Airmen’s suggestions prompt uniform policy update

U.S. Air Force graphic: Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece In an effort to decrease the financial burden on airmen, shift the focus to heritage and espirt-de-corps increase, and to recognize and value Airmen’s experiences, qualifications and job performance, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, approved several updates to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Air Force Dress and Appearance.

U.S. Air Force graphic: Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece
In an effort to decrease the financial burden on airmen, shift the focus to heritage and espirt-de-corps increase, and to recognize and value Airmen’s experiences, qualifications and job performance, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, approved several updates to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Air Force Dress and Appearance.

By Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

As of Jan. 17, the Air Force policy governing uniform wear was updated.

Through the Every Dollar Counts campaign held in spring of 2013, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, urged airmen to make their voices heard with suggestions made directly to him during base visits or comments to the uniform survey board.

As prompted, many airmen voiced their concerns and suggestions concerning the uniform policy over the past year, and it paid off.

In an effort to decrease the financial burden on airmen, shift the focus to heritage and espirt-de-corps increase, and to recognize and value Airmen’s experiences, qualifications and job performance, Welsh approved several updates to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Air Force Dress and Appearance.

There are many updates to the AFI, including but not limited to the following:

Morale T-shirts/patches representing individual squadrons that were worn in the past to increase unit pride are now authorized to wear on Fridays. Squadron color T-shirts may be worn with the Airman Battle Uniform or flight suit when in-garrison or on-station during unit temporary duty assignments and contingency deployments. Shirts must be one color throughout the squadron, and may have only a small squadron patch over the left chest. Wing commanders can authorize personnel from different units to wear the same color T-shirts to facilitate esprit-de-corps and team building.

Earned Air Force and other services’ badges are authorized to wear, but only the command insignia pin is mandatory. This reverses a previous decision to prohibit wear of qualification badges and various patches on ABUs, to eliminate the need to remove and replace badges for deployment or permanent change of duty station moves.

A list and examples of all newly approved badges authorized for wear on the ABU are located in attachment five of AFI 36-2903.

The Air Force physical training uniform no longer has color restrictions for athletic shoes. Airmen are also authorized to wear black socks with their athletic shoes.

Cell phones no longer have to be black, as long as they’re not worn on the uniform or attached to a purse.

Airmen can expect to find the optional badges on the Army and Air Force Exchange Services’ website by mid-July to early August. The commander’s insignia pin will be mandatory once the cloth pins go on sale at AAFES.

For more information, please view Air Force Instruction 36-2903.