October 16, 2021

Air Force Apparel: Style In The Sky

There are strict rules in place that govern Air Force apparel. All enlisted officers and other personnel that join the USAF are required to adhere to appearance and dress regulations throughout the course of their service. Air Force Instructions 36-2903 stipulate the latest requirements relating to dress, shoes, and hair styles that are allowed.

There are in fact a number of different outfits which should be used depending upon the occasion, i. E. Combat duty, a formal event, or physical training. If you are planning to enlist, it can be useful to take a moment to study AFI 36-2903, so you can be aware of what is expected of you in terms of dress.

The formal uniform, mess dress, and service dress of the USAF have a long history of prestige. To ensure the military’s image is not tarnished by scruffiness, all Air Force personnel must understand exactly what is expected of them in terms of the right appearance at the correct time. When on duty, every member of the USAF must be correctly attired.

It is an offense to wear any USAF uniform when pursuing a civilian activity, running for political office, and when employed in the private sector. The guidelines allow for personnel to decide whether or not to wear an official uniform when travelling on a commercial flight, be it domestic or international. Many enlistees are proud to have the opportunity to wear their apparel whenever they are allowed.

All male USAF personnel are not allowed to grow beards, though moustaches are acceptable if they are groomed correctly. It is stipulated in rule AFI 36-2903, that hair must be kept trimmed. Female enlisted can wear some amount of make-up, though nail polish must be a single color. Women Air Force members can have medium length hair and are allowed to use a white or blue headband.

There are six standard uniforms that make up the complete range of USAF apparel. This includes mess dress, service dress, long sleeved, short sleeved, semi-formal, and formal. The formal and semi formal uniforms are notable due to their lack of name tags and hats. As part of the formal wear, men are expected to use satin blue bow ties. With the semi-formal outfit a herringbone tie is stipulated. The typical service dress uniform has become the standard image of the serving male officer, this involves the wearing of a long or short sleeved shirt, blue trousers, special dress shoes, and service medals.

Both male and female personnel that are stationed in areas of combat are required to use the battle dress uniform (BDU). This dress incorporates a camouflage design, which can vary in color depending upon the area of duty.

The uniform is adorned with special lapels above the right breast that help in identifying the wearer. The adornment of occupational badges is more important with battle dress so as to facilitate greater organization and on field readiness. The BDU is completed with black combat boots, a black belt, and matching socks.

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