Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Do You Wear in Civil Air Patrol? Flight Duty Uniforms

In Civil Air Patrol we have three basic uniforms that are typically worn when flying missions. The choice as to what uniform is worn for flight duty is sometimes left to the discretion of the crew member, the requirements of the mission, the requirements of the various Commanders (Incident, Squadron, Group, Region, Wing or National.)

Flight Suits
As an aviation-focused organization it makes sense that our aircrew members would wear flight suits during missions. There are two authorized Flight Duty Uniforms (FDUs): the USAF-style sage green version and a navy blue version.

Squadron 150 members during a SAREX
(Photo Courtesy:Squadron 40)

Members who meet USAF height/weight and grooming standards are eligible to wear the USAF-style sage green flight suit. Black boots, black t-shirt and a USAF-style flight cap or CAP baseball-style cap (when outdoors) are required to be worn with this uniform. Sage green flight jackets in the current issue CWU-36 (lightweight) or CWU-45 (heavier weight), along with the MA-1 style are authorized with this uniform. USAF-style FDU's are made from Nomex, which is a fire-retardant material, and provides an additional layer of protection in the event of an emergency.

CAP members can also choose to wear the Navy Blue Corporate Flight Duty Uniform (CFDU). Members wearing the CFDU do not have to meet USAF height/weight and grooming standards. providing an additional level of flexibility for members when choosing the uniform that is right for them.

Many of the same standards that apply to the sage FDU apply to the CFDU, except the USAF-style flight cap is not authorized for wear with the CFDU. A Civil Air Patrol cap may be worn, but is not required when outdoors.

Depending on the type of missions Squadron 150 members may also wear the CAP Working Uniform, consisting of  a CAP blue polo shirt and grey slacks or tactical pants, and black shoes. No headgear is required with this uniform combination and civilian outerwear is authorized.

California Wing does require all aircrews on USAF-assigned missions to wear the sage FDU (made of Nomex) or navy blue CFDU (made of Nomex) uniforms. However, when on non-USAF missions, aircrew members may have the option of wearing the Corporate Working Uniform (blue polo uniform).

If you're considering CAP membership or are already a Squadron 150 member, the good news is the "Uniform of the Day" (UOD) will be clearly announced prior to any mission, so you'll know exactly what you'll need to wear. As with all CAP uniform questions, consult the current CAPM 39-1 (CAP's comprehensive uniform manual) for specific information.

By: 2d Lt Rommel Anacan, Public Affairs Officer