Military sunglasses

Are there standard issue military sunglasses?

Asking because I just saw on yahoos page two air force guys. Both had sunglasses on. Can’t tell if they are the same (the sunglasses).

I don’t recall seeing military folks, at least in dress uniform, wearing sunglasses.

I was never issued sunglasses in the AF.

But yes, sunglasses can be worn in dress uniform, or any uniform, as long as you are not part of a formation.

Injuries kept me out of the military, but I have a pair of HGU-26/Ps in the car, which I wear all of the time. I may have gotten them at the exchange at Edwards AFB. My dad was issued HGU-26/Ps by the FAA. I still have them, in the cardboard box. (Strangely, the glasses don’t match the case. One is Randolph, and the other is AO I think.) I’ll have to count to see how many pair I have.

I’ve seen a picture of my grandfather in Army uniform during WW2, wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses (he wasn’t a pilot, but he served under MacArthur, who was also partial to them). My dad got them from him at some point and wore them throughout his 1960s student radical period; he later wore aviators during his own, non-U.S. military service. It was a whole thing.

Thanks folks. Was just a question that popped into my head.


I’ll ask a mod to change my original post. :smack:

I was wondering if maybe you wore a flight helmet around. It would keep the sun out of your eyes. :smiley:

I’m not that weird. I just have the -26/Ps in the collection.

My dad brought me home some ballistic Oakleys from Afghanistan apparently they are designed to keep shrapnel out of the eyes but work great for rocks on a motorcycle.

I was issued sunglasses in Army flight school in 1980

A friend has a brother in law that is a navy seal. BIL is issued sunglasses by the navy. Sunglasses are made by a well known brand of premium sunglasses. Friend has borrowed the sunglasses, and swears they were the clearest sunglasses he’s ever looked through.

If I say any more, BIL will have to kill me.

Those HGU-4Ps are sweet! I went to the Randolph site but couldn’t see them offered in diopters (I wear +1.00 for driving). I am ready to order a set from Zenni, I’m tired of buying ones off eBay that don 't fit well. I used to have a set of Serengeti Drivers aviators, those were quite nice.


I’ve been issued multiple sets of “ballistic eye protection,” which shade the eyes as well as protect against trauma. They are not standardized. The Army has a list of approved eye protection, but it purchases them in batches as “rapid fielding” items. This means they care about speed rather than uniformity, so two soldiers in the same unit might have different models of eyewear.

Whippersnappers. In my day we didn’t wear eye protection.

Saw a guy almost lose an eye to a hang fire on an M249. He could have used it, I’m sure.

Thanks again for the info.

It’s funny, as a kid I never wore sunglasses. Every since moving to Colorado, and now living at altitude (often with that nice reflective snow), I just don’t go anywhere without them. My Wife’s family in PA thinks I’m trying to be cool because I always have my sunglasses with me, and often wear them. Force of habit, even on cloudy days.

I’ve been wearing the same pair of Ray-Ban Aviators in Neutral Gray since 1976. Not “the same style.” The SAME PAIR. I suppose someday I’ll have to replace them.

I moved to Denver almost 3 years ago…sunglasses are an absolute necessity when you drive, and I can see why they would be needed at other times, too. One of the reasons I love it here is the bright sunshine!

BEW - Ballistic Eye Wear are issues and generally standardized. You can get little inserts if you need a prescription. It is highly recommended that you don’t Just buy something else that is “cooler” since they won’t protect your eyes as well. They come with shaded, yellow and clear options.

We also get a pretty amazing discount on Oakleys through a special portal, if we want.

It may not be a surprise that the Army has an acronym for that. APEL Approved Protective Eyewear List. You are allowed to buy and wear any of the eye protection on the list. Some of it will be issued. I was issued Oakleys in Iraq. They sucked.

I was an air traffic controller in the AF and while working in a VFR tower, we were issued aviator sunglasses.