Air Force officials release uniform board results|
Posted 6/16/2009 Updated 6/16/2009
by Senior Airman Samantha S. Crane
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
6/16/2009 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Air Force officials recently released the results of the 98th Virtual Uniform Board with many changes effective immediately.
"The most important thing is getting the word out to educate everybody on the new requirements," said Chief Master Sgt. Ronald McCarthy, 366th Fighter Wing command chief.
While the board did not introduce new uniforms, the majority of the uniform-wear policy results improved upon existing uniforms. The immediate changes include tucking trousers and laces into boots, prohibiting attaching organizational caps to BDU trousers and allowing people to walk and talk on their cellular phones while in uniform.
"Many of you have questions about the pants being tucked into the boots with a bloused appearance," said Chief McCarthy. "In an e-mail from the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, he suggested we not have Airmen run out and buy new uniforms if their current pants cannot be tucked in and that the uniform board 'may consider' postponing the implementation of that one item."
Chief McCarthy also addressed the need to use patience when enforcing the changes.
"Gunfighters must do everything possible to comply with the changes, but we may need to allow minor flexibility when enforcing the new standards during the education piece," said the chief.
The board gave major commands authorization to approve the wear of black boots with the ABU in industrial areas. At Mountain Home Air Force Base, a policy is in the works and should be released within the next few weeks.
The changes are as follows:
- As of Jan. 1, 2010, all enlisted Airmen must display their rank on light-weight blue jacket using sewn-on chevron rank insignias. Wear of metal rank is prohibited.
- Effective immediately, trousers must be tucked into the boots and present a bloused appearance at all times. Laces will be tucked in and may be wrapped around the boot and tucked in.
- Effective immediately, it is prohibited to attach organizational caps to BDU trousers.
- Major commands are authorized to approve the wear of black boots with the ABU in industrial areas.
- Upper sleeve pocket approved for fire resistant ABUs authorized for, and worn only in, the area of responsibility.
- Authorize Airmen meeting the criteria for and awarded the U.S. Army parachute riggers badge permanent wear of that badge on all authorized uniform combinations. When wearing subdued riggers badge on the ABU/BDU, the badge will be blue. When on DCU, badge will be brown.
- Permanent wear of black U.S. Army air assault badge on the BDU, regardless of duty assignment, is authorized upon graduation from air assault school.
- Authorize wear of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations duty badge on service dress uniform and subdued cloth duty badge on the ABU.
- Use of cell phones while walking in uniform is authorized. Hands-free devices while walking is still prohibited. Phones must be conservative in color and may be worn on either the left or right side of the uniform. Military customs and courtesies apply and take precedence.
The following changes have been authorized, dates still to be determined:
- Wear of foliage green fleece as outer garment with ABU
- Fleece liner with ability to zip into all-purpose environmental clothing system, APECS
- Increase length of lower leg pocket on ABU trouser ½ inch
- Change female ABU trouser fly buttons to mirror males
- Add small ABU name tape with last name to pocket flap on APECS left sleeve
- Alter ABU sleeve pen pocket ½ inch to prevent injury
- Revive current PT gear wear guidance to reflect a more professional image.
- Authorize an addition of side buttons that unfold a small portion of the maternity ABU trouser.
The following items were recommended for approval but require further research and development:
- Wear of green crew neck sweater under ABU
- Adjust maternity ABU to mirror regular pocket placement
- Officers assigned to command and control nods to wear the C2 badge if approved for award by functional authority.
"We rely on feedback from Airmen about a wide variety of uniform issues. As such, the Air Force uniform team created the Virtual Uniform Board. The virtual uniform board capitalized on available technology that Airmen are familiar with, the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness (IDEA) Program," said Ruth Ewalt, chief of Air Force uniform programs and policy.
Airmen can provide uniform recommendations by going to the Air Force Innovative Development through Employee Awareness (IDEA) Program Web site at the Air Force Portal, https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/ep/globalTab.do?command=org&channelPageId=-
Airmen also can access uniform information at the Air Force Portal by typing "uniform" in the search box in the page's upper right-hand corner.