U.S. Air Force Uniform Regulations
The U.S. Air Force has completed the transition from the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) to the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) utility uniform. The wear-out date for the ABU passed on 31 March 2021, and as of 1 April 2021, all U.S. Air Force personnel are required to wear the OCP utility uniform and comply with all updated uniform regulations, per Air Force Instruction 36-2903.
All uniform requirements for the OCP uniform can be found in Section 5.2 of AFI 36-2903.
5.2. The Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), Men’s and Women’s. On 1 October 2018, Airmen are authorized to wear OCPs. The mandatory wear date for all Airmen to wear the OCP is 1 April 2021. The OCP may be worn off base for short convenience stops and when eating at restaurants where people wear comparable civilian attire. Do not wear OCPs off base to eat in restaurants where most diners wear business attire or at establishments that operate primarily to serve alcohol. Do not starch or hot press the OCP. Light ironing is authorized, however, repeated hot pressing or heavy ironing will accelerate the overall wear of the fabric. OCPs purchased by Air Force personnel through the Army Air Force Exchange Stores (AAFES) Military Clothing Sales Stores (MCSS), or issued through Individual Equipment Elements or contract equivalent, are certified as fully compliant with all specifications. No other suppliers are approved for organizational/unit purchases, or any appropriated or Overseas Contingency Operation funds expenditures. If personnel choose to use personal funds to purchase from non-AAFES suppliers, the Air Force is not responsible if the uniform is not fully compliant. [Note: After 1 April 2021, the 50% cotton/50% nylon, non-Fire-Retardant OCP will be the only OCP uniform authorized to be worn by all Airmen. [Exception: Airmen in jobs that have occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) requirements for wear of the 100% cotton Fire-Retardant OCP (e.g. deployed Airmen operating in outside the wire mission sets) will be authorized to wear this distinctive uniform/equipment item.] Additionally, Firefighters are authorized to wear the Two Piece Flight Duty Uniform however, their uniform will be worn in the same configuration and manner as the OCP uniform e.g. bloused, patch configuration etc. (Exception: The Firefighter badge will be worn in-lieu of the HHQ patch on the left sleeve.)
5.2.1. OCP Coat (Shirt). Coats will be 50% nylon and 50% cotton. The coat is worn outside the trousers. The coat will not extend below the top of the cargo pocket on the trousers and will not be higher than the bottom of the opening of the side (hip) pocket on the trousers. Airmen may roll up sleeves on the OCP coat; however, the cuffs will remain visible and the sleeve will rest at, or within 1 inch of, the forearm when the arm is bent at a 90-degree angle. When sleeves are not rolled up, cuffs may remain visible or be folded inward once, no further than the width of the cuff [Note: Commanders may prohibit]. Patches or badges will not be affixed to the front pockets. Alterations that affect the functionality of the uniform are not authorized, e.g. sewing down collars, or pockets. The OCP coat may be removed in the immediate work area as determined appropriate by local leadership, however, the OCP coat will be worn while interacting with customers/clients.
5.2.2. Accoutrements. Airmen will wear a basic configuration consisting of name and USAF tapes, U.S. Flag (subdued) and rank. The Institute of Heraldry will develop or convert all organizational emblems to the Spice Brown color criteria. When authorized by Higher Headquarters (HHQ) Commanders and non-unit organizational entities (entities not constituted as a unit) as defined in AFI 38-101, Manpower and Organization, such as Directorates, Air Force Elements, Detachments, Commanders Support Staff) will develop or convert all patches using the Spice Brown color criteria. Organizational and Non-Unit entity patches are required to be in the Spice Brown color criteria. Airmen may sew-on or use velcro backing for name tape, USAF tape, and rank. Tapes and rank must be either all sewn-on or all velcro; Airmen are not authorized to mix sewn-on and velcro tapes or rank. Note: Occupational badges may be either sewn-on or velcro, if more than one is worn you must sew or velcro all badges. Only velcro patches are authorized on the left and right sleeves of the OCP coat.
5.2.3. Rank Insignia is mandatory for all personnel.
220.127.116.11. Effective 1 September 2020, officer rank insignia will be Spice Brown. [Exception: First Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel rank insignia will be Black].
18.104.22.168. Enlisted rank will be Spice Brown.
5.2.4. Name and USAF tapes are mandatory for all personnel and will be Spice Brown embroidery on the OCP background.