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Revisions to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance, were released July 18 after several years of interim updates as various items were introduced and phased out.
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Updated dress and appearance instruction released

Posted 7/25/2011   Updated 7/25/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Whitney Tucker
36th Wing Public Affairs

7/25/2011 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance, received a facelift July 18, after several years of interim updates as various uniform items were introduced and phased out.

The last revision to the AFI was in 2006, prior to the release of the Airman Battle Uniform, which is slated to replace the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform Nov. 1, 2011.

"This updated version of AFI 36-2903 Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel was long overdue," said Master Sgt. Joanne Reed, 36th Maintenance Group 1st Sgt. "It has been several years since the AFI was last updated and we have had a myriad of uniform changes since then."

"The AFI has substantial changes throughout from incorporating the ABU, to clarifying excessive tattoos and adding standards for body hair," she continued.

According to the AFI, the revised publication should be reviewed in its entirety due to the significant changes that have been made. The rewrite added clarification to existing policy and consolidated information as it pertains to each possible uniform configuration.

Chapters were rearranged and sections were made inclusive to eliminate turning back and forth to configure a single uniform. One thing Airmen might notice is the amount of pictures incorporated into the revised AFI.

"Dress and personal appearance standards are once again consolidated into one publication," Sergeant Reed said. "Additionally, several diagrams and pictures have been included in the rewrite of the AFI providing a clearer understanding of the standards discussed.

Sections are also inclusive, listing all items that may and must be worn with each particular uniform with the exception of outer garments which are covered in their own section.

The first three chapters cover the basic philosophy, appropriate circumstances to wear uniform items, how and where to purchase them, roles and responsibilities, and grooming and appearance standards.

Chapters four through seven cover uniforms worn and maintained by all Air Force members: dress, utility, and physical training uniforms. Chapters four and five include the dress and utility uniforms. Chapter six explains outer garments, headgear, rank insignia and accessories, and chapter seven covers the physical training uniform.

The remaining chapters "customize" the uniforms of unique populations and discuss badges, awards and decorations unique to individual Airmen.

The final chapter contains instructions for recommending changes to dress and personal appearance policy or uniform designs.

The revision involved input from individuals of all ranks and components of the Air Force, including Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members.

"There is an extensive process involved with changes and updates to the AFI," Sergeant Reed said. "They don't occur arbitrarily. AFI 36-2903 provides information on uniform policy changes and the Air Force Virtual Uniform Board process in Chapter 13. This AFI was influenced by a huge population of Air Force servicemembers because it impacts the total force."

For online dress and appearance information, go to the dress and appearance webpage on the Air Force Personnel Center's website at

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