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Air Base Group Airman Manual











MILITARY UNIFORMS & RANK INSIGNIAS
As of January 2014



Airman Manual
Puerto Rico National Guard
State Guard Command
1
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Air Base Group Headquarter
Muiz Air National Guard Base, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Airman Manual



Airman Manual

PRSG - 1
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Air Base Group Airman Manual


This chapter provides quick reference guidance for
the proper wear and appearance of the uniforms and
insignia that will be worn by both male and female,
officer and enlisted personnel in the Puerto Rico Air
State Guard (PRASG).

Policy: PRASG members are authorized to wear a
uniform similar to that of the U.S. Air Force. PRASG
members must use the distinctive PRSG Command
Crest on the left pocket of the Service Dress Uniform
and the PRSG Air Force marking on the ABU.

Command Responsibility: All commanders will
ensure that all members, individually and
collectively, present a professional, well-groomed
appearance, which will reflect credit upon PRASG as
the State Command of the Puerto Rico National
Guard. They will ensure that all members are
uniformed in accordance with the provisions of this
manual, that uniform violations are promptly
corrected, and the members are continually informed
as to the proper wear of the uniform. The Group
Commander, or the commander to whom such
authority is delegated by the PRSG Commander, will
prescribe the type clothing to be worn by members
during Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs) or
engaging in organized civil action activities.

Appearance of Men in Uniform: Articles such as
wallets, pencils, pens, watch chains, fobs, pins,
jewelry, handkerchiefs, combs, cigars, cigarettes,
pipes, and sunglass cases will not be worn exposed
on the uniform. The wear of wristwatches and rings
is permitted. The wear of identification bracelets is
likewise permitted provided they present a neat and
conservative appearance.

Appearance of Women in Uniform. Uniform skirt
lengths will be in keeping with the dictates of fashion
and good taste, but with due regard to the dignity of
the uniform. In any case, skirt lengths will be no
higher than above the top of the kneecap or lower
than the bottom of the kneecap. Skirts will hang
freely and under no circumstances will they be
excessively tight. Pencils, pens, pins, handkerchiefs,
and jewelry will not be worn or carried exposed on
the uniform. One small spherical (ball), conservative,
diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced, or clip
earring per earlobe and the earring worn in each
earlobe must match. Earring should fit tightly without
extending below the earlobe. (EXCEPTION:
Connecting band on clip earrings.) Other visible
ornaments around the neck or on the head,
ornamentation on eyeglass lenses, and ankle bracelets
are prohibited. Wristwatches, identification bracelets,
and a maximum of three conservative rings are
permitted. Conservative sunglasses may be worn,
except in military formation. Appropriate
undergarments will be worn to present a
conservative, feminine appearance.

Personal Grooming Standards:

The personal grooming standards listed are minimum
standards that represent common appearance issues
and are not all-inclusive. Although Airmen have the
right, within established limits, to express their
individuality through their appearance, the Air Force
has defined what is and what is not an acceptable,
professional military image for Airmen. Except for
minor variations based on gender differences, all Air
Force personnel must comply with the same personal
grooming standards.

Hair-male and female: Will be clean, well-
groomed, present a professional appearance, allow
proper wear of headgear, helmet or chemical mask
and conform to safety requirements. Will not contain
excessive amounts of grooming aids (e.g. gel,

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mousse, pomade, moisturizer), appear lopsided,
touch either eyebrow, or end below an imaginary line
across the forehead at the top of the eyebrows that is
parallel to the ground. If applied, dyes, tints, bleaches
and frostings must result in natural, human hair
colors. The hair color must complement the
members complexion and skin tone. Examples of
natural human hair colors are brown, blonde,
brunette, natural red, black or grey.
Hair-Male: Tapered appearance on both sides and
the back of the head, both with and without headgear.
A tapered appearance is one that when viewed from
any angle outlines the member's hair so that it
conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to
the natural termination point without eccentric
directional flow, twists or spiking. A block-cut is
permitted with tapered appearance. Hair will not
exceed 1 inch in bulk, regardless of length and
inch at natural termination point; allowing only
closely cut or shaved hair on the back of the neck to
touch the collar. Hair will not touch the ears or
protrude under the front band of headgear.

Sideburns: If worn, sideburns will be straight
and even width (not flared), and will not
extend below the bottom of the orifice of the
ear opening. Sideburns will end in a clean-
shaven horizontal line.

Mustaches: Male Airmen may have
mustaches; however they will be conservative
(moderate, being within reasonable limits; not
excessive or extreme) and will not extend
downward beyond the lip line of the upper lip
or extend sideways beyond a vertical line
drawn upward from both corners of the
mouth.

Beards: Beards are not authorized unless for
medical reasons, when authorized by a
commander on the advice of a medical
official.

Hair-Female: Minimum length is one inch, unless
approved by the commander upon recommendation
from a military treatment facility for medical reasons,
to a maximum bulk of three inches from scalp. Hair
will end above the bottom edge of collar and any side
of an invisible line drawn parallel to the ground.
When in doubt, assess correct length of hair with
Airman standing in the position of attention. Except
in the physical training uniform (PTU), hair lengths
that would be below the bottom edge of the collar will
be pinned-up with no loose ends. Bangs will not
touch either eyebrow, to include an invisible line
drawn across eyebrows and parallel to the ground. If
worn, hairpins, combs, headbands, elastic bands and
barrettes must match the hair color (i.e., blonde,
brunette, natural red, black, grey), but hair must still
comply with bulk and appearance standards.
Ornaments are not authorized (i.e., ribbons, beads,
jeweled pins). Scrunches are not authorized.

Military Uniforms:
Each branch of the United States armed forces has its
own Uniform Regulations.

The United States Air Force uniform is the
standardized military attire worn by Airmen of the
United States Air Force and PRASG. Specific Air
Force Instructions address standardized wear that is
identical for members of both the Active Component
(i.e., the Regular Air Force) and that of the service's
two reserve components that comprise the Air
Reserve Component, that being the Air Force

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Reserve and the Air National Guard, including the PR
Air State Guard.

Proper wear of the U.S. Air Force uniform is outlined
in Air Force Instruction 36-2903 (AFI 36-2903),
Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force
Personnel.

The Air Force philosophy is that the uniform will be
plain, distinctive, and standardized. This
standardization includes a minimum and maximum
number of authorized badges, insignia, and devices.

Pride in ones personal appearance and wearing the
uniform, greatly enhances the esprit de corps
essential to an effective military force. Therefore, it
is most important for all Airmen to maintain a high
standard of dress and personal appearance. The five
elements of this standard are neatness, cleanliness,
safety, uniformity, and military image. The first four
are absolute, objective criteria needed for the
efficiency and well-being of the Air Force. The fifth,
military image is subjective, but necessary.
Appearance in uniform is an important part of
military image.
Except when authorized to wear civilian clothes,
Airmen will wear the appropriate Air Force uniform
while performing military duties.

Airman Battle Uniform (ABU):

For work duty today, USAF ground personnel and
flight personnel not engaged in flight operations wear
the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU). The ABU
replaces the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), the latter
having been discontinued after 31 October 2011.

The Airman Battle Uniform is similar to the Army
Combat Uniform (or ACU) in color, with the
inclusion of slate blue, but is otherwise nearly
identical to the BDU layout. The ABU is to be worn
with low-maintenance foliage green suede combat
boots. The ABU does not have features of the U.S.
Army ACU, such as tilted/slanted pockets, sleeve
pockets, hook-and-loop attachment points and
closures, gusseted back, mandarin collar, etc.
However, the ABU does have essential NIR (near-
infra red) qualities. Unlike the ACU, the sleeves are
authorized to be rolled up. The heavy weight of the
material, along with the multiple layers used to make
the interior pockets, retains more heat than the ACU
or BDU in hot climates such as the Middle East.

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USAF Service Dress Uniform
The current U.S. Air Force Service Dress Uniform,
which was initially adopted in 1993 and made
mandatory on 1 October 1999, consists of a three-
button coat, similar to that of a men's "sport jacket"
(with silver mirror-finish "U.S." pins on the lapels),
matching trousers, and either a service cap or flight
cap, all in Shade 1620, also known as "Air Force
Blue." This is worn with a light blue shirt (Shade
1550) and a herringbone patterned necktie (Shade
1620).
Metal buttons on the dress uniform were also changed
at this time, transitioning satin finish buttons that
employed the contemporary U.S. Air Force seal to a
historically significant retro insignia that had been
used by the U.S. Army Air Forces as a shoulder patch
during World War II. This change was also applied to
buttons on service hats retaining the chin strap and to
buttons on mess dress uniforms, to include mess dress
shoulder board insignia for officers.
Enlisted airmen wear cloth rank insignia on both
sleeves of the jacket and shirt, while officers wear
metal rank insignia pinned onto the epaulets of the
coat, and Air Force Blue slide-on loops ("soft rank"
shoulder insignia) on the epaulets of the shirt.
Officers also wear a band of dark blue cloth sleeve
braid loops 3 inches from the cuffs of the sleeves of
the coat. Braid is worn in a 1/2-inch width for officers
in the rank of colonel and below and in a 1-inch width
for general officers.


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USAF Mess Dress:

The Mess dress uniform is worn to formal or semi-
formal occasions such as Dinings-in, Dinings-out, the
annual Air Force Ball, weddings and other formal
functions where civilian "black tie" would be
prescribed. Until the early 1980s, this uniform
differed from the current version, previously
consisting of separate mess jackets, a white mess
jacket worn in spring and summer and a black mess
jacket worn in fall and winter, combined with black
trousers and ties for males and an options of a black
cocktail length or black evening length skirt for
females. Black cumberbunds for males and females
and white and black service hats for males were also
proscribed, although wear of these hats was often
optional.

The current mess dress uniform in use since the
early/mid-1980s consists of a dark blue mess jacket
and mess dress trousers for males and a similar color
evening length skirt for females. The jacket features
ornate silver buttons, and is worn with the service
member's awarded medals in miniature size, wings in
miniature size, or other specialty insignia over the left
breast, command insignia over the right breast for
colonels and below (if applicable), satin air force blue
bow-tie for males or tab for females, and a satin air
force blue cummerbund.

Cufflinks are to be either shined or flat round silver,
or have the air force star and wing emblem, black
suspenders may also be worn, but remain hidden
while the jacket is on.

Commissioned officers, USAFA and AFROTC
cadets, and OTS officer trainees wear hard shoulder
epaulets (i.e., shoulder boards) similar to those worn
by commissioned officers of the U.S Navy.

Cadets and officer trainees wear insignia on their
shoulder boards as applicable to their pre-
commissioning rank position in their respective
officer accession programs.

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Commissioned officer
shoulder boards for colonels
and below feature an officer's
rank insignia in raised metallic
thread, bordered by two silver
vertical metallic stipes similar
to sleeve braid.

General officers wear shoulder
boards covered nearly the
entire length and width in
silver metallic braid, with
silver stars in raised metallic
thread in number appropriate
to their rank. Enlisted
personnel wear the same large
rank insignia that they would
wear on their service dress
coats.

Officers also wear a single silver metallic sleeve braid
on the lower sleeves of the Mess Dress coat, with
sleeve braid coming in two widths, in a 1/2 inch width
for colonel and below, and in a 3/4 inch width for
Brigadier General and above. Enlisted personnel
wear no sleeve braid. No hat or nametag is worn with
the Air Force Mess Dress Uniform.

The Physical Training Uniform:

The Air Force designed new physical training
uniform that became mandatory for wear on 1
October 2006. The gear consists of shorts, t-shirt,
jacket and pants.

The shorts are AF blue with silver reflective stripes
on the leg, a key pocket attached to the inner liner and
an ID pocket on the outside of the lower right leg. The
t-shirt is a moisture-wicking fabric with reflective Air
Force logos on the upper left portion of the chest and
across the back.

The jacket is blue with silver reflective piping and a
reflective inverted chevron on the back. The pants are
blue with silver piping and reflective stripes. The
jacket and pants have since been redesigned with a
lighter, quieter material. A line of commercially
manufactured running shorts is also authorized for
wear.






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Other Military Uniforms:


US Army Combat Uniform (ACU)














US Navy Working Uniform (NWU)















Coast Guard Operational Dress Uniform (ODU)








US Forces Multicam Uniform
US Army Service Uniform












US Army Mess Dress Uniform


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Military Ranks


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US AIR FORCE/PRASG RANK STRUCTURE
AND ABREVIATIONS

Enlisted Ranks:


Officers Ranks: