Also unveiled were new rules on how patches should be worn on the new Operational Camouflage Uniform.
The new patch configuration will swap the locations of patches on the OCP, so airmen’s squadron patches will be on their right sleeves, along with the U.S. flag, and their higher headquarters patch will be on the left sleeve, according to a news release.
Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said the change was made to emphasize the role squadrons play in the Air Force’s structure.
“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,” Goldfein said. “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.”
The expanded use of the two-piece flight suit, which is officially known as the 2PFDU, is intended to give squadron commanders more uniform options to better fit their mission requirements. The two-piece suit became officially authorized April 15.
The traditional one-piece flight suit will continue to be an option. Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Carrie Volpe said certain career fields already wear the two-piece suit while deployed, and some special operations airmen have worn it full-time for years.
Airmen can only wear the coyote brown T-shirt along with the two-piece flight suit, according to a fact sheet on the Air Force Personnel Center’s web site.
Almost a year ago, the Air Force announced it would fully move to the OCP by April 2021.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.