You’ve earned the right – wear your uniform with pride

Master Sgt. Michael Dols

Last week the results of the 97th Air Force Uniform Board were released. The board approved a number of changes we all need to be aware of, adhere to and enforce. The following are some of the more notable changes.
“Scrunchies” are no longer allowed while in uniform. Hair must be kept in place with pins and/or bands that match hair color. Long hair must be secured with no loose ends. Fly-aways are not allowed and ponytails have to be pinned to the head.
Hair color must be natural for human beings; my suggestion is to color your hair gray like mine.
Cell phones, pagers and personal digital assistants must be solid or covered in black, silver, dark blue or gray. They must be clipped to the left side of the waistband or purse and carried in the left hand; only one can be carried on the belt.
If you are talking on a cell phone, you must stop walking until the call is completed. The only exception is if you’re carrying a government-issued phone and you’re on an official call.
Fingernails can not extend more than one-quarter inch beyond the fingertip, and for women, if nail polish is worn, it cannot contrast with one’s complexion, detract from the uniform or be extreme in color. Extreme colors include, but are not limited to: purple, black, gold, bright red, blue or fluorescent colors.
While French manicures are allowed, only one color can be used at all other times.
The last item is the physical training uniform. Oct. 1, is the mandatory wear date — if you’ve put off buying it, you need to have it soon.
This is not a complete list of the changes, so I recommend you review the complete list that can be found on the Air Force Web page. All these changes became effective immediately.
While on the subject of uniform wear, we need to discuss personal conduct and enforcement of these standards. We all have a responsibility to adhere to uniform standards. As a professional organization we are scrutinized on all aspects of our conduct. The easiest standards to adhere to, but seemingly the ones most often ignored, are those that dictate our appearance.
Wear the uniform the way it is supposed to be worn. If you choose not to, you have no room to argue when someone corrects you. If you see something wrong, politely correct the person and then thank them for making the correction.
Finally, uniform regulations do not apply only on base. Housing is not a “No Hat/No Shirt” area.
We all worked hard to earn the right to wear this uniform. Wear it the way we all know we should.