Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What Do You Wear In Civil Air Patrol? Utility Uniforms

UPDATE: Civil Air Patrol announced that wear of the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) has been authorized for CAP members. For more information read this blog post. Please be advised California Wing members are NOT authorized to wear the ABU until 15 August, 2016-even though the national effective date for the ABU is 15 June, 2016. Please do not wear the ABU in California Wing until the authorized wear date of 15 August, 2016!

Over the past few weeks we've talked about the types of uniforms that CAP members wear. This week's post is about utility uniforms worn during activities that require a more rugged, active, and durable uniform than our dress uniforms. After all, how comfortable would it be to be dressed in dress blue uniforms while hunting for an "ELT" (Emergency Locator Transmitter) or flying in a Cessna for hours on a search and rescue mission? (Not very....although we'd do it if we had to!)

CAP cadets and adult members that meet USAF height/weight and grooming standards are currently authorized to wear the USAF-style Woodland Camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms (more commonly known as the BDU) and/or a navy blue CAP Corporate-style Utility Uniforms. The BDU was the battle uniform for all of the U.S. Armed Forces for over two decades prior to the Armed Forces transitioning to service-specific battle uniforms a few years ago. While the USAF began issuing the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) to Airmen in 2007, Civil Air Patrol continued to wear the BDU.

The Cadet (L) is wearing the BDU while the SM on the right is wearing the CAP working uniform

You may have heard that the CAP National Uniform Committee recently approved a proposal to request USAF approval for CAP to wear the ABU. This is still pending and no official approval has been released at this time. Therefore, members should NOT procure ABUs until an official announcement has been made.

Civil Air Patrol adult members may also choose to wear the Corporate-style Utility Uniform, which is similar in cut, functionality and fabrication to the BDU, except that it is navy blue. Black boots are worn with both the BDU and CAP Corporate Utility uniform. A hat is required with the BDU when outdoors, while a hat is optional with the Corporate-style Utility Uniform.

The Cadet (L) is wearing the BDU and the Cadet (R) is wearing the Corporate Utility Uniform
Adult members may also choose to not wear a uniform, unless they're involved in an activity that does require it (such as flying) or when the Commander specifies uniform wear as mandatory.

Lastly, adult members can also wear the CAP Working Uniform (aka the blue polo shirt). The polo shirt is worn with grey pants, black belt and black shoes.

Civil Air Patrol uniform items can be purchased from Vanguard, the official supplier of CAP uniforms and insignia, from AAFES locations on military installations (specific requirements may apply), and through sources on the Internet.

As we have been mentioning over the past few weeks, CAPM 39-1, the Uniform Manual is your friend!

By: 2d Lt Rommel Anacan, Public Affairs Officer