Tactical Tailor

USAF Issues Update to AFI 36-2903 “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel”

The Air Fitce has updated AFI 36-2903 incorporating change 3 and Certified Current 3 December 2021.

Here are the changes. As far as I see it, none of them are bad.

This interim change revises DAFI 36-2903 by adding Chief of Staff of the Air Force-approved Air Force Virtual Uniform Board items, standardizing guidance for the maintenance duty uniform, re- publishing guidance from Department of the Air Force guidance memorandum for female hair standards, and incorporating other needed corrections identified in the DAFI. Specifically, it 1) allows hands in pockets while standing or walking and beverage consumption as indicated while walking; 2) changes male hair bulk standard to 2.5 inches; 3) authorizes female hair accessories up to a 2-inch width; 4) regulates female eyelash extensions to natural eyelash color, not to exceed 14 millimeters in length; 5) authorizes permanent cosmetics for men, scalp only; 6) authorizes commanders to allow tucking of Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) coat for duty as necessary and folding of cuff twice inward; 7) authorizes wear of Velcro® pen/pencil holders on OCP sleeves; 8) authorizes wear of morale patches on OCP and Two-Piece Flight Duty Uniform (2PFDU); 9) authorizes unit patch or organizational symbol on OCP t-shirt; 10) authorizes wear of tactical cap; 11) authorizes sew-on nametapes and insignia on OCP fleece; 12) authorizes wear of transparent piercing spacers; 13) authorizes a ring to be worn on the thumb; 14) authorizes use of cell phone while walking; 15) authorizes wear of beret while performing duties outside of Primary Air Force Specialty Code (PAFSC) for applicable beret-wearing AFSCs; 16) authorizes females optional wear of hosiery with dress uniforms; 17) authorizes wear of sweatband with physical training gear; 18) authorizes permanent wear of USAF Honor Guard badge for Airmen with an 8G000 and 85G0 AFSC; 19) authorizes foreign aviation, medical insignia and parachutist badge to be worn outside of conferring country; 20) grants commanders of 2A, 2F, 2G, 2M, 2P, 2S, 2T, 2W, 3E, 3D, and 1P AFSC members authority to allow wear of sage maintenance duty uniform; 21) adds wear policy for multi-domain warfare badge; 22) clarifies wear of Air Advisor tab; 23) authorizes wear of Inter-American Air Forces Academy badge; 24) authorizes physical training gear short and long sleeve shirts to be worn tucked or untucked; 25) Clarified instructions for beards allowed for medical reason; and 26) Clarified instruction regarding authorized male and female hair color. A margin bar (|) indicates newly revised material.

However, there are some odd things. Take for instance the Sage Maintenance Duty Uniform. It’s an authorized uniform for certain AFSCs but there are no photos of it anywhere; like it doesn’t actually exist.

The AFI says this:

A7.7.20. Maintenance Duty Uniform (MDU). Commanders of Airmen in these AFSCs, 2A, 2F, 2G, 2M, 2P, 2S, 2T, 2W, 3E, 3D, and 1P may authorize Airmen to wear the sage MDU. The sage color MDU will be unit funded as organizational clothing and equipment. MDU will be worn with nametape, service tape and rank along with the higher headquarters patch on the left sleeve and a subdued U.S. flag and organizational patch on the right sleeve. Note: Duty identifiers, as applicable may be worn on the left sleeve. The coyote brown t-shirt, OCP patrol or tactical cap, coyote brown or green socks, and coyote brown boots, are worn with the uniform. The MDU will not be utilized for office work environments, non-industrial or non- labor tasking. The MDU is authorized for wear when transiting from home to duty location, off base short convenience stops, eating at restaurants where people wear comparable civilian attire and all locations on installations. It must be worn in serviceable condition. Do not wear off base to eat in restaurants where most diners wear business attire or at establishments that operate primarily to serve alcohol. Local coverall variants are still authorized but only in work centers and on the flight line.

The same goes for the new ball cap, which they call a “Tactical Cap.” Naturally, it’s an issue because the supply chain is harder to establish than for a coverall. All clothing items procured by DoD must be Berry Compliant meaning Made in USA from US materials. Ball caps require special machinery to manufacture and there aren’t that many of those machines here in the US. The Defense Logistics Agency has to secure contracts. Sure, there are plenty of MultiCam (OCP) ball caps on the market, but few are configured the way the AFI requires and are made in the USA. Chances are good if you see someone running around with a Tactical Cap in AF uniform (issue or not), it isn’t Berry Compliant. Once that official is procured, all of those pretenders will have to go. It says so right in the AFI (para 5.2.10).

One improvement they could make in the next go around is to actually show everything; uniforms, headgear (including berets), badges, etc.

On an interesting note, here’s the new Multi-Domain Warfare Officer (AFSC 13O) badge mentioned.

With all of that stuff, tucked ACU coats, rolled under sleeves, untucked PT shirts, morale patches, all of it; this is the biggest one for me, even though I am retired. Finally…the USAF authorizes foreign aviation, medical insignia and parachutist badge to be worn outside of conferring country; I used to violate the AFI in both BDUs and Service Dress.

Get your copy while it’s hot and start wearing a T-shirt with your unit logo.


12 Responses to “USAF Issues Update to AFI 36-2903 “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel””

  1. murphquake says:

    “I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel!” — SSD Actual

  2. Mike says:

    The Navy has green and blue working coveralls in the supply system. Both are zip front, notch collar, 65% poly/35% cotton overgarments with belt loops for a rigger or web belt. The green version was slightly heavier material. I can only assume that the MDU is similar, if not the same NSN item.

    The blue coveralls are being replaced by the Improved Flame Resistant Variant.

  3. Bob says:

    My OCP tactical tailor ball cap is made in the USA though I do not know if it is Berry compliant.

  4. Hubb says:

    So…what morale patch would you guys wear?

  5. Crystal says:

    T-shirts with unit logos on them? That’s been going on for decades. We even did t-shirt sales within our booster club!