By Ashley Nation
We've talked about the best uniform innovations, but what about the military uniforms everyone despises? We went digging to find the worst, most annoying, and most uncomfortable military uniform items according to Veterans and active-duty service members.

Suggested read:

Every Awesome Military Uniform From History You Need to See Now

Military Uniform Items on the Chopping Block

1. Garrison Cover

The Garrison Cover used to be an optional piece of clothing called the dixie cup that didn’t require anything on it. Now, you have to buy an additional piece of metal for it; some may say it’s shaped a little funny, and once it gets stained (which is easy to do), you’re never getting it out.

2. Military Oxfords

Most servicemen agree that almost every military shoe is uncomfortable on their feet. This oxford dress shoe is at the top of the list. It’s hard to get a perfect fit, and they usually end up a little too big or too tight around the toes.

3. Navy Tan Top

Once again, this piece of military uniform stains very easily, but at least the shirt comes pre-creased. Ironing in creases is not a fun task. The problem with this uniform is the inconsistency between male and female military uniforms. Men have pockets and have to tuck the uniform in, while women have no pockets and do not have to tuck. Without pockets, there isn’t an easy point of reference for ribbons that need to be six and a quarter inches. Where the men can just eyeball, the women have to do a bit more calculation.

4. Navy Belt

In the words of Nick MGTV on YouTube, former Navy member, “the belt sucks.” This black fabric belt needs to be cut to fit one’s waist and simply ends up fraying all the time. It probably needs to be a bit more durable.

5. Navy Pants

As you can probably tell by now, we are ripping through the entire Navy Service Uniform. Many Veterans and active-duty personnel seem to agree on its poor quality and high maintenance. These pants get extremely dirty very fast. The material shows the very oil from your fingertips, fades quickly, and doesn’t last long.

Worst Military Dress Uniforms Across History

Almost everyone seems to agree that the Navy still has some revamping to do, but let’s go back in time to some of the discontinued military uniform types and see how far we’ve come.

6. West Point Full Dress Gray Uniform – 19th Century

West Point cadets of the 19th century were active-duty Army. The full dress was so form-fitting that you’d dread gaining weight. It had a high collar with a metal buckle and hard-starched linen rubbing against your neck. There were 43 brass buttons that you were required to keep nice and shiny. To top it all off, the uniform was made of wool. Yes, the same wool that you find in heavy flannel or itchy winter coats. Imagine it’s spring, the weather is 78° Fahrenheit, the humidity is high, and later on that day it starts to rain. All while you’re in heavy wool fabric from head to toe.

7. Air Force Command Staff Ceremonial Uniforms – 2012

We spent enough time ripping on the Navy, so let’s talk about the Air Force. In 2012, general Mark Welsh the Third came out in a new ceremonial uniform for the Air force Command Staff. Some comments from Air Force magazines were as follows: “General Welsh looks like a Russian crown prince at an embassy ball. What is it? Come on, General LeMay would never wear that!!” “Exactly when did the AF adopt John Phillip Sousa’s uniform as its own?”

8. USMC Dress Blues – 1970

One troop said that he couldn’t make it past two hours in these Dress Blues. Something about those uncomfortable high collars caused a lot of troops much discomfort. We will, however, give them props for looking pretty nice and being well-tailored.

9. Spanish Legion Uniform – 2020

This uniform isn’t American, of course, but we just had to include it on the list. Spain deployed deep V-necks and tight pants as a way to… sex it up? We’re not quite sure.

10. Air Force Summer Service Uniform – 1956

We wonder if the Summer Service was delivering mail or perhaps leading Safari Exploration Tours? That’s all we have to say about this one.

What Uniform Items Do You Hate?

We’re sure you related to at least one of the complaints on this list. When you first enlist, buying, knowing proper care for, or even just wearing your military uniform items can be a little frustrating. But they're an important part of the image of the American Armed Forces.

Read next:

Space Force Uniform Regulations Relaxed in New Updates



air force
air force
coast guard
marine corps
national guard
space force

Get the latest news and military discounts