A New Badge For USAF Security Forces


Apparently, there’s an initiative by Air Force ‘Top Cop’ Brig Gen Allen Jameson to scrap the traditional Security Forces shield and adopt a more civilian-looking version akin to what is seen above on the right. His office on the Air Staff, the Director of Security Forces, is currently soliciting feedback from the field. While I don’t have a dog in this fight, the whole move away from Security Police to Security Forces 15 years ago was to focus more on air base defense and less on handing out parking tickets. To me, that new badge screams Barney Fife. Air Force Security Forces fulfill a unique role and their badge should reflect it, just as it has all of these years.

Here are the choices.

Option 2

Option 3

What do you think?

36 Responses to “A New Badge For USAF Security Forces”

  1. Adam says:

    Looks like a badge security guards wear. Total fail; therefore, it will pass with screaming approval.

  2. Brian McManus says:

    I’m I spent 22 years as an AF SP/SF; after I retired in 2008 I spent another 2 1/2 years as a Dept. of the AF civilian Police Officer. The badges you are showing are the CURRENT SF and DAF Civilian badges. The slides you’re referencing had six (6) examples of different options and can be found here:
    BG Jamerson (who I have had the honor of serving with twice and consider him to be one of the best officers I ever came into contact with.) states “There will be no decision anytime soon, but the discussion is worthwhile.” Personally, I’m not a fan of the redesign. I feel the current badge is distinctive and steeped in tradition; changing it now would strip all of that away.

    • SSD says:

      Thanks Brian, I asked the guy who sent me the info and he told me that they were trying to move to the civilian-style shield.

  3. Justin says:

    The Navy’s Master at Arms have worn similar civilian style badges for decades. And they do everything from harbor defense to correctional jobs. I don’t think the badge design really matters as much as how the job is being done and the guys being trained.

    • Joe says:

      Agreed. At least with a civilian looking badge the average Joe’s first thought isn’t going to be “wtf am I looking at?”

  4. MK-EOD says:

    The Air Force loves to redesign uniform baubles. We got the ABU over the BDU/DCU. Before that they tried the McPeak dress uniform.

    Why is it that whenever they change something, it never looks better?

    Honestly, I’m not SecFor, but I don’t want them to change their badges. I always thought the USAF badge was better looking than the sister services’ military police badges. Security Forces don’t need to look more like civilian police, or DOD police, or the civilian security guards that work on a lot of bases.

    Would they consider changing pilot wings? Never. I know I’d be really ticked if they tried to change the EOD crab. So why don’t we just leave the cops’ badge alone? This isn’t something we need to be spending money on right now.

    If anything, the Air Force ought to look at reducing the badges it has. Everyone gets a shiny badge right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re a maintainer, a firefighter, or if you work in contracting or the DiFac, you’ll have a badge on your uniform. We even have more than the Navy, since AF badges are also used as career field identifiers. It wasn’t always that way and is, in my opinion, a bit much.

    • Ryan says:

      When it comes to things like this, the Air Force’s only heritage is one of change.

      I definitely agree with you on reduction of shinies. I opt to not wear my function badge and keep it at my duty shield only.

  5. RAVEN756 says:

    I saw this and was…..kinda tick’d. I really do not see the need to change this item right now, or really at all. The history behind the badge and career field is very unique in itself. This will be a tough battle to win the hearts and minds of SecFor overall.
    Honestly, we are scrounging (per say) due to budget constraints and yet we are looking into these kinds of changes? Not really adding up at this point. I do have an idea though….how about fielding better equipment for current SF Airmen rather than standing by the DFLCS in the system currently. While that was a step up from old school TA-50 stuff there is better kit out there to be utilized by SF Airmen. Just my thoughts.

  6. Chuck says:

    I carry both shields now as a Reservist and DAF investigator/supervisor and honestly the Civilian shield is easier for people to recognize, be it an Army PFC or a civilian driving on the base to drop a family member off. With that being said I don’t think we need to redesign ANYTHING right now and I’m proud of the thought that went into the design rather than picking the cardstock formats from the local shop.

    Also, SF’s stateside mission is a mix of LE and ABD. When we deploy that mission changes to more ABD with only minor LE depending on where you go. I know one of the challenges is ensuring that my guys are up to speed and able to perform both functions at a moments notice. I’ll have to contact the Reserves Police Service functional to find out more on this.

    Thanks for the post. I’m sure we in the Reserve would have been the last to know until it was already a done deal.

  7. AFSarge says:

    No. Just, no. They have screwed up the “Hap Arnold” symbol and gave us that malodorous angled mess, McPeak screwed up just about every uniform combination, the “MAC” BDU uniform (which was just a leather patch over the left chest) was one of the best ideas ever, as it got rid of all those expensive uniform accoutrements, which really have no reason for being on field fatigues. Heritage! What heritage? We can’t even design a proper field uniform, which was the result of a bunch of officers at the uniform board, not driven by field operators, as it should be. One should read up on what the USAF did to Tiger Stripe Products in “picking” the current ABU design, disgusting.

    • bman says:

      It kind of happens that way when the Air Corps was created by popular consensus and then the Air Force created again and tried to be different. The culture is to keep trying to popular by consensus and they think that helps. True heritage would be stickong the Army Air Corps stuff as much as possible. As I said below, the air force should have not moved into its own branch.

      • SSD says:

        The US wouldn’t be the world’s preeminent air power if it hadn’t become its own service. Fortunately, some guys had vision after WWII. You can complain about the Air Force all day long but having served in both the Army Air Force I can tell you that the Army wouldn’t handle the mission well. Air Force guys who think they should be a part of the Army don’t get the Army well enough and vice versa.

  8. Fox says:

    “While I don’t have a dog in this fight, the whole move away from Security Police to Security Forces 15 years ago was to focus more on air base defense and less on handing out parking tickets.”

    How’s that working out for you? The SFS on my base has three guys who are outright dedicated to parking and traffic enforcement… and we’re a tiny little Reserve base.

    • SSD says:

      There’s always somebody who wants to be a cop.

      • CJ (The conservative one) says:

        Hehe, truer words about the career field have never been spoken.

      • DB says:

        What do you mean “wants to be”? They ARE cops according to Federal law. They are even included under LEOSA since 3 Jan 2013.

  9. Ric Dickinson says:

    Stay with the original, got my first one in 1969 wore it till 1979. All the rest look like civilian LE badges. Keep it Distinctive and Original!!!

  10. Bill says:

    Many fed LE shields are similar, and a cop’s a cop, whether they are the city cops outside the gate, the deputy sheriffs around the ranges, the VA clinic police, or installation LE. And it’s a shield, fast food cashiers wear badges.

    The parking ticket comment is uncalled for: the Fort Hill .mil cop who was going to get her car serviced when she went muzzle to muzzle with that shooter, or the MIT campus cop who got lit up in Boston probably did their share of paper-hanging, but bad things don’t tell you where they are going to happen, or just to big city cops. Yeah, there are clowns in the profession, but that applies to any/every field.

    • SSD says:

      The career field stopped being about LE a long time ago although some still want to cling to it. The Air Force’s multi-million dollar assets need protecting one hell of a lot more than they need someone checking for speeders. It isn’t the service’s largest career field because they need meter maids.

      • Chuck says:

        I have to disagree. On a weekly basis SF handles, drunks, theft, speeding, disorderly conduct cases, domestics (a lot of these), and various other issues on top of guarding the flight line. Most bases stateside are small towns with small town problems…and PL resources. There are those that want to be NYPD or LA SWAT, but for the most part with a little education you can reel in those guys and train them for SRT duties. As for the meter maid thing…come on now 1408 tickets (for Active military personnel) don’t pay out a dime. Now the 1805 which goes to the Federal Magistrate is a different story.

      • bman says:

        Thats just it in the federal system. They have overkill in both in many cases. I remember a navy base nearby during an event that was supposed to bring a bunch a bunch of protestors. The city surrounding the base and the county sheriffs office had a total combined strength of 10 guys on that particular night shift. If you took the neighboring city PD, you could round it up to 15. If you counted the MAs, civillian security, civilian police, then auxiliary security and marine security guys, they had 52 people on their nighy shift. Better yet, they were running that number on three shifts each 24hours a day. The smaller of the city pds mentioned answered more calls and got into more clusters than they did on the base in a year. They had the money so they used it.

        • Bill says:

          I actually agree more than not: having an 1811 from HUD OIG at FLETC trying to train someone how to approach a domestic violence call is ludicrous, but there’s alway that “we all bleed blue” shtick.

          I saw raid jackets from the Diplomatic Security Service on the tube at Watertown, I guess everyone wanted to get their cool-guy windbreaker some air time.

    • bman says:

      While I kind of agree that a cop is a cop, I disagree that they are all universal. I think many federal agencies that are not the big letter agencies are truly glorified security guards even when compared to a very small city officer. The level of experience is vastly different. Even DEA and Marshals will admit how easy their jobs are compared to local agencies and their lack of generalized experienced due to their specialties. All except the ones who were local cops prior.

      I completely agree about the parking ticket comment. You cant hate the messenger on one end and then think hes great on the other as the nature of law enforcement requires you to be someones friend at the same time of being someone elses enemy when they are in the wrong. I do believe the author may have been referencing the zero tolerance attitude that military police seem to have when it comes to petit seeming issues but that is be expected if that is the worst that their clientele makes them deal with on a daily basis which shows their effectiveness at the same time.

  11. bman says:

    How about the air force be consolidated back into the Army where it belongs and uniforms, insignia, badges and so on be the same. They could just go with the very handsome MP badge of the Army and not redundant recruiting and training pipelines and less flag officers to try and change things. Hundreds of millions would be saved.

    • Doc B says:

      Precisely the idea that would serve to cut mad loot within the DOD, given that the overwhelming amount of redundancy they engage in. No reason at ALL that this could not be done, and the entire system would work in a more streamlined fashion if they did.

    • Chuck says:

      SF only has one Flag Officer and in the grand scheme we answer to the A7 who is a CE Flag Officer. I wouldn’t mind us all having the same Uniform. The money and time that would save would be incredible.

      • bman says:

        I run into so many people that think it would be so much better but yet you dont see it spoken of that often. I met a spec ops dude (army, then contractor for state department, now civillian for socom), he had this well laid out thought for how AFSOC and Army spec ops could be completely integrated. Similar aviation assets. Both 18D program, they could use ranger or SF selection and the 24th assigned to JSOC could just be part of delta

        • SSD says:

          That’s just swell. Looking at the world through a soda straw. What about the nuclear mission, the bomber mission, the refueling mission, the air superiority mission, the strategic comms mission, the satellite mission, etc, etc, etc? Like I said. Anybody who thinks the two services should combine doesn’t understand what they both do.

  12. Tony says:

    I first enlisted in June 1997 as an LE troop. We have gone through countless uniform changes since then. I love the tradition and culture of our career field, I’m good with change…as long as it makes sense. It gives us one more thing to look back on just as the old AP’s “fondly” remember their old white helmets. I think it would be a positive change that would bring us closer to our law enforcement brethren and away from the ABGD “park ranger” days. Lets face it, that’s what the current badge looks like. The USAFSFC tried to get accreditation for a couple years for our SF academy…I think it all ties together. But in the same breath, if we don’t change the badge…I won’t lose sleep over it either as it shows that we can hang onto some type of traditional uniform accouterment. Good on the Boss for putting this up for discussion.

    • Chuck says:

      Both courses (Officer and Enlisted) were granted FLETA initial accreditation in Mar 2012. The new NDAA also set the stage for LEOSA. While visiting the SF Center in Jan it was spelled out that the DOD and then AF regs for implementation of LEOSA wouldn’t be done for years. The good thing is the current leadership is taking the steps to make the career field better, even if it does take FOREVER. As long as they don’t try to change the Flash I’m good. If they try to change that we’ll have an issue…

  13. tdg187x says:

    another fine example of tax dollars being wasted. instead of buying these guys better equipment and training, someone has enough time to reinvent a badge that has been around forever and have a “legacy” when he retires because noone will care once he walks out that door.

  14. MK-EOD says:

    How did a discussion about the cops’ badge turn into lobbying for giving the Air Force back to the Army?

    I don’t care about what some “spec ops dude” said. No one participating in this discussion is a World War II veteran, so no one here has any practical experience what the relations between the Army Air Force and Big Army were like then.

    But a little Googling can give you some clues. The short answer is that right now, in the REAL WORLD, all of the services operate jointly, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff all the way down. I have been on patrols in Afghanistan where the Army, Navy, and Air Force were all represented.

    So despite people’s grousing about how terrible it is that the Air Force is a separate branch, the services work more closely together now than the AAF and the rest of the Army did in World War 2.

    I’m an EOD tech. I spent my entire deployment at a tiny Army patrol base. Contrarily, the big-assed Army EOD company in the same AO spent their entire deployment at the big base, supporting the flight line, because they didn’t have enough qualified team leaders to go out and face the IED threat.

    Every Air Force EOD tech that has died in the wars, from 2004 through 2012 (none have been killed in 2013 so far), died “outside the wire”, supporting the Army, the Marines, or our allies. To the very best of my knowledge, none have been killed doing air base recovery or flight line support, which is what our job, very technically speaking, is supposed to be.

    Maybe the Army should worry about being able to handle its own missions on its own before it starts setting its sights on space launch, bombers, and ICBMs, hey?

    As to the people suggesting it’d be some kind of cost savings to integrate two completely different service branches…you’re kidding, right?

    Just changing the uniforms and redoing all of the signs would cost billions. Then they’d have the task of trying to integrate the Air Force’s Technical Order system with the Army’s FM/TM system. Then you’d get into the personnel and organizational nightmares, as Air Force’s entire system of MAJCOMs/Numbered Air Forces/all the way down/ was shoehorned into the Army’s completely different organizational system.

    It’d be the biggest military boondoggle in modern history. Between the giant organizational cluster that would result, the plummeted morale of forcing hundreds of thousands of personnel into a completely different service (and loss of experience and knowledge from those that separated), and giving air and space assets to Army officers with no institutional knowledge on how to manage them, America’s air power capabilities would be severely degraded.

    The same mess would occur if they tried to integrate the Marines into the Army, by the way, or unify all of the services Canadian Style.

    • MK-EOD says:

      This was not meant to disparage my Army brethren. We lived with the Army, worked with them, smoked & joked with them, and mourned their dead with them. I made a lot of friends and met some of the finest Americans I’ve ever known: fit, competent, and courageous.

      But that doesn’t mean the Army should be in charge of the Air Force’s missions. Similarly, I don’t think the Air Force should try to take the Army’s rotary-winged airlift (in other countries’ armed forces, it’s not uncommon for helicopters to be under the control of the Air Force instead of the Army).

      What I really want is for the interservice bickering to stop. It’s pointless, counterproductive, and at the worst of times gets people killed.

  15. JH-ANG says:

    Let’s wait until the USAF gets rid of the ABUs first, then work on badges

  16. Log says:

    I think its about time security forces has a badge that matches the other services and civilian counterparts. I think the current one looks ridiculous and in no way says “I’m a cop” just as the beret also fails to do.

  17. Todd says:

    I’ve said for years imagine how much $ could be saved if we just had 1 Military branch, call it United States defense force. Have one basic training, and then send everyone out for more specific MoS type training. Standardized weapons and equipment, uniforms, comm, and other stuff. A lot less Generals and red tape.