Air Force enforces new dress code - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Air Force enforces new dress code

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March 3, 2006

Lowndes County - When you think of the Air Force's dress code, you probably think of military camo or flight suits, but it actually includes a lot more tedious details.

New changes in the dress code affect everything from the Airmen's jewelry to the length of their fingernails. "They're not allowing the wearing of gemstone bracelets except with our most formal dress mess uniform," said Senior Master Sergeant Dawna Kinsman.  "Also, there should be no more than a quarter of an inch fingernail length from the top of your finger."

The new dress code only allows women to wear stud earrings of pearl, diamond, silver, or gold. They also can't wear more than three rings.

Women must pull their hair back with a band that matches their hair color, and if they color their hair, it should look natural. "I has too look natural to that individual, even though it may be natural to someone else of a different skin color or tone, it may not be natural to that person," said Kinsman.

And fingernail polish must be neutral, not distracting. "In my BDU's, a bright red wouldn't be authorized because it doesn't go with the colors of my uniform," said Kinsman.

As for cell phones, colorful ones are out.  When in uniform, Airman can only use cell phones that are black, blue, silver, or gray. And the rules don't just affect their color of their cell phones, they also determine how they carry them, and when they can use them. "If its attached to your belt, it must be on the left side and in order to talk on it in uniform, you must be on an official government phone, that's a phone that was purchased for you by the military," said Kinsman.

The changes may seem insignificant, and will take a little time to adjust to. But these Airman say they're necessary to uphold the Air Force's reputation. "The reason we're doing these things is to standardize the look of the Air Force in general, present a professional image, make sure we all look the same so the general public has a good feeling about the security of our nation," said Kinsman.

That's why they must stick to the dress code whenever they're in uniform, even after they leave the base's gates. 

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