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.


 
 

 
Tree_pict

D-M celebrates Earth Day with Soaring Heights

Soaring Heights Communities, the privatized Lend Lease housing community on Davis-Monthan, celebrated Earth Day with help from The Groundskeeper, and some of the community’s youngest residents. “We’re thrilled to work wit...
 
 

Commissary surcharge helps patrons improve benefit

FORT LEE, Va.– There’s a lot to learn about the commissary surcharge just by considering four new commissaries opened last year on Army, Navy and Air Force installations. Thanks to the surcharge – the 5 percent added to every commissary customer’s receipt – the military communities at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Md.; Fort Polk, La.;...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration/Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III)

Supplements: Awareness is a serious matter

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — Health, fitness and energy are important considerations for all Airmen, but when does pursuing them result in potential and real problems? Supplements, health foods and energy drink...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

German cultural exchange students visit D-M

Buena Vista High school students and cultural exchange students from Redebeul, Germany, toured D-M April 23. The 30 students went to three units learning about the Air Force and the missions here in a hands-on environment. The ...
 
 

Have faith in the Air Force system

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point...
 
 
DT_pict7

48th RQS trains for the real deal

While many Airmen from D-M were finishing up their day, some Pararescuemen were beginning theirs, on the evening of April 14. The 48th Rescue Squadron conducted a pre-deployment training exercise to teach, train and test Airmen...
 




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