The Air Force announced April 23 new rules on Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms that aim to better fit the needs of Airmen and the jobs they do while also holding fast to tradition.
The changes highlighted include authorization of the two-piece Flight Duty Uniform in garrison and updated patch guidance for the OCP uniform.
“During the initial rollout of the OCP, we originally matched our sister services regarding patch configurations as we sought to emphasize our role as a joint warfighting force,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.
“In response to overwhelming feedback received from Airmen, we will make an easy ‘sleeve swap’ of the patch configuration to further elevate our focus on honoring the heritage of squadrons as the war-fighting units of the world’s greatest Air Force. We will now place the squadron patch on the right sleeve along with the U.S. flag and move the higher headquarters patch to the left sleeve of the OCP.”
Additionally, to provide commanders with expanded uniform options to fit myriad missions, on April 15, the two-piece flight suit, otherwise known as the 2PFDU, will be authorized to be worn in both garrison and deployed locations. The 2PFDU continues an effort to provide Airmen with improved form, fit and function to perform their duties in any environment.
The traditional flight duty uniform will also continue to be an option. Squadron commanders will now have the flexibility to make combat uniform decisions based on what is best for their Airmen to meet mission requirements.
“The new unit patch configuration of the OCP and 2PFDU also aligns with the traditional FDU, elevating the significance of squadron focus and identity, which supports CSAF’s intent to revitalize squadrons,” said Lt. Gen. Mark D. Kelly, Headquarters Air Force deputy chief of staff for Air Force operations.
In May 2018, Air Force leaders decided to transition to the OCP following feedback from Airmen that it is the best, battle-tested utility uniform available. It will also eliminate the need to maintain two separate uniforms – one for in-garrison and one for deployments.
The service expects to fully transition to OCPs by April 1, 2021.
For more information, Airmen should view Air Force Guidance Memorandum 2019-01 and check Air Force Instruction 36-2903 for updates, which are available on the public website of the Air Force’s Personnel Center at https://www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance/.