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Posted: 2/14/2006 6:57:15 PM EDT
February 20, 2006

No award for good behavior
Uniform Board axes Good Conduct Medal in latest round of changes

By Bryant Jordan
Times staff writer

Goodbye, Good Conduct Medal.
Generations of airmen have earned and worn the Air Force Good Conduct Medal since it was created June 1, 1963.

But you won’t be getting one if you don’t already have one, effective immediately, according to an Air Force Uniform Board decision announced Feb. 8.

In a brief statement explaining the board’s decision to deep-six the medal, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said the discussions “focused on the fact that good conduct should be the norm, so why do we have a decoration in an era where good conduct is expected and in line with the Air Force core values?”

The board’s decision on the medal and several changes to airmen’s uniforms and appearance follow an October meeting to consider dozens of ideas and suggestions, including whether airmen should be able to continue to wear “combat” patches after returning home from a wartime deployment — the answer is no — and a host of items related to female airmen’s uniforms.

No one from the uniform board was available to discuss the changes as of Feb. 9, but Stephens said in a statement that the recommendation to eliminate the medal was carried without objection and was approved by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley.

Those who have the medal may continue to wear it, Stephens said.

Just how airmen will take the news remains to be seen — the medal does not offer points toward promotion — though some have lamented the apparent inflation of medals in general and of the Good Conduct Medal in particular.

One military medals expert, retired Army Col. Fred L. Borch, said he regrets the board’s decision.

“The Good Conduct Medal is a very old award in the services,” he said. “There’s been a Navy Good Conduct Medal for more than 100 years. The Army started its Good Conduct Medal in World War II as a way to recognize fidelity, devotion to duty and really good behavior, to single out soldiers who were faithful and super performers.”

The Air Force subsequently adopted the Army’s version of the medal, also changing the ribbon design, after Congress authorized an Air Force Good Conduct Medal in July 1960, more than a dozen years after the two services split.

“The prevailing view is that ‘everybody gets it’ and so it doesn’t mean anything,” Borch said, “but I don’t think that’s true. Even if it is liberally awarded, that’s not a good reason to get rid of it. You go back and tighten up the criteria for awarding it.

“Getting rid of the medal seems to me to suggest that it’s no longer important to recognize faithful, loyal service and good conduct, and I’m certain that’s not the message the Air Force wants to send.”

No to patches or badges

One change that many airmen had hoped to see was authorization to permanently wear patches on their uniforms, including those of other services, representing units they served with in combat.

But the board rejected permanent wear of combat patches and other devices, including the Army Ranger tab. Badges met the same rejection.

These included wearing sister or joint service badges and insignia on BDUs and the new Air Force utility uniform; the Army Air Assault Function Badge; and the wear of foreign military badges on service and mess dress uniforms. Also rejected was a recommendation to adopt an Air Force Rigger Badge and a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training badge.

More changes to come

The uniform board also approved these changes, with mandatory dates and availability to be announced later:

• A women’s mess dress jacket redesign, including an inside pocket and possibly a front closure.

• A modified women’s service dress coat, to reduce lapel width.

• The elimination of the maternity jumper and the creation of a maternity service coat.

• A maternity white formal shirt.

• Longer sleeves for the maternity long-sleeve shirt.

• A new Air Force utility uniform pattern for the flight dress uniform.

• The use of the A-line skirt as primary mess dress skirt.

• The replacement of the optional service dress hat — the bucket — with men’s service dress hat — the wheel.

• The wear of women’s oxford, pumps and slip-on shoes with blue slacks or skirt.

26 changes
The 97th Air Force Uniform Board that met in October has announced these changes, effective immediately:

1. Headquarters Air Force badge will be available this summer to identify Air Staff and Air Force Secretariat personnel.

2. Blue name tag is approved for wear with the Air Force informal uniform.

3. Epoxy blue name tag is optional on the blue shirt.

4. Cummerbund pleats must face up.

5. Caps or wigs approved for wear in cases of baldness due to a temporary medical condition, such as chemotherapy. Commanders will authorize the approved American Cancer Society cap or a wig for wear while in uniform.

6. Bracelet width is limited to one-half inch. Bracelets that support a cause, philosophy, individual or group are not authorized. Traditional POW/MIA bracelets are still permitted. Gemstone and tennis bracelets are only authorized while wearing the mess dress.

7. Rings will be worn at the base of the finger and will not be worn on the thumb. Wedding sets count as one ring.

8. Eyeglasses will not be worn around the neck, on top or back of the head or hanging on uniform.

9. Firefighter duty badge is authorized for the 3E7X1 Air Force Specialty Code, including during professional military education and staff tours above group level.

10. Security forces duty badge and beret are authorized during assignments to 3PXXX AFSCs, including PME and staff tours above group level.

11. Air Force Good Conduct Medal will no longer be awarded. It’s OK to wear the medal if you’ve already received it.

12. Cell phones, pagers and personal digital assistants must be conservative, solid in pattern or covered in black, silver, dark blue or gray. They may be clipped to the left side of the waistband or purse or carried in the left hand. Only one may be worn on the uniform belt. Airmen in uniform may not walk while using phones, radios or hands-free headsets unless required for official duties using a government-issued device.

13. Scuba badge may be worn permanently on the battle dress uniform.

14. Desert combat uniforms may not be worn when airmen are not deployed unless en route to the basic combat convoy course. “Deployed” for this purpose includes members traveling en route to or from rest and recuperative leave from the Central Command area of responsibility, as outlined in policy announced in mid-2005.

For women

15. Hair “scrunchies” are prohibited.

16. Hairpins and bands must match hair color.

17. Long hair will be secured with no loose ends.

18. Hair color, frosting and highlights will not be faddish and will be limited to natural hair colors such as blonde, brunette, natural red, black or gray.

19. Shaved heads and flattop hairstyles are prohibited.

20. Synthetic hair may be worn as long as it meets safety and mission requirements.

21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.

22. Nail polish will not contrast with complexion or detract from the uniform. It must be limited to one color. Extreme colors such as purple, gold, black, blue or any fluorescent color are prohibited. French manicures are allowed.

23. Fingernail length in all instances will not exceed one-quarter inch beyond the fingertip.

24. Purses with mess dress may have no more than two straps.

25. Earrings will be small, spherical and conservative in diamond, gold, white pearl or silver. They must be worn as a set. For those with multiple ear piercings, only one set of earrings will be worn in the lower earlobe. The standards apply when performing duty in civilian clothes.

26. Male flight cap is optional.

Source: Air Force Uniform Board
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:05:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Shaved heads and flattop hairstyles are prohibited.



Is this for real? 670-1 specifically states "Baldness is authorized" and the Air Farce is going to BAN flat top and bald hair cuts?

What's next? Long hair and beards being a proscribed uniform?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:08:21 PM EDT
The US military, all branches, hands out too much fruit salad. JMHO
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:11:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Shaved heads and flattop hairstyles are prohibited.



Is this for real? 670-1 specifically states "Baldness is authorized" and the Air Farce is going to BAN flat top and bald hair cuts?

What's next? Long hair and beards being a proscribed uniform?




Errrrr, that's for Women.....
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:11:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 7:12:43 PM EDT by fike]
.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:12:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.



Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:18:33 PM EDT
We ARE supposedly fighting a WAR, right?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:54:11 PM EDT
Tim84K10 wrote:

Is this for real? 670-1 specifically states "Baldness is authorized" and the Air Farce is going to BAN flat top and bald hair cuts?

What's next? Long hair and beards being a proscribed uniform?


It's Air Force.

Thanks.

B_S
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:03:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 8:04:37 PM EDT by 95thFoot]
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:03:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.






Let me get this straight, I can't have a flat-top but Shaniqua can have corn-rows?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:06:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.






Let me get this straight, I can't have a flat-top but Shaniqua can have corn-rows?



No, Men can have flat-tops but Women cannot. Yes, Shaniqua can have corn-rows in the USAF and IIRC the Army also.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:06:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.






Don't worry, you give some to the "sistas" and you take some away:




22. Nail polish will not contrast with complexion or detract from the uniform. It must be limited to one color. Extreme colors such as purple, gold, black, blue or any fluorescent color are prohibited. French manicures are allowed.
23. Fingernail length in all instances will not exceed one-quarter inch beyond the fingertip.



All the girlies with long ass disgusting fingernails with elaborate designs all over them are done now. I've seen some absolutely ridiculous 4" long nails on women that had to type for a living.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:06:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:09:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
21. Braids, microbraids and cornrows are authorized.






Let me get this straight, I can't have a flat-top but Shaniqua can have corn-rows?



No, Men can have flat-tops but Women cannot. Yes, Shaniqua can have corn-rows in the USAF and IIRC the Army also.



I find it hard to believe that enough women in the Air Force wanted a flat-top to warrant prohibiting them.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:10:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
I had E-4 Air Force journalist with four years of service more medals than the 20 year E-7 Navy Chiefs they were working for.

The Air Force has more uniform changes in any given year than I saw in the Navy in 24 years.



That's because of your "All, some, or none" rules, the Navy gives away just as much BS. The rack I have is downright embarrassing, I look like a 3rd world dictator, but I have no choice but to wear them all. We need to shitcan about 1/2 of all the decs that are out there today. If I had to pick what to wear I would have about 6 that I give a shit about.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:11:29 PM EDT
What, no more ass kisser awards? Shame I never got one when I was in. I always thought they should have been brown.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:15:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Paul:
I had E-4 Air Force journalist with four years of service more medals than the 20 year E-7 Navy Chiefs they were working for.

The Air Force has more uniform changes in any given year than I saw in the Navy in 24 years.



That's because of your "All, some, or none" rules, the Navy gives away just as much BS. The rack I have is downright embarrassing, I look like a 3rd world dictator, but I have no choice but to wear them all. We need to shitcan about 1/2 of all the decs that are out there today. If I had to pick what to wear I would have about 6 that I give a shit about.



I think that's one thing that needs to be real clear to all service members. Ribbons need to be worn when in service dress, and that means all of them, including every attachment and device. Most servicemembers do not have a complete set of award.

3rd world dictator, I love it
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:15:44 PM EDT
Good Conduct Medal?

Why should people receive medals for what is expected?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:17:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By postpostban:
What, no more ass kisser awards? Shame I never got one when I was in. I always thought they should have been brown.



Ass kisser? The reason they are shicanning the stupid thing is it had never been administered properly, and means nothing. I have seen people with DUIs, Article 15s, UIFs, etc still get them on schedule because nobody has the time to see who the dirtbags are before they rubber stamp the paperwork. Good riddance to a useless award as far as I am concerned, they should shitcan longevity too, and go to hashmarks on the service dress like everyone else.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 8:25:29 PM EDT by MonkTx]
Ya gotta be shittin me, cornrows are allowed but a shaved head is not?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:24:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:25:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
Ya gotta be shittin me, cornrowas are allowed but a shaved head is not?



On a female? Damn right, you want a bunch of GI janes running around. I think that violates don't ask don't tell anyway.
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