You will need Adobe Flash Player to view this page properly.

Chapter 3



 3.1. The Uniform 3.2. The Cadet and the Uniform
 3.3. Wear of the Uniform3.4. Ribbon Precedence
 Table 3.1. AFJROTC Awards and RibbonsTable 3.2. Uniform Wear Grading Rubrics
Section3A—History of the Uniform  

3.1. The Uniform 

  3.1.1. The history of the uniform can be traced back before the Romans when the feudal kings
       dressed their serfs in a distinctive uniform.  The Roman use of uniforms is the earliest account of an
       entire nation dressing alike.  All Roman citizens to set them apart from the slaves wore the Roman
       toga, a loose outer garment.  The togas were of different colors according to the rank of the wearer.

       3.1.2. Each period in history made its own changes in the uniform.  The early armies dressed according
       to the type of job they performed in their organization.  The infantryman wore a uniform that would
       offer him the most protection; the cavalryman wore a lightweight uniform that would not hinder his
       mobility.  The English Parliament decided to raise and outfit an army in the seventeenth century.  The
       uniform was standardized in make, color and insignia.

       3.1.3. The first uniform styles were adapted from civilian dress and featured primarily the same dress
       as the civilian people:  pants, stockings, waist coat (shirt), shoes or boots, and a large overcoat. 
       Personnel in all services today wear almost the same uniform.  The style and color of the uniform have
       changed to meet the need at a particular time and also to lend esprit de corps to the different services.

       3.1.4. Decorations on the early uniforms were to show a single landlord's army.  It was not until the
       period from 1918 to 1940 that uniform decorations gradually became useful.  The decorations were used
       to show the branch of service, the job specialty, such as armor division, paratroopers, and air corps. 
       Each division had its own patches, badges, insignia, and other markings.  When the Air Force became a
       separate branch service on 18 Sep 1947, it adopted a blue uniform. The design of all Air Force uniforms
       has always been described as plain yet distinctive.

       3.1.5. As you can see through out history a uniform sets a person apart, and the attention to personal
       appearance while in it are what mark your level of personal pride.  Whether you are dressed in your
       AFJROTC uniform or your civilian clothing, you should present a neat, clean, and acceptable appearance. 
       The military uses uniforms so that each individual can dress to the same acceptable standard.


Section 3B—Dress and Personal Appearance of AFJROTC Cadets


3.2. The Cadet and the Uniform

       3.2.1. Your uniform, no matter how handsomely tailored, will not present a good appearance unless
       you present a good appearance.  Good appearance requires certain checks before wearing the uniform
       in public.  The standards are established in AFI 36-2903, and its applicable supplements as well as
       AFJROTC Cadet Uniform and Award Guide.  This handbook highlights the basic requirements for
       uniform wear:

        Click Here for Figures 3.1 through 3.11 which illustrate 
                 AFJROTC uniforms, uniforms item, and the correct placement of items on the
                 uniform.  A separate window will open.

        Table 3.2. explains the grading process for uniform wear.

       3.2.2. The uniform nor any parts of the uniform will be not worn unless on uniform days or if you
       are participating in official AFJROTC activities.  Cadets are also precluded from wearing mock, pseudo,
       other services', or other countries' uniforms or parts thereof to school or school activities.

       3.2.3. The four standards for wear of the Air Force uniform are: neatness, cleanliness, safety and
       military image.

3.2.4. The shirt shall be tucked neatly into the pants with the shirt facing aligned with the fly of the
       pants and the edge of the belt buckle (gig line).

       3.2.5. The pants are designed to be worn at the wearers navel.          

       3.2.6. Button all buttons, except for the top button of the short sleeve shirt when not wearing a tie
       and the top button of the Battle Dress uniform.

       3.2.7. Push the belt through the left front loop (males) or the right front loop (females) first, then all
       loops around the waist.

       3.2.8. Place no bulky objects in pockets.

       3.2.9. Shoes must be shined including heels, welt and the outer edge of the sole. Socks must be black
       crew length without design.

       3.2.10. The male fight cap is worn squarely on the head, tilted slightly to the wearer’s right.

       3.2.11. No hair will protrude from the front of headgear when properly worn, except when a female is
       wearing the female flight cap.

       3.2.12. Whenever possible, check your appearance in a mirror or ask someone to check your

       3.2.13. The skirt will hang naturally over the hips from the waist with a slight flare. Skirt length will be
       no shorter than the top of the kneecap or longer than the bottom of the kneecap.

       3.2.14. Jewelry.

       Three rings per two hands are authorized.  Excessive size, shape, or wearing them
                above the knuckle will be not be condoned. 

       A wristwatch may be worn.

       A conservative bracelet may be worn, but not on the same wrist as the watch.
                Bracelets must not be plastic, rubber or string.

       Earrings/Nose Rings/Other Body Piercings:

                   Males will not wear any type of earring while in uniform.

                   When in uniform, females may wear one earring in each ear at the
                            bottom of ear lobe.  Earrings must be small gold, silver, or pearl, diamond, or black. 
                            Earrings will be small and spherical or round in appearance.  

                   When in uniform, males and females will not wear any type of nose ring
                            or other visible body piercing, including those that can be seen through the uniform or
                            prohibit the proper wear of the uniform.

3.2.15. Nail Polish: Nail polish, if worn, will conform to and complement the appearance of the uniform.
       French manicure can only be clear and white.  Males will not wear nail polish.

       3.2.16. Hair Standards:


                   Hair must be neatly and cleanly trimmed, tapered, must not exceed 1 ¼
                            inches in bulk, and will present a nicely groomed appearance.  A neatly trimmed and
                            tapered box-cut is authorized for the back of the head.   However, hair will not touch
                            the ears nor the shirt collar except the closely cut hair on the back of the neck.  The
                            hair in front will be groomed so that it is not lower than the top of the eyebrows and will
                            not protrude below the band of properly worn headgear.   In no case will the bulk or
                            length of hair interfere with the proper wear of the issued headgear.  The hair will
                            present a well-groomed and neat appearance. Males are allowed to shave the head bald. 
                            No visible grooming aids will be used.

                   Sideburns will be neatly trimmed in the same manner as the hair.  They
                            will not extend below the lowest part of the outside ear opening; will not be more than
                            one-half inch wide, and will end with a clean shaven horizontal line.  Sideburns will not
                            be "pork-chop" in shape but will be square or oblong.

                   Hairpieces/Wigs will not be worn while in uniform except to cover natural
                            baldness or a physical disfiguration.

                   Cadets will be clean-shaven when in uniform.  This includes the cheeks,
                            jaw line and neck.  Goatees are not authorized.  A mustache may be worn.   However,
                            it will be neatly trimmed between the upper lip and the nose and will not extend beyond
                            the edges of the mouth or to the upper lip. 


                   Hair will be styled so that it is no longer than the bottom edge of the blouse
                            or jacket/coat collar at the back of the neck and will not exceed 3 inches in bulk.  
                   Only small conservative hair bands, combs and pins that match the natural
                            hair color may be worn. No jewelry or visible grooming aids may be worn

                   It will be styled to permit the proper wear of the issued headgear (beret,
                            flight cap, service hat).  The hairstyle will not be excessively full or high on the head,
                            but will be in good military taste.  If a wig, wiglet or extensions are worn, it will conform
                            to the rules that apply for natural hair. Females are not allowed to shave their head bald.

       3.2.17. Good personal hygiene habits are expected of each cadet.  Hair and fingernails are to be clean.
       Fingernails shall be no longer than functional when typing.  Underclothing and socks MUST BE worn, and 
       are to be changed.  Deodorant is highly recommended so that offensive odors are eliminated insofar as

3.3. Wear of the Uniform

       3.3.1. Ascots:  Are not a part of the uniform except for special events as announced by the SASI/ASI.

       3.3.2. Service Caps/Flight Caps/Berets/BDU Caps: Will not be worn indoors except by cadets
       who are under arms as part of a drill team or color guard, or during inspections that are conducted
       indoors.  Wear of the headgear is mandatory outdoors.  Cadets on a drill team are authorized to wear
       berets once they have competed in a drill competition.

3.3.3. Service Caps:  May be worn by cadet officers, the First Sergeant, and all AS-IV cadets (if hats
       are available) in lieu of the fight cap/beret.  Drill team members will use service caps during drill events.

       3.3.4. Changing out of Uniform: Cadets are not authorized to change out of the uniform on the
       designated day for wear of the uniform without specific approval of the SASI/ASI. Cadets failing to
       adhere to this policy will be counseled by the SASI/
ASI, awarded a uniform wear grade of zero for the
       week, and be given ten (10) demerits for failure to wear uniform (Chapter 5, Table 5.2.).  Repeated
       violations will result in parental conferences and subject the cadet to possible disenrollment from the

       3.3.5. Designated Days for Uniform Wear: The cadet uniform will NORMALLY be worn on Wednesday
       each week during the school year and at other times prescribed by the SASI/ASI. 
These are the only
       times that the uniform will be worn, unless approval is obtained from the SASI/

       Cadets who fail to wear the uniform on the prescribed day will be required to wear it the
                next day on which they attend AFJROTC class; will lose 40 points toward their leadership grade, 
                and will receive demerits as specified in chapter 5, Table 5.2. 

                 Failure by a FRESHMAN to wear the uniform for three (3) scheduled
                          uniform days or failure by
ALL OTHER CADETS to wear the uniform for two (2)
                          scheduled uniform days within the semester may be grounds for removal from
                          AFJROTC and awarding a grade of F for the semester.

        At times the SASI/ASI will specify the uniform to be worn on designated uniform day.
                Cadets who have a complete BDU uniforms may NORMALLY wear them on the first uniform
                day of each month UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED.  Cadets who purchase a unit 
                T-shirt may ONLY wear it as an alternate uniform when directed by the SASI or ASI.  
       3.3.6. Distinctive Uniforms:  Members of drill teams and the color guard may wear a uniform of
       distinctive military style while performing, e.g., beret, helmet, service hat, long-sleeved blue shirt,
       combat boots, or white pistol belts.  With the exception of berets, distinctive uniforms will not be worn
       as part of the official AFJROTC uniform.

       3.3.7. Medals:  Cadets awarded medals may wear these medals on the AFJROTC uniform at the annual
       Military Ball and the Dining-Out or at any other time prescribed by the SASI/ASI.

3.3.8. Name Tag:  All cadets are required to wear the standard Air Force blue, clutch design name tag
       on all issued uniforms with the exception of the Service Coat.  The USAF Metal Name Tag is the only
       name tag authorized for wear on the service coat.  Cadets may wear the Air Force blue nametag
       on BDU’s until their cloth OD nametape arrives.

       3.3.9. Optional items:  Cadets may purchase and wear any optional items authorized by AFI 36-2903,
       at their own expense.  Optional items may not be worn when a specific uniform is prescribed for wear. 
       Cadets may purchase Battle Dress Uniforms to include footwear, for wear on designated days.

       3.3.10. Ribbons:  When worn, in the order specified in Table 3.1.

       3.3.11. Shoulder Cords (aiguillettes):  Members of drill teams and the color guard are  authorized to
       wear shoulder cords (aiguillettes) with all service uniforms (not BDU’s) and with the distinctive drill team
       or color guard uniform.  They will be worn on the left only.

3.3.12. Service Coat/Lightweight Bluejacket:  When wearing the service coat or lightweight blue jacket,
       cadets may remove it during class provided that the correct rank and insignia are also worn on the
       shirt or blouse. Cadets will insure that coats or jackets are hung on chairs or placed in a manner that
       will prevent them from touching the floor or becoming soiled or wrinkled.  When wear of the service
       coat is specified, it will be worn at all times when outside the classroom.  When wearing the coat, all
       buttons will be buttoned.  The zipper of the lightweight blue jacket will be closed at least half way when
       it is worn. Wear of the tie/tab is recommended for wear with the lightweight blue jacket.  The jacket 
       will not
be worn during inspections.  Cords are not authorized on the lightweight blue jacket.

       3.3.13. Wear of Uniform during Classes Where Damage May Result:  Cadets enrolled in classes where
       damage may result will not wear the uniform during  that class when such wear of the uniform would
       subject it to damage, stains, etc.  Cadets enrolled in such classes should change out of the uniform at
       the beginning of the class and back into the uniform at the end of class.                           

       3.3.14. When the uniform is authorized to be worn, it will be a complete uniform and will be worn
       properly.  Cadets will not allow friends to "try on" pieces of their uniform.

       3.3.15. Male cadets must wear a white V-neck or “muscle” shirt at all times with the blue uniform. 
       Crew (round) neck shirts will not be worn.  Female cadets may wear white under shirts that meet the
       same requirements with the blue uniform.  Brown or black crew neck T-shirts will be worn with BDU’s.

3.4. Ribbon Precedence

       3.4.1. Ribbons will be worn on the Service Coat.  They are optional on the short sleeve and long sleeve
       shirt.  Ribbons are worn in order of precedence, with the highest being at the wearer's right and the
       lowest at the wearer's left.

TABLE 3.1. AFJROTC Awards and Ribbons    






Gold Valor Award

Selected by HQAFJROTC, Voluntary act of self sacrifice and bravery above and beyond the call of duty



Silver Valor Award

Selected by HQAFJROTC, heroism that doesn’t meet the risk of life requirement for the Gold Award;



Cadet Humanitarian Award

Selected by HQAFJROTC, cadet rendered aided singular extraordinary catastrophic event



Community Service with Excellence Award

Selected by HQAFJROTC, Individual award for exemplary community service



Air Force Association Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd year cadet, top 5% in AFJROTC class, top 10% in class



Daedalian Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd year cadet, top 10% in AFJROTC class, top 20% in class, desire for military career



American Legion Scholastic Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd or 4th year cadet, top 25% in AFJROTC class, top 10% in class, leadership, participation in student activities



American Legion General Military Excellence Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd or 4th year cadet, top 25% in AFJROTC class, leadership, character, discipline citizenship



Daughters of the American Revolution Award

Selected by SASI, 4th year cadet, top 25% in AFJROTC class, top 25% in class, dependability, good character military discipline



American Veterans Award

Selected by SASI, “A” in AFJROTC, good academic standing, officer potential, positive attitude toward Air Force



Reserve Officers Association Award

Selected by SASI, 4th year cadet, top10% of AFJROTC class, positive attitude, growth potential, impeccable standards



Military Order of World Wars Award

Selected by SASI given to a returning cadet who has had outstanding accomplishments in AFJROTC



Military Officers Association of America Award

Selected by SASI, a junior and a 3rd year cadet, good academic standing, loyalty to units school and country



Veterans of Foreign Wars Award

Selected by SASI “B” in AFJROTC “C” in all other classes, positive attitude toward AFJROTC, leadership, participation

no devices


National Sojourners Award

Selected by SASI, 2nd or 3rd year cadet, top 25% of class, American ism, and leadership

no devices


Sons of the American Revolution Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd year cadet, currently enrolled, top 10% in AFJROTC class, top 25% in class, excellence in AFJROTC leadership military bearing

silver star


Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd year cadet, active participation, top 25% of class, citizenship, patriotism, character

no devices


Military Order of the Purple Heart Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd or 4th year cadet, in a leadership position, “B” in all classes, positive attitude toward corps

no devices


Air Force Sergeants Association Award

Selected by SASI, 3rd or 4th year cadet, top 25% of class leadership,, discipline, citizenship, character

no devices


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Award

Selected by SASI, Patriotism, academic excellence and leadership



Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated Air Force JROTC Cadet Award

Selected SASI, Not a 4th year cadet, participated in at least 50% of service programs, “B” in AFJROTC



The Retired Enlisted Association Award

Selected by SASI, awarded to enlisted cadet for outstanding leadership through course of school year


23.Celebrate Freedom Foundation /Embry Riddle AU JROTC AwardSelected by SASI, not 3rd or 4th year cadet, top 5% of AS class with an “A”, top15% of  class, military potential


Outstanding Cadet Ribbon

Positive personal attributes, academic, excellence, military potential and excellence. One per grade level each year



Leadership Ribbon

Consistently displays outstanding leadership above peers

“H” device


Achievement Ribbon

5% of cadet corps each year, significant achievement



Superior Performance Ribbon

10% of corps each year for outstanding achievement or meritorious service



Distinguished Unit Award

Selected by HQAFJROTC, unit is nominated by SASI

clusters,  silver star


Aerospace and Technology Honors Camp Ribbon

Attendance at Honors Camp

“H” device


Top Performer Award

Selected by HQ AFJROTC nominated by SASI



Academic Ribbon

Overall grade of “B” and an “A” in AFJROTC each semester



Outstanding Flight Ribbon

SASI determines outstanding flight each academic term



Leadership School Ribbon

Completion of a Leadership School longer than 5 days



Drill Competition Ribbon

Placing 1st, 2nd  or 3rd in an drill meet



Orienteering Competition Ribbon

Placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an orienteering meet



Co curricular Activities Leadership Ribbon

Exemplary leadership in achieving objectives through the coordinated effort of others



Drill Team Ribbon

75% or at least 10 event during an academic year



Color Guard Ribbon

75% or at least 10 events during an academic year



Saber Team Ribbon

50% or at least 3 events during an academic year


40.Marksmanship RibbonParticipate in program, qualified by Civilian marksmanship Programb/s/g stars


Service Ribbon

Distinctive performance in school community or AFJROTC



Health and Wellness Ribbon

Sustained participation in locally developed program

b/s/g stars


Recruiting Ribbon

Recruiting trip and/or bringing someone into the corps



Activities Ribbon

Co-curricular activities other than color guard, saber & drill



Attendance Ribbon

     ≥ 4 excused absences no unexcused absences per semester



Good Conduct Ribbon

No suspensions no adverse reports



Dress and Appearance Ribbon

No missed uniform wear days, compliance with standards



Longevity Ribbon

Awarded for each year completed


Note:  Bronze oak leaf clusters are used to designate the second and subsequent award of a ribbon.  A silver oak leaf cluster is used in lieu of 5 bronze oak leaf clusters

Table 3.2 Uniform Wear Rubrics

0 points assessed*

10 points assessed

20 points assessed

30 points assessed

40 points assessed

50 points assessed

100 points assessed

- Wearing the prescribed uniform of the day

-No missing uniform items

-Hair well within standards

-Wearing all ribbons, badges and awards

-All buttons buttoned

-Uniform extremely well pressed and cleaned

-Shoes highly shined

-No discrepancies

- Wearing the prescribed uniform of the day

-No missing uniform items

-Hair well within standards

-Wearing all ribbons, badges and awards

-All buttons buttoned

-Uniform well pressed and cleaned

-Shoes well shined

-Takes a second glance to see discrepancies

- Wearing the prescribed uniform of the day

-One uniform item missing

-Hair within standards

-Uniform pressed and cleaned

-Shoes are shined

-Might have missed a button

-One or two obvious discrepancies



-Wearing a uniform

-Missing uniform items

-Hair meets standards

-Wearing the uniform improperly

-Shoes not shined

-Multiple discrepancies

- This is the automatic grade for first missed uniform wear of week

-Barely wearing the uniform correctly

- Hair out of standards

-Missing multiple uniform items

-Numerous discrepancies, some of which are repeated from last uniform wear


-The leadership grade for the week is automatically assessed 80 points for the second missed uniform wear
- Not wearing the uniform correctly at all
Missing multiple uniform items

-Hair way out of standards

 -Uniform looks like it was slept in


-Did not wear the uniform all week

- Auto-matic grade given for changing out of uniform before the last bell of the day

* At the inspection officials discretion merits may be given for 0 points assessed.  Merits are not to exceed 3 per cadet.  The Sharp Looker award is given to the cadet with the most pristine appearance.  No cadet can earn the sharp looker award and additional merits for uniform wear.


 Return to Top of Page         Go to Chapter 4Return to Table of Contents
Last Modified on April 1, 2013