Shirt, I Haven’t Worn My Blues Since Basic…

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Joseph Guzik
  • 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron First Sergeant
With the majority of us wearing our service uniform on Mondays, now is the perfect time to review some of the standards associated with its wear. For the last seven years our normal uniform of the day has been the battle dress uniform - now the Airman Battle Uniform. Many of you joined the Air Force after we made the switch, but many more of you remember when the wear of BDUs was a Friday-only event and "blues" were the norm. 

In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to observe and correct quite a few uniform wear mistakes. To keep us looking sharp and focused on the standards, here are some hints: 

- The metallic name tag is required on the service dress jacket. It has been since January 2004. 

- The blue plastic nametag is the only nametag worn on the blue shirt. 

- Enlisted personnel wear the U.S. insignia with circles (since January 2007). Officers wear the plain U.S. insignia. 

- You must wear all ribbons and devices on the service dress jacket. Ribbons are optional on the blue shirt; but if ribbons are worn, then all ribbons and devices must be worn. 

- If you wear the long sleeve blue shirt, you must wear the tie or tie tab for women. 

- Shoulder epaulets are no longer authorized for wear by senior non-commissioned officers on the blue shirt. 

- Shoulder epaulets are worn on the pullover and cardigan (button up) sweater by officers and SNCOs; all others wear metal rank insignia. 

- The metallic name tag is required on the pullover sweater. No nametag is worn on the cardigan. 

Take the time to know the standards for uniform wear. The most frequent answer I have heard in the last few weeks has been, "Shirt, I haven't worn my blues since basic." This makes me wonder: If a person doesn't take the time to look at the Air Force instruction on how to wear their uniform properly, how much time are they taking to properly perform their job? Is the aircraft mechanic following tech data or just rushing through the task? Is the food service apprentice washing their hands when required before serving you lunch or wiping their nose before ladling your gravy? Is the medic following aseptic or sterile technique when performing procedures or moving from patient to patient without washing their hands, cleaning their stethoscope, changing instruments, etc.? Make the right first impression by wearing your uniform correctly and let that pride spill over into every aspect of your performance.