USAF Asks Airmen, Civilians to Sound Off on Uniforms, Appearance Regs

When it comes to telling its troops how to suit up and stay sharp-looking, the Air Force wants to make sure Airmen feel like their perspectives matter.

The Department of the Air Force has created a crowdsourcing campaign that will empower Airmen and USAF civilians to share their ideas about how it can improve its uniforms, gear, and dress and appearance rules, the service announced Sept. 3.

Beginning the same day, service members and civilians can submit their ideas by logging into USAF’s IdeaScale platform, navigating to its homepage, and locating the “Dress and Appearance” tile there, a USAF release stated. New IdeaScale users can sign up for the platform with their Common Access Cards, it noted.

Idea categories include grooming and appearance standards; physical training gear; dress, utility, and maternity uniforms; and more, according to the release. Airmen may also share their thoughts on things like accessories, badges, and specialty insignia, it added.

USAF subject matter experts will review the ideas and decide whether or not to present them to the Air Force Uniform Board, the release stated. 

“The uniform board will make recommendations to the Air Force Chief of Staff,” the release explained. “All CSAF-approved ideas will be implemented within AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. If an idea does not meet the Air Force Uniform Board, a notice with rationale will be sent to the submitter.”

If members of the USAF community previously sent in relevant proposals via the Airmen Powered by Innovation campaign, those ideas will be migrated over to the new campaign, the release noted.

Air Force Military Force Policy Deputy Director Lisa M. Truesdale said soliciting ideas from the USAF community is crucial to cultivating an inclusive climate.

“If we want an environment in which Airmen feel valued, we need to create transformative opportunities to foster a culture of innovation and then listen to their ideas,” she said in the release.  “Additionally, wearing the uniform and having pride in your personal appearance enhances esprit de corps.”

USAF will take the Total Force’s opinions into account when crafting dress and appearance guidance, she added.

“Individuals contribute their highest levels of creativity when they are cared for and feel a sense of belonging,” she said in the release.