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
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
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
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