Army Regulation Sunglasses

What Sunglasses do the Army Wear and what regulations are there?

Have you ever wondered if The Army, US, or otherwise, has any preferred sunglasses brands? And what are the regulations that The Army imposes on the type, or style of sunglasses you’re allowed to wear? Whether or not you thinking of joining the Army or just want to look your best this article is going to go into detail regarding the types of sunglasses you’re allowed to wear in the Army. Please keep in mind that this article is going to be talking about The US Army specifically and the regulations that dictate their rules. When it comes to other countries, rules may differ slightly but they most likely are in the same vein. 

The first thing to understand is The Army has what’s known as the AR 670-1 Standard (Army Grooming Standard) which is a set of rules that dedicates what sunglasses you’re allowed to wear. Below is an excerpt from the 670-1 standard itself that provides an overview of what is and isn’t allowed. Below this, we’ve broken down the specifics of what they mean and what this means for you.

Eyeglasses or sunglasses that are trendy or have lenses or frames with conspicuous initials, designs, or other adornments are not authorized for wear. Soldiers may not wear lenses with extreme or trendy colors, which include, but are not limited to, red, yellow, blue, purple, bright green, or orange. Lens colors must be traditional gray, brown, or dark green shades. Personnel will not wear lenses or frames that are so large or so small that they detract from the appearance of the uniform. Personnel will not attach chains or ribbons to eyeglasses. Eyeglass restraints (to include bands) are authorized when required for safety purposes. Personnel will not hang eyeglasses or eyeglass cases on the uniform and may not let glasses hang from eyeglass restraints down the front of the uniform. Glasses may not be worn on top of the head at any time)

As taken from the AR 670-1 Standard (US)

What are Trendy Sunglasses?

Some people would be confused by the term ‘trendy’ as this term covers most sunglasses on the market today. But this isn’t the case. Trendy is a catch-all term for ‘in fashion’ or fashionable at the time of wearing them. Like any fashion accessory, different styles of sunglasses are constantly coming in and out of fashion. While others are timeless styles that have dominated the eyewear industry for decades and are considered stables. It’ll probably be easier to provide a few examples for you. The likes of classic sunglasses frames, such as Wayfarers or Aviators, would, to many, come across as vintage or classics. After all, these are beloved frames.

These frames aren’t currently on trend and are simply a style of sunglasses that will never go out of fashion. On the other hand, lesser-known styles that seem to ev and flow in and out of style are considered trendy or on-trend. Currently as of 2023 sunglasses popular in the late 90s / early 2000s (also known as Y2K Sunglasses) are back in style and popular among the younger generation. I believe these frames would not meet the requirements as outlined in the AR 670-1 Standard as eventually they’ll go out of style again.

These sunglasses would fail. They are a bad color (white), and chrome lenses. They are of a classic (Wayfarer) style though

What Sunglasses Colours can I have?

The Army is quite strict on the color of sunglasses you can wear. After all, it would be comical to wear a pair of pink sunglasses on the battlefield. Because of this, it’s like any color that isn’t either dark brown, black or some darker shades would automatically not be allowed. This also goes for any patterns such as tortoiseshell. 

What about logos and brand markings?

One of the most frequently misconstrued parts of the Army’s regulation when it comes to sunglasses is the idea that you can’t have logos on them. Ray-Ban is one such brand that includes the Ray-Ban logo directly on the sunglasses lenses (as seen in the image below). This doesn’t mean that branding is not allowed as the regulations only state that logos aren’t allowed on the frames or lenses but not on other areas of the glasses such as the temples (or sides). After all, many brands have all the sizing information and other branding in these areas. If you would like to wear brands that do have logos on such areas that aren’t allowed (such as the lenses), then there are techniques you can follow to remove such markings so they meet the requirements of the AR 670-1 Standard.

These sunglasses pass the test aside from having a logo on the lenses. This means they fail.