What Is a Navy UIC Locator?

A Navy UIC locator is a special six-character alphanumeric code assigned to units, bases and activities of the U.S. Navy. UIC is an acronym for Unit Identification Code. Though previously accessible to the public, UIC codes are typically harder to find since the acceleration of the fight against terrorism. Many UIC codes are considered classified information.

A UIC locator serves the purpose of identification as well as facilitating financial transactions and allocating manpower. The first character of the code identifies the particular department within the Department of Defense, such as “N” for the U.S. Navy, “E” for the U.S. Coast Guard and “F” for the U.S. Air Force. The next three characters in the UIC indicate the Parent Unit Designator, which varies from branch to branch and refers to the type of unit involved. The final three characters Descriptive Designators that reveal the unique characteristics of the that unit.

In addition to military branches, other U.S. agencies with UIC codes include the Postal Service, the Treasury Department and the Department of Agriculture. State governments are also identified with UIC codes beginning with the letter “Y.” The Unit Identification Code Search System is an online resource for finding unclassified UIC locators, but it is accessed by permission only, with justification for access provided and approved.