Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

October 6, 2011 at 10:44am

New Air Force uniforms include new rules

Photo by 2nd Lt. Denise Hauser Reservists with the 446th Security Forces Squadron, McChord Field, Wash., take one last picture in their woodland battle dress uniforms. Sept. 10. As of Nov. 1, all Airmen must wear the Airman Battle Uniform for their utili

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Out with the old, in with the new; new dress and appearance rules, new uniform items, and new clarity on some old rules.

Nov. 1 brings with it the end of the tan boot, the woodland battle dress uniform, and the Desert Camouflage Uniform. As of that date, all Airmen should be wearing the Airman Battle Uniform.

Reservists in the 446th Airlift Wing should all have the ABU. If you don't, according to Chief Master Sgt. Janice Kallinen, you need to stop by and visit your clothing monitor to get the paperwork to get the uniforms.

"This (the requirement to wear the ABU) has been advertised for two years now," said Kallinen, 446th Force Support Squadron superintendent.

Guidance on wear of the ABU, green fleece, and physical fitness uniforms is included in the latest edition of Air Force Instruction 36-2903, which was released July 18. All updates to the instruction were incorporated into the new AFI and many guidelines were refined to eliminate questions or confusion as much as possible.

"The changes are a result of Airmen in the field requesting clarification, leadership approving more specific policy, and the need to integrate information from the 98th virtual uniform board and other wear policy approved since

2006," said Ruth Ewalt, Air Force Uniform Programs and Policies chief at the Air Staff, Washington D.C. In case you're wondering, if it's not listed in the AFI as authorized, then it is deemed unauthorized, as stated on page one of the AFI.

Some of the more common items that Airmen tend to misunderstand standards on are backpacks, gym bags, watches, bracelets, and sunglasses.

Backpacks, when carried while in your blue or physical training uniforms, must be black. Gym bags may be black or dark blue. When carried while wearing the ABU, gym bags and backpacks may also be ABU-patterned, olive drab, or Air Force sage green.

Watches must be conservative, so if you're wearing a Mickey Mouse watch you're violating standards. Watches may not be diamond-covered, neon or bright in color, a novelty watch, and the bands cannot exceed one inch in width.

Bracelets must also be conservative, but the width may not exceed one-half inch. They must be gold or silver in color, and cannot support a cause, person, philosophy or group, with some exception. Exceptions include medical alert bracelets and the traditional metal POW/MIA/KIA bracelets.

You know how convenient it is to hang your glasses (sun or otherwise) on your collar? Well, that's the wrong place for your glasses, as is the top or back of your head, around your neck, or hanging from your uniform pocket. Sunglasses need to be black or brown if they're plastic, or gold or silver if they're wire frames. Leave the mirrored lenses and brightly embellished sunglasses at home. However, sunglasses with a logo are fine as long as the logo is small and the same color as the frame.

For more dress and appearance information, go to the dress and appearance Web page on the Air Force Personnel Center's website at http://www.afpc.af.mil/dress/index.asp

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