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News Release


Release No: 620-94
November 02, 1994


Air Force Chief of Staff General Ronald R. Fogleman announced today several changes he intends to implement with regard to the wear of the Air Force uniform.

Explaining that there has been much speculation regarding his views on the uniform, Fogleman noted that he has worn it for over two years and discussed its wear and appearance with four-star generals and other senior leaders, as well as numerous other Air Force people who also have worn the uniform. The consensus is that the uniform is "a superb choice--comfortable, good fit, quality material, good image." He explained that despite these positive features, some "mid-course" changes would enhance the uniform's acceptability, functionality and appearance.

Addressing the service dress uniform coat, Fogleman said the enlisted coat with new stripes is well liked and should be kept as is. He said he is looking to reintroduce rank to the shoulders for officers. However, those who already have purchased the new coat with sleeve insignia should not worry. They should continue to wear it until the Air Force develops a modification package for an epaulet fix or establishes a transition schedule.

"We are working to make the change a minimum cost effort," Fogleman stressed. "If you don't have the new jacket, you might hold off for a while. I assure you that you don't need one for an official photo to meet a board. In fact, we plan to delete the requirement for official photos as a part of the promotion folders by January 1, 1995."

Officers and enlisted Air Force members will also start wearing the U.S. insignia without circle on the lapels. Instructions on their correct wear will be issued within weeks. Fogleman's direction on ribbons is wear all, some or none, but when worn they must be worn in the right order of precedence. This applies to any uniform combination designed for ribbon wear.

The basic policy on badges is that if an individual earned it, it can be worn for the rest of his or her career. However, explaining that some reasonable limits needed to be placed on the number, Fogleman said no more than four could be worn.

He noted three principles the Air Force is working towards with regard to badge wear. First, one could wear above the pocket no more than two occupational, aeronautical and miscellaneous badges, such as occupational specialty, aircrew wings, parachutist or combat infantry badges. It would be the individual's choice which two badges would be worn. Secondly, the missile badge can continue to be worn on the pocket as one of two occupational/aeronautical badges.

Lastly, the third type of badge that may be worn are duty badges like those of the White House, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified commands. If authorized by the awarding authority, the badge may be worn even when not assigned to that duty or organization.

Men's and women's service hats, according to Fogleman, will be a mandatory item for field grade officers. He said the policy is being reviewed for company grade officers and enlisted personnel. In all cases, the nature of the affair or event will dictate when the hat is worn.

Although there is no change for now with name tags, Fogleman cautioned that "the jury's still out. Our goals are to make the necessary changes as soon as possible and eliminate the uniform as an issue."

The next uniform board is scheduled for early 1995. In the meantime, Fogleman said the Air Force would canvass its members for "good ideas on all Air Force uniforms to present to that board, after which I plan to disband the uniform board since we believe we will have effectively satisfied our objectives in this area."

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