Uniform board results released

The 97th Air Force Uniform Board released their newest results for proper wear of the uniform.

The board met in October and discussed everything from eliminating the Air Force Good Conduct Medal to maternity uniforms.

In addition, a Headquarters Air Force badge will be available this summer. The badge provides a distinct identification of military staff members assigned to the Air Staff and the Air Force Secretariat. Details about this badge will be available at a future date.

The following changes are effective immediately:
– Approval to wear the blue nametag with the Air Force informal uniform — the member’s abbreviated rank and name will be on one line. This uniform is worn by recruiters, honor guard, enlisted aides, chaplains, chaplain assistants, world-class athletes, and fitness center and health and wellness center staffs.
– Cummerbund pleats will face up in all cases.
– If due to a temporary medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, which could result in baldness, commanders will authorize the approved American Cancer Society cap or wigs while in uniform.
– Bracelet size is reduced to one-half inch. Bracelets that support a cause, philosophy, individual or group are not authorized. Traditional POW/MIA bracelets are still permitted. Gemstone and tennis bracelets are only authorized with the mess dress.
– Rings will be worn at the base of the finger and will not be worn on the thumb. Wedding sets count as one ring.
– Eyeglasses will not be worn around the neck, on top or back of the head or hanging on uniform.
– New epoxy blue nametag is optional on the blue shirt.
– Wear of the firefighter duty badge is authorized while an individual is assigned a 3E7X1 duty Air Force specialty code, including periods of professional military education and staff tours above group level.
– The Air Force Good Conduct Medal will no longer be awarded. Previously earned medals are still permitted.
– Mandatory wear of the physical training uniform is set for Oct. 1 as per the instructions released last November.
– Cell phones, pagers and personal digital assistants must be solid or covered in black, silver, dark blue or gray, and must be conservative. They may be clipped to the left side of the waistband or purse or carried in left hand. Only one may be worn on the uniform belt. Members will not walk in uniform while using phones, radios or hands-free headsets unless required in performing official duties using a government-issued device.
– Permanent wear of the scuba badge is authorized on the battle dress uniform.
– While not deployed, desert combat uniforms may not be worn unless en route to the basic combat convoy course. “Deployed” for this purpose includes members traveling en route to/from rest and recuperative leave from the Central Command area of responsibility, as outlined in policy announced in mid-2005.

This session of the Air Force Uniform Board included a special panel that was specifically chartered to make recommendations regarding updates/revisions to uniform standards affecting women Airmen. After careful review, the board approved several changes that affect women specifically:
– “Scrunchies” are prohibited.
– Hairpins and bands must match hair color.
– Hair color, frosting and highlights will not be faddish and will match natural hair colors, i.e. blonde, brunette, natural red, black or gray.
– No shaved head or flat top hairstyles for women.
– Synthetic hair can be worn, as long as it meets safety and mission requirements.
– Braids, micro-braids and cornrows are authorized.
– Nail polish will not contrast with complexion or detract from the uniform. Nor is polish of extreme color, such as purple, gold, black, blue or any fluorescent color, authorized. Nail polish will also be limited to one color.
– French manicures are allowed, but fingernail length in all instances will not exceed one-quarter inch beyond the fingertip.
– In addition to clutch-style purses, purses with no more than two straps are authorized with mess dress.
– Earrings will be small spherical, conservative diamond, gold, white pearl or silver with any uniform combination and must be worn as a set. For those with multiple ear piercing, only one set of earrings will be worn in the lower earlobe and will also conform to these earring wear standards when performing duty in civilian clothes.
– Male flight cap is optional.
The updates will be added to Air Force Instruction 36-2903 when the new version is released in March.