Tactical Tailor

USAF Makes Badges More Identifiable On OCP Uniforms

Name, rank, service and badges will be more identifiable on OCP


Air and Space Professionals will soon be more recognizable in their Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms.

OCP rank insignia, badges, name, and service tapes will now feature a lighter, three-color background pattern, versus the current seven-color pattern, to increase readability and ease rank recognition. 

“We received significant feedback that prompted this update,” said Lisa Truesdale, Air Force military force management policy deputy director. “The current rank insignia, badges, name, and service tapes on the OCP uniform are sometimes challenging to see against a seven-color background. Simplifying these features on a lighter, three-color pattern—while not compromising the overall functionality of the uniform—will improve our situational awareness in day-to-day interactions.”

The Air Force name and service tapes will retain their current spice brown letter stitching, while Space Force versions will still feature space blue stitching. Stitching for the Air Force rank insignia and badges will remain spice brown.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service has already begun to transition inventories to the new three-color pattern name and service tapes. The Defense Logistics Agency is placing orders for the three-color pattern as seven-color backgrounds are phased out; some of the three-color insignia name tags should be in the inventory by Nov. 2020.

The U.S. Air Force Academy implemented the uniform change for the June 2020 class and Basic Military Training is on target for Oct. 2020.

The current seven-color background rank insignia, badges, name and service tapes are and will remain, authorized for wear.

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

10 Responses to “USAF Makes Badges More Identifiable On OCP Uniforms”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    Jesus wept – why not just use black or blue thread for the names and ranks then? Oh yeah, cuz the Air Force always has to go for the highest cost option.

  2. Dave says:

    Wait. So rather than simply changing the thread color of the embroidered letters, they are changing the color pattern of the cloth the letters are stitched ON? That seems like a harder-not-smarter solution.

  3. Joe says:

    I want to see the 3-color pattern.

    Because if you have Velcro billboards in Tan 499 you can’t possibly have rank/tapes in Tan 499.

  4. TheDude says:

    There is a noticeable difference on the newer three color cloth. I have been very selective about rank and name tapes because it’s difficult to see rank and or spellings so I would deliberately select patches that had less dark colors. If I had it my way we would still use the BDU OD tapes and rank. Hell, I want branch insignia back on the uniform too.

  5. Patrulje68 says:

    Am I the only one that is wondering why cookies are carrying those rifles?

  6. Michael Olin says:

    I’m just wondering why they don’t have bayonets fixed.

    • Will Rodriguez says:

      This is the Air Force, they might cut themselves. 😉

      Seriously though, these are new cadets at the Air Force Academy probably still learning close order drill.

      And, they might cut themselves. 🙂

  7. d says:

    I’d welcome full-color, high-contrast badges, name tapes, and other insignia for all services’ uniforms while in a garrison environment. Black-on-white name tapes, gold or silver rank on black backgrounds, full-color unit insignia. Sorta like the Vietnam-era utilities. It’s all velcro, so it could be switched over to a subdued field uniform easily. Plus it would force people to differentiate between garrison and field environments.