It is permissible for citizens in the United States to wear military-style attire as well as genuine military outfits. The wearing of military uniforms and insignia is prohibited under federal law. It is an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for any member of the armed forces to wear "any uniformed service organization button, badge, ornament, or title" while on duty or in public that is not his own.
In addition, it is unlawful for anyone to represent themselves as being part of the armed forces if they are not. This includes individuals who use military apparel to try to get away with crimes. There have been cases where people have been arrested for falsely claiming military status; in some cases, these individuals used their alleged connection to the military to gain access to areas of interest to veterans such as crime scenes or hospitals.
The legal distinction between the U.S. military and other uniformed services is found in 10 U.S.C. § 654. This statute makes it a felony for any person in the armed forces to "wear any uniformed officer's belt, strap, or chain" outside of the home or place of worship without first receiving permission from their commanding officer. However, this prohibition does not apply to members of the Coast Guard who are properly dressed in accordance with their regulations.
In the United States, citizens are permitted to wear military uniforms. However, impersonating a member of the military for personal advantage, such as donning a uniform to perpetrate fraud, is illegal. The law prohibiting this behavior was enacted in 1918 as part of an amendment to the Servicemen's Act. It prohibits any person from "falsely represent[ing] himself" to be a member of the armed forces for purposes of "obtaining money or property."
Those who violate the law may be subject to penalties including imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine.
This law does not affect those who genuinely work for the military; instead, it prevents imposters from taking advantage of their reputation to commit crimes. Impersonation of a public official is a crime in all countries, and in some countries, also wearing the uniform associated with that office (e.g., ambassador's clothes) may be prohibited if doing so would falsely indicate your affiliation with that country's government.
For example, in the United States, it is illegal to wear military attire if one is not a member of the armed forces (except under certain circumstances). However, there is no prohibition against wearing foreign diplomatic or ceremonial uniforms.
I've heard that wearing portions of a military uniform is legally unlawful in the United States, though the legislation is rarely enforced. I bought a military surplus jacket at a resale store. The front bears "US Army" and "Last Name" markings across the chest. Under federal law, all uniforms must be issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) or a state agency working with the DoD. Wearing clothing with military insignia on it can be used as evidence that you were once in the armed forces.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says that courts have ruled that wearing apparel with military decorations is your right as long as you did not break any laws while wearing them. However, some states may have anti-drinking or -driving laws that prohibit individuals from being in a state of intoxication while wearing certain types of military uniforms. It's important to know the local laws before you put on your soldier pants.
In addition, there are restrictions on the use of symbols of allegiance to foreign governments. For example, if you wear a flag pin on your lapel, this could be considered a breach of patriotism and lead to an arrest for disorderly conduct.
Finally, military uniforms are often expensive purchases. You should know the legal implications of buying used clothing before doing so.
It is also illegal to wear a uniform comparable to that worn by the military services in any public location or in public display. Some laws extend this prohibition to include private employers who receive federal funds.
In addition, certain types of uniforms may be prohibited by law even when they are not in public view. For example, police officers are required to wear badges of rank on their uniforms at all times. These badges are evidence of authority and may be used as proof of guilt in a court of law. Violating this rule can result in disciplinary action against the officer.
Uniforms containing images related to drugs, alcohol, or violence are also prohibited by law. These images include those found on military medals and decorations, flags, banners, camouflage clothing, insignia, and emblems. Wearing such items violates Federal law because doing so shows an endorsement of these products.
Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone under 18 years old to wear military attire in public. If you are caught doing so, you could be subject to criminal charges. However, parents often allow their young children to wear war toys and other military-related apparel in protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While wearing camo trousers or a US Army jacket is OK, wearing a military uniform may not be deemed disrespectful. It may also be unlawful in some circumstances. Is it impolite for civilians to wear military uniforms? No, but you should be aware of the rules regarding this subject.
People have been wearing clothes that were once used by soldiers for fun, support, and protest. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about wearing civilian clothing while serving in the military.
1. Wearing Military Clothing Is Not Unpatriotic
Wearing military apparel is not only acceptable, but encouraged. It is a sign of respect for those who have served our country. Additionally, many organizations claim ownership of specific styles or types of clothing, so even if you aren't wearing your favorite brand, there's a good chance that someone else is (and they might get offended if you don't acknowledge their contribution).
2. There Are Restrictions On What You Can Wear
While it is generally accepted that civilians can wear whatever they want when they're off duty, there are times when this isn't possible. For example, military officers must be dressed respectfully at all times; thus, we see people dress up in tiaras or lingerie during Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade.
Except for components that are not distinctively military in nature, no portion of a specified uniform may be worn with civilian apparel. This includes shirts, jackets, pants, and shoes.
However, officers can wear business suits to work if they prefer, as long as the clothing is conservative. Also, chaplains are allowed to wear jeans and leather shoes while serving in an administrative role.
In addition, soldiers are permitted to wear their uniforms while on duty outside of the facility they're assigned to provided the appearance is not detrimental to good order and discipline. For example, a soldier could wear his or her dress blues while working at a police station as long as they are not displayed openly inside the facility.
Finally, members of the United States Merchant Marine are authorized to wear their uniforms while ashore...
Marines may wear civilian apparel while off-duty, as commanded by responsible authority, or as otherwise permitted by this chapter. Civilian attire will be worn inside the limits of a military post or a DoD site, subject to local rules. When on duty, Marines should wear uniforms.
Marines are always expected to dress appropriately and professionally at all times. In general, this means wearing clean clothes with no stains or holes. Shoes must also be clean. If there is any question about whether you should be wearing civilian clothing, then assume you should not (except when instructed otherwise).
Marines are generally free to choose their own wardrobe. There are some exceptions: uniform regulations may restrict what you can wear on or off duty; in certain overseas locations, customs restrictions may apply to what you can bring into the country; and some social movements/events may require you to wear specific clothes (e.g., black clothes if you want to attend a funeral). For most other situations, you should be able to decide for yourself what clothes you should be wearing.
If you are questioned about why you are not wearing your uniform, tell them that you are not required to do so. It is unlikely that they will have any further questions about it. If they do, simply refer to the first paragraph of this answer.