Commentary

October 4, 2012

How we look in uniform can make a difference

Tags:
Commentary by Senior Airman Kasey Close
49th Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Kasey Close)
Maintaining a professional appearance at all times while in uniform is every service memberís responsibility. Airmen have Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance, to assist them in sustaining a professional image.

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — It’s said that “a picture is worth a 1,000 words,” but what is said when a military member is wearing his uniform wrong or looks unprofessional, especially since sending information around the world is a lot quicker with today’s technology?

Being a military photographer, I’ve seen how looking good or looking bad in uniform can affect the public’s perception of the military. Maintaining a professional appearance at all times while in uniform is every service member’s responsibility, because you never know who is watching, and public opinion can be a powerful thing.

As the military continues to be in the public eye, it’s important to remember that people are looking at not only our actions but also how we look while performing those actions. If we look like a professional, we are more likely to be taken seriously; however, if we look like a slob then it may reflect negatively on the Air Force.

Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance, directs uniform wear. The AFI covers every uniform and variation that an Airman may wear: mess dress, service dress, blues, Airman Battle Uniforms, flight suits, physical training and maternity. Also it covers personal grooming and appearance for males and females including hair, fingernails, cosmetics, tattoos and piercings.

There are Airmen whose duties require special uniforms (such as honor guard members, food service specialists, fitness center employees, flight attendants, medical personnel, band members and more). The uniforms we see the most often are the dining facility and fitness center uniforms. Sometimes you’ll see the Airmen in the dining facility wearing a chef’s coat and cap, and in the fitness center you’ll see Airmen wearing blue t-shirts with tan pants. All of these uniforms are governed by the AFI.

When taking pictures, there are a few exceptions to the rule; for example, you wouldn’t want a “dirt boy” (also known as a civil engineer squadron heavy equipment operator) down in the dirt with a clean uniform and appearance because then the photo looks staged. You want to see them down and dirty because the job they’re performing is down and dirty.

Even though these Airmen are “dirty,” their uniform still must be within regulations. For example, if they are not wearing their tops, then their shirts still must be tucked in and they must be wearing belts and covers (if outdoors) with the correct color socks and boots.

In public affairs, we are always looking for Airmen who look and act professionally to put on camera or document (with photos and videos) to tell the Air Force story.

I know my photographs tell the story of the men and women wearing the uniform. Whether they are a civil engineer or an aircraft maintainer they are parts of a whole. While performing their jobs all of these people contribute to mission success – and with their dress and appearance they directly contribute to the reputation of the U.S. Air Force.

Keep in mind is that the military is a profession, and appearance can mean everything no matter what environment you are in. Just as a sonic boom from an F-22 Raptor can stir up public opinion, so can how you look and act while in uniform on- and off-duty.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward for base inspections

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward known as the Air Force Inspection System – those three things sum up what members of the Desert Lightning Team should take away from last week’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection. The Air Combat Command Inspector General Team conducted the 355th Fighter Wing’s Capstone event, known as a UEI,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Reel)

The last bite

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Shake, take, salute and pose for a photo–Tyndall’s 2014 March Enlisted Promotion Ceremony was carrying on as usual. I raised my camera, waited for the grip and grin moment and then...
 
 

When keeping it real goes wrong

It’s Tuesday, and after a long day at work I’m reminded that I have an intramural league basketball game tonight. After arriving home and quickly changing I make my way back to the base gym to avoid the scrutiny of my coach and team mates.  As I begin to search through the maze of a...
 

 
email-pic

The impact of a simple email

It’s been a long day. I’m tired, worn out. It seems like the emails just won’t stop. Review this, update that, and the ever dreaded tasking that was due yesterday. One after another they attack my sanity, chipping away a ...
 
 

Leadership stresses importance of keeping families informed

The Air Force’s on-going force shaping initiatives affect more than our Airmen–they also affect our families.  The concerns and questions Air Force families differ from those of a service member. Family members have few opportunities to engage with commanders and experts and large auditorium briefings and pages of personnel documents are not always the most...
 
 
computer-hands

Think before you act: It only takes a second for your actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure y...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin