New Air Force Uniform Rules Allow Casual Fridays

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 05:01 PM

By Lisa Barron

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The Air Force has changed the rules governing uniforms, introducing casual Fridays, when air crew will be able to don morale patches and T-shirts representing individual squadrons.

Commanders can choose a single color for undershirts to be worn under the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) and flight suits on Friday, but wing commanders can also approve more than one color "if it builds esprit de corps and facilitates team building," according to the Air Force Times.

Also under the new regulations, which took effect Friday, reflective belts are no longer required during physical training, and air crew can wear any color athletic shoe along with black or white socks.

Some of those changes were "common sense approach inputs" from those in the field "that senior leaders thought were great ideas," said Col. Patrick Doherty, director of Air Force services.

In addition, Air Force qualification badges, such as Scuba Badge and Test Pilot School Badge, are allowed on ABU under the updated policy, signed by Brig. Gen. Eden Murrie, the Pentagon's director of Air Force Services.

"The increased wear of the ABU in-garrison, coupled with airmen's long-term desires to wear the qualification badges and the command insignia they have earned, makes authorized wear on the ABU a logical step," said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services.

Another change is the authorization to use handheld electronic devices of any color as long as they are not worn on the airman's belt or waistband or clipped to a purse.

Airmen at Ramstein Air Base in Germany gave the changes a thumbs up, reports Stars and Stripes.

Staff Sgt. Parrish Moore, a fitness assessment cell personnel member with the 786th Force Support Squadron, told the newspaper he likes the new black-sock rule "because I don't ever wear white socks and it's weird to go buy one pair of white socks just to do the PT test."

Staff Sgt. Lindsay Rhodes, a flight medic with the 86th Air Evacuation Squadron, said she likes being able to choose bright-colored athletic shoes "because it's a morale thing."

"It adds color to the blue and grey uniforms," she added.

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