designs or parts into their hair, eyebrows, or scalp. Hair may not be two-tone or multiple-tones. Hair must be all one color.
Male cadets should receive regular haircuts while attending NVMI in order to remain in compliance. The hair on the top of the head must be neatly groomed using a military style. In general, for candidates and pledges, this means the top of the head will require nothing longer than a barber’s size 2, size 1, or size 0 cut and the back and sides of the head will require no longer than a size 1 or size 0. For cadets, this means the top of the head will require nothing longer than a barber’s size 4 cut and the back and sides of the head will require no longer than a size 2. Hair that requires a comb is considered excessive in length.
Note that NVMI may provide haircuts to students as services of available barbering/cosmetology students are available. Generally, these services will be provided monthly during the academic year. Cadets/pledges will be charged 50 merits for the haircut.
Males who wear sideburns will keep them neatly trimmed. Sideburns, if worn, will not extend below the lowest part of the exterior ear opening or be flared. The base of the sideburn will be a clean-shaven, horizontal line. Neatly trimmed mustaches are authorized, but clean-shaven faces are preferred. Mustaches will not present a chopped or bushy appearance, and no portion of the mustache will cover the upper lip line or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corners of the mouth. No beards or goatees are permitted.
Female cadets will ensure their hair is neatly groomed, that the length and bulk of the hair are not excessive, and that the hair does not present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance. Trendy styles that result in shaved portions of the scalp other than the neckline or designs cut into the scalp are prohibited. Female cadets may wear braids and cornrows if the braided style is conservative, the braids and cornrows lie snugly on the head, and any hair-holding devices comply with the standard described below. The hair will be pulled away from the face and gathered into a bun or braid at the back of the head and not fall over the ears and eyebrows or extend below the bottom edge of the collar at any time during normal activity. No bangs are allowed. Long hair will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned so no free-hanging hair is visible. This includes styles worn with the physical fitness uniform. Styles that are lopsided or distinctly unbalanced are prohibited. Ponytails, pigtails, or braids that are not secured to the head (allowing hair to hang freely), widely spaced individual hanging locks, and other extreme styles that protrude from the head are prohibited. In all cases, female hairstyles shall never impede the proper wear of headgear while in uniform (including a garrison cap, beret, service cap, baseball cap, or other uniform headgear).
Religious Head Coverings: Cadets are authorized to wear religious head coverings including, but not limited to, hijabs (head scarves) 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.
Extensions, weaves, wigs, and hairpieces are authorized; however, these additions must have the same general appearance as the individual’s natural hair. Additionally, any wigs, extensions, hairpieces, or weaves must comply with the grooming policies as described. 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 possible or black. Authorized devices include, but are not limited to small, plain scrunchies, barrettes, combs, pins, and clips. Devices that are conspicuous, excessive, or decorative are prohibited. Some examples of prohibited devices include, but are not limited to, rubber bands, headbands (rubber, fabric or plastic), large, lacy scrunchies; beads, bows or claw clips; devices with butterflies, flowers, sparkles, gems, or scalloped edges; and bows made from hairpieces.
As with hairstyles, the requirement for standards regarding cosmetics is necessary to maintain uniformity and to avoid an extreme appearance. Cadets are authorized to wear cosmetics with the uniform, provided they are applied conservatively and in good taste and complement the uniform and the cadet’s complexion. False eyelashes are not permitted. Lotion with glitter, temporary or permanent tattoos, stickers, or designs on the body are prohibited. Cadets will not wear shades of lipstick and nail polish that distinctly contrast with their complexion, that detract from the uniform, or that are extreme. Some examples of extreme colors include, but are not limited to, purple, gold, blue, black, white, bright (fire-engine) red, khaki, camouflage colors, and fluorescent colors. Cadets will not apply designs to nails or apply two-tone, French-tip or multi- tone colors to nails. “Fake” nails are not permitted. All cadets will keep fingernails clean and neatly trimmed. Cadets (male and female) will NOT exceed a nail length of ¼ inch as measured from the tip of the finger.
Cadets may not have permanent tattoos that are visible when in any NVMI uniform.
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. Cell phone ear “buds” are not authorized in uniform, except when they are being used as part of an academic class activity at the direction of a teacher.
Cadets may not wear lanyards with any uniform except authorized NVMI lanyard possibly available for purchase in the Hawk Exchange. Lanyards must be worn tucked inside the outermost garment.
At all times, cadets are expected to comport
themselves in a professional and appropriate manner. Use of vulgar language is always prohibited. Such language significantly detracts from the outward appearance of cadets.
Cadets who have earned the red beret for successfully completing a survival training program, are authorized to wear the beret with any of the above uniforms. The red beret is NEVER worn indoors.
Generally, all clothing that constitutes gang-related apparel is prohibited. Such apparel may include, but is not limited to the following:
Parents will provide a black single-color backpack (hand carried or rolling and without design or logo) for school textbooks and supplies. Cadets who require more storage may carry a second backpack or tote bag that is a single-color black bag without design or logo. NVMI 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.
Students may use “camelpack” water hydration systems provided they are all black in color with no camouflage or other designs and only contain water. No other liquid substance or combination of liquid substances are allowed in camelpacks.
Umbrellas and Ponchos:
Cadets may not use umbrellas or ponchos on campus. Instead, they can wear the heavy-duty outerwear jacket with hood. If cadets bring an umbrella on campus, they should store it in their company classrooms until the end of the school day.
All Cadets will maintain good personal hygiene and grooming daily and wear the uniform so as not to detract from their overall military appearance. Cadets will wear appropriate undergarments with all uniforms.
Cadets who have earned a varsity NVMI athletic letter may wear that letter on their black dress jacket which will be available for purchase, sewn centered on the left chest. NVMI will provide free sewing service for attaching these letters. Athletes may also be issued sport- specific “tabs” identifying the sport in which they “lettered” or achievements such as “all league” or “league champions”, etc. Such tabs will be affixed to the varsity letter.
Class Year Tabs:
Cadets who have entered their junior year and who have been awarded a Class Year Tab by NVMI may wear their Class Year Tab on their black dress jacket sewn centered on the right shoulder sleeve one inch from the shoulder seam. NVMI will provide free sewing service for attaching these class year tabs.
Writing of Names in/on Uniform/other Items:
Each company has permanent fabric markers in silver and 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 Support NCOs and cadet supply officers/sergeants 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. To the extent possible, NVMI will also attempt (at school expense) to embroider cadet last names and/or student ID numbers into appropriate items.
Special Cadet Leadership Uniforms:
Cadets in identified leadership positions may be authorized special uniform items such as polo shirts. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be published regarding when and how those special uniforms will be worn.
Loaner Uniform Items:
Cadets who forget an item or for whatever reason do not have an item of issue may receive a loaner item using the Hawk Exchange Loaner System, located at the HX – room 113A. Cadets receive one-point demerits if they require loaners for reasons other than legitimate emergencies or unavoidable situations. Cadets are expected to return loaner items at PM formation or when they depart campus if they leave for any reason before PM formation. Cadets who fail to return loaner items on the day they are issued are subject to two-point permanent demerits if items are not returned the next morning upon check in. Cadets who fail to return loaner items on successive days earn 3, 4, or 5-point permanent demerits. Lost loaner items must be replaced with merits or at cadet/parent expense.
Non-uniform items of clothing are not authorized at any time on campus or with any of the above uniforms.