Commentary

October 19, 2012

How we look in uniform can make a difference

Maintaining a professional appearance at all times while in uniform is every service member’s 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.


 
 

 

Construction to begin on Tyndall Avenue

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Base personnel should expect lane closures along Tyndall Avenue beginning Jan. 30 or the week of Feb. 2 until September of this year to allow for improvement of the base’s water main infrastructure. The $750,000 project, overseen by the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron, will tie in remaining aircraft hangars,...
 
 
Page-One

Red Flag launches into 2015

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Two maintainers assigned to the 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, work on the wing of an F-15 Eagle during Red Flag 15-1 at Nellis Air Forc...
 
 

On war, football: Sun Tzu, Bill Belichick conversation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese military general, lived over two thousand years ago. He’s best known for his famous book “The Art of War” — a masterpiece that endures today as a crafty reference guide, applicable not only to war fighting, but also many other pursuits. If “The Art...
 

 
red-horse

NHP honors RED HORSE Airmen for bravery

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Capt. Thom Jackson (left), Nevada Highway Patrol state trooper, speaks to the 820th RED HORSE at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 23. Jackson attended the ceremony to honor...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

AFJO realigns under USAFWC

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Brig. Gen. Stephen Whiting, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center vice commander, passes the Air Force Joint Test Program Office’s new guidon to Col. David Lünger, AFJO commander, afte...
 
 
JROTC2

JROTC cadets rappel with 58th RQS during Nellis AFB tour

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Members of the 58th Rescue Squadron secure the rappelling line for Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets as they descend the rappelling tower at Nellis Air Forc...
 




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