Upholding uniform standards: Duty of all Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Thomas Spangler
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
After enough time in service, many Airmen become very comfortable wearing the uniform. It becomes a part of them, yet at times there are those who occasionally forget the small conduct and appearance standards that come with wearing the uniform.

Some Airmen may have hair that is slightly out of regulation or their hand may be in their pocket, to some these may seem like miniscule rules that aren't as important as others, but they must be followed just like every other rule.

"We set high standards, mainly because of what we do every day," said Master Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 99th Comptroller Squadron first sergeant. "Abiding by and enforcing our standards is the basic foundation of good order and discipline, we can't pick and choose which rules to follow no matter how small." 

These Airmen may ask why they have to adhere to these standards and be exactly the same as everyone else.

"Appearance in uniform is an important part of military image," according to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. "The American public and its elected representatives draw certain conclusions on military effectiveness based on the image Airmen present. The image must instill public confidence and leave no doubt that Airmen live by a common standard and respond to military order and discipline."

There may come a time when a young Airman comes across someone who is higher ranking who may be unknowingly or knowingly violating uniform standards.

"If a young Airman comes across someone who is higher ranking that is violating the standards, the young Airman should tactfully correct that individual," said Staff Sgt. Johnny O'Hagan, 99th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School Instructor.

Though some rules may seem not as important as others, it is our duty as Airmen to uphold all of them and hold each other accountable as well to ensure that the Air Force maintains a professional military image.