Here I am, in my PT uniform at a fun run with Airmen from multiple wings. As I’m running, I notice a person with the waist band of their running shorts turned over. I ask, in a non-threatening manner, if they know and the answer is simply “yes.” I wait for them to correct this, but they don’t. I’m left, still running, not knowing whether the person doesn’t know they can’t do this or that they don’t care. Then, a few minutes later, I come across the same thing and ask the same question. However, this time the person answers “yes” and immediately makes the correction.
I’m sometimes amazed and somehow disappointed at how often I have to stop and make a uniform correction. My aim is always to get the message across without someone throwing up their defenses because of the “Who is this person to enforce a uniform standard” mindset. We’re all busy with much on our minds and we can forget to check ourselves. So it is OK to remind people. What I don’t expect, or understand, is seeing a person whose uniform needs correction in a crowd of higher-ranking people who either don’t see or don’t care to correct the issue.
Despite efforts not to put someone on the defensive, I still get occasional push back. One day, I politely remarked to a technical sergeant that his belt was on backward. The reply: that’s how he was taught by his MTI. I highly doubted this, but I could see I wouldn’t get anywhere. So I made note of their name, went back to my office and sent the information I copied and pasted straight out of the AFI.
I often ask Airmen about making uniform corrections. More often than not, they say they are afraid to. Why is that? Is it because they question whether they know what is correct and don’t want to make a mistake? Or, more pointedly, are they afraid of the response they may get?
First, be familiar with the AFI. If unsure, you can at least check when the chance arises so you’ll know for sure the next time. Or, you could say, “I am not absolutely certain, but I believe the waist band of your running shorts shouldn’t be turned over.”
Second, Airmen should be encouraged and everyone should accept corrections graciously.
People may call me hard core or over the top. However, consider this: The AFI reflects a simple standard to which everyone is asked to adhere. It’s there in the AFI for all to read.
The bottom line is it shouldn’t be about enforcing uniform standards, but rather about pride in one’s self and the Air Force and the desire to represent both in the best image. So, if you ever get the opportunity to have someone come up and help you by pointing out something wrong with your uniform, thank them. Mutual goodwill will spread and we’ll all realize that our Air Force uniform standards are not optional.
(by Chief Master Sgt. Andrea Gates)
On Tuesday, the traffic circle from Landstuhl to Ramstein-Miesenbach (L363/L356) will be closed for construction. Motorists must follow detour signs. Traffic will be rerouted onto the access road leading from Landstuhl to Ramstein’s West Gate into the city of Ramstein-Miesenbach. Due to traffic, motorists should plan on taking more time to get to base.
No POVs through LVIS gate
Privately owned vehicles will not be permitted to enter or exit Ramstein Air Base through the LVIS gate during construction from Tuesday to March 15.