Grooming Standards

MCJROTC cadets must set and maintain the highest possible standards in uniform appearance.  The military image reflected by attention to detail in wearing of the uniform is a key element in the public image of the unit.

 When not in uniform, a proud cadet will still stand out.  He/she will stand out in the crowd because, out of habit, he/she will exhibit the same neatness, cleanliness, immaculate grooming, erect posture, and feeling of pride and confidence that go with wearing the uniform.  With pride comes esprit de corps (“spirit of a unit”), honor, and a good feeling for being a member of a first class team.

 Marine Corps standards of grooming do not allow eccentric or faddish styles of hair, facial hair, make-up/nail polish, jewelry, or eyeglasses.  Eccentric and faddish individual appearances detract from uniformity and team identity.  Because it is impossible to provide examples of every acceptable or unacceptable style of "conservative" or "eccentric/faddish" grooming and attire, the good judgment of Marines at all levels is key to enforcement of Marine Corps standards in this issue, as in other issues.  The following definitions are provided to aide in the interpretation of these regulations:

-       Eccentric. Departing from the established or traditional norm.

-       Faddish. A transitory fashion adopted with wide enthusiasm.

-       Conservative. Traditional in style.

-       Inconspicuous. Not readily noticed or seen.

-       Unsightly. Unpleasant or offensive to view.


HAIR (male)

Hair will be neat and closely trimmed.  The hair may be clipped at the edges of the side and back and will be evenly graduated from zero length at the hairline in the lower portion of the head to the upper portion of the head.  Block-style trimming of hair on the back of the head is not authorized.  Hair will not be over 3” in length fully extended on the upper portion of the head.  The back and sides of the head below the hairline may be shaved to remove body hair.  Sideburns will not extend below the top of the orifice of the ear.  

 Sideburns.  Sideburns will not be styled to taper or flare.  The length of an individual hair of the sideburn will not exceed 1/8 inch when fully extended.  

 Facial / Chest Hair.  The face will be clean shaven, except that a mustache may be worn neatly within the margins of the upper lip (see below).  The individual length of a mustache hair must not exceed 1/4".  Chest hair should not protrude above the collar of the shirt worn. 

HAIR (female)

When in uniform, hair will be styled so as not to interfere with the proper wear of uniform headgear (see photos below for guidelines).  Hair, which protrudes from beneath properly worn headgear in an unsightly manner, is considered excessive, regardless of length.  Medium and long hair may be braided.  Multiple braiding (more than two braids) is authorized.  When worn, multiple braids shall be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approx. 1/4 inch), show no more than 1/8 of an inch of scalp between the braids and must be tightly interwoven to present a neat, professional, well-groomed appearance.  Foreign material (i.e., beads, decorative items) shall not be braided into the hair.  Braids must continue to the end of the hair in one direction, in a straight line, and can be worn loose per medium hair length guidelines or secured to the head in the same manner as described for medium or long length hair styles.  Ends shall be secured only with inconspicuous rubber bands.  If multiple braids are worn they must encompass the whole head.  Hair color must remain natural in tone.


Female cadets may wear small, polished earrings, ball or round stud type with all uniforms except camouflage.  Earrings must not exceed 1/4 inch in diameter.  Only one earring per ear is authorized.  Earrings may not be worn while participating in parades, reviews or ceremonies.

*All other piercings and/or ornamentations to the face and/or body are prohibited for both male and female cadets while in & around the JROTC program

**Articles of religious apparel are authorized, but will not be visible or apparent when worn with the uniform


Nail length will be no longer than 1/4 inch from the tip of the finger.  When worn in Service/ Dress uniform, fingernail polish must be in shades of red (within the red spectrum, to include pinks and burgundies).  Fingernails with multiple colors and decorative ornamentation are prohibitedColored fingernail polish is not authorized for wear with the utility uniform 

 *Male cadets will not wear nail polish, earrings or facial makeup while in uniform or in the MCJROTC classroom.  Female cadets will not wear makeup in uniform.


Eye color, eyelashes, piercings, tattoos and other fads may be considered eccentric.  For further discussion, see the Senior Marine Instructor.