The Air Force has delayed the dates airmen are required to wear certain parts of the new Operational Camouflage Uniform, to try to reduce stress during the coronavirus crisis.
In a release Wednesday, the Air Force said that uniform changes for the OCP, as well as the two-piece flight duty uniform, that were to become mandatory on June 1 will now be required as of Sept. 1.
The delayed OCP changes are:
* Spice brown officer ranks for all except first lieutenant and lieutenant colonel, which will be black.
* The spice brown U.S. flag, which will be mandatory for airmen who are both in garrison and deployed. Infrared U.S. flags will no longer be allowed.
* Coyote brown t-shirts will be the only color allowed.
* Socks must be Defense Logistics Agency-supplied green or coyote brown only.
* Boots can only be coyote brown, except for airmen with an approved medical condition, or those who must wear black combat boots in industrial areas.
The flight duty uniform changes required as of Sept. 1 include the spice brown cloth U.S. flag, green or coyote brown socks, coyote brown boots, and coyote brown thermal undergarments.
The Air Force announced in May 2018 that it would ditch the old airman battle uniform and adopt the Army’s OCP pattern. The OCP uniform was selected because it fits better and is more comfortable, allows airmen to fit in with soldiers in the field, and because of its popularity with airmen.
By April 2021, all airmen will be required to wear the OCP, and the Air Force laid out a series of milestones along the way to phase it in.
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.