News | Feb. 16, 2017

Appearance standards change

By Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Air Force dress and appearance standards were updated Feb. 9.

Updates included changed language and new authorizations per a memorandum attachment published by Lt. Gen. Gina M. Grosso, Headquarters U.S. Air Force manpower, personnel and services deputy chief of staff.

New authorizations pertain to, but are not limited to, mess dress uniforms, female semi-formal uniform, Airman battle uniforms, physical training gear, backpacks and gym bags.

“Airmen should remain situationally aware of these types of changes,” said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher McKinney, 20th Fighter Wing command chief. “The Air Force is constantly evolving to keep up with the changing world; whether it’s AFIs or being prepared for the next fight. By keeping up with dress and appearance standards, Airmen take ownership and show their pride in the uniform they wear.”

Examples of uniform changes include authorization for female Airmen to wear semi-formal slacks and low-quarter shoes with the semi-formal uniform; removal of color restrictions for form fitting undershirts and sportswear (spandex) with physical training gear; and removal of pleat and cuff requirements on informal uniform trousers.

Airmen in uniform may now use gym bags that are solid dark blue, black, olive drab, Air Force sage green or ABU pattern. Individuals may carry the bag in the left hand or use the shoulder strap on the left shoulder.

Airmen carrying backpacks are now authorized to use solid black, olive drab, Air Force sage green or ABU pattern backpacks with any uniform combination.

However, installation commanders are authorized to restrict wear policies to support unit cohesion and present a standardized appearance.

It is important for Team Shaw members, as well as leadership, to know about AFI updates because they hold Airmen’s basic truths and guidelines, said Master Sgt. Gregory Fifer, 20th Force Support Squadron first sergeant.

For more information, refer to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, available at