Uniform board to release updates to AFI |
7/13/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- An update to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Air Force Uniform Dress and Appearance, will soon be released, said Air Force officials.
A key feature of this updated instruction will be the return of heritage to the enlisted corps -- chevrons on the sleeves and circles around the U.S. insignia.
"Over the years, we've made changes that made sense at the time, but had the effect of moving us away from our heritage," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. "Chevrons on sleeves and circles around the U.S. insignia are historical symbols of the finest noncommissioned officer corps on the planet. We need to return that heritage to them and reconnect them to the great NCOs who went before them."
The circle around the U.S. was eliminated in 1991, said Senior Master Sgt. Dana Athnos of the Air Force Uniform Board.
"Yet, every uniform board since received requests to return that to the enlisted force, so it has been done," she said. "Wearing the circle on the lapel has a lasting heritage that dates back to April 27, 1918."
The change will include the removal of senior NCO shoulder boards from the blue uniform and from all upper garments, except the optional wool sweaters. Implementation dates will be reflected in the revised AFI.
The updates will also include information about the new air staff badge and new space badge. Desert combat uniforms are now only authorized on civilian flights to and from the area of responsibility. Also, Air Force personnel are not authorized to wear desert boots with the battle dress uniform.
As a reminder, Oct. 1 marks the mandatory wear of physical training gear. All Airmen will be required to have one running suit, two T-shirts and two pair of shorts. Also beginning in October, enlisted Airmen will receive an increase in their clothing allowance to offset the increase of the mandatory number of T-shirts and shorts from two sets to three sets in October 2007.
Air Force officials emphasized that Airmen should not wait until October to purchase these items. The revised AFI will clarify wear of the PT gear by specifying that when doing organized PT, the shorts and T-shirts will be worn as a set and not mixed with civilian clothes; however, at other times the PT gear, to include the running suit, can be worn with civilian clothes.
More clarification will be provided about sister service badges, as well as cell phone use in uniform. New guidance about the wear of flight clothing also is incorporated in the updated document.
The new AFI will be available for all Airmen later this month.
"The Air Force Uniform Board, chaired by Air Force A1, reviews any matters related to Air Force uniforms involving possible improvements, and in turn, provides recommendations to the chief of staff for a final decision," Sergeant Athnos said. "It's a deliberate process that is focused on feedback from the field to better accomplish our mission."