Kilts & Uniforms

The U.S. Navy currently has three tartans; USN Polaris, US Navy (Edzell), and U.S. Sea Bees:

U.S. Navy (Edzell)

USN Polaris

U.S. Sea Bees

The Edzell tartan was designed by Arthur Mackie of Strathmore Woollens in 1985 for USN personnel at Edzell radar base in Angus, Scotland. The dark blue color was chosen to represent the U.S. Navy, light blue for the Air Force, red stripes for the Marine Corps and Army, and white for the waves of the ocean.

The Polaris tartan was designed for the officers and men of the American Submarine base at the Holy Loch - making the Polaris submarine the first ship in history to have its own tartan. The idea came from Captain Walter F Schlech, Commander of the submarine base. It proved very popular with the men who served there, as it provided a very powerful symbol of there newly found link with Scotland. Currently in use by the USNA Pipes and Drums Band, the Polaris is the only tartan officially in use by an active duty Navy unit.

The Sea Bee tartan was designed by Arthur Mackie in co-operation with Lieutenant Lee Josselyn who served with a detachment of SeaBees at RAF Edzell in Scotland in the early 1990's. Lee Josselyn's enthusiasm introduced the concept of wearing tartan to many US servicemen and their families connected with the SeaBees. The Tartan is made up of the following colour combinations which reflect the SeaBee code of conduct: Dark Blue Stripe - 'The Navy we proudly serve'; Light Blue Stripe - 'The Oceans we've crossed'; Brown Stripe - 'The Mountains we've moved'; Red Stripe - 'The Blood nobly shed'; Yellow Cross check - 'The Twinkle in the every SeaBees eye'.

None of the U.S. military tartans have been approved by the military bodies whose names they bear. 

How do you wear your kilt with your uniform?  Please send pictures and advice.


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This site does not represent an official organization of the United States Navy. Any statements made in this website are the sole responsibility of its editor and does not represent any official position held by the United States Navy.