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UNIFORMS OF DISTINCTION: A CHRONOLOGY OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE SECURITY FORCES UNIFORM

The creation of the Air Force as a separate branch of military service presented the challenge to be identified by a unique uniform. Although the Air Force uniform initially consisted of minor modifications to the Army Air Force uniform, eventually changes have been made that set it apart from any other branch in military service. While changing right along with Air Force uniform standards, the Air / Security Police made unique changes of their own that distinguished them from all other Air Force career fields. The following chronology identifies significant Air Force uniform changes and Air / Security Police unique uniform changes.

CHANGES TO AIR FORCE AND SECURITY FORCES UNIFORM STYLES AND COMBINATIONS

1947-50 -- Army Olive Drab Service Dress, khaki, tan, and cotton utility uniforms were worn with minor changes in the way of Air Force chevrons. MP and Air Police brassard worn for identification.

1950 -- Introduction of Air Force blue (shade 84) service dress uniform.

1952 -- Army olive drab service uniform phased out

1956 -- White Service cap authorized for Air Police.

1959 -- First official Air Police Shield issued to replace brassard.

1961 -- Introduction of light-weight blue uniform combinations.

1962 -- .38 caliber revolver holsters phased in to replace .45 caliber pistols.

1964 -- "Ike" jacket phased out M16 web gear replaces M1 Carbine web gear

1965 -- Silver Tan khaki uniform phased out Tropical bush jacket phased out. Local manufacturing of fatigues with subdued nametapes and stripes authorized during Vietnam War. (Cotton fatigues, OD tropical style, Camo topical style) Combination1505 tan uniform replaced less durable 505 combination.

1965 -- Operation Safeside Beret. Change from Air Police to Security Police.

1971 -- Females enter career field, authorized white beret.

1975 -- Authorization of SP Qualification Badges, dark blue beret, white scarf, and blue short jacket

1978 -- Tan 1505 uniform phased out

1980 -- Introduction of subdued stripes and nametapes to fatigues. (Became mandatory in 1983 replacing blue and white) Permanent press durable fatigues phased in to replace cotton. Woodland pattern BDU's introduced. Cloth badge introduced; miniature badge for women introduced.

1990 -- M9 Pistol feather end nylon web gear introduced to replace .38 caliber. OD fatigues phased out, replaced by BDU's.

1991 -- "Chocolate Chip" Desert BDU worn in Operation Desert Storm. Leather nametags with embossed shield introduced.

MID 90's -- Desert pattern BDU replaces "Chocolate Chip" pattern.

1997 -- Career field name changes to Security Forces. Cloth flash replaces MAJCOM beret crest.

Although these are only the major changes and variations to the uniform over the past 50 years, there are some interesting facts to be noted.

Locally manufactured Air Police shield tested and worn before the official shield was approved in 1959.

White helmet liners, white service cap covers, and blue helmet liners with AP / SP insignias were being worn in the late 40's and early 50's before the white hat was approved in 1956.

Dark blue berets were being worn by dog handlers during the Vietnam era prior to the approval in 1975 for the entire career field.

Sun helmets, "boony hats", and bush hats were authorized in some tropical regions.

Various cold weather parkas were authorized in regions requiring them. Various uniform items were authorized for elite guards, honor guards, and dog demonstration teams.

No matter what the change to the Air Force uniform in general, the Security Forces will always be identified as an elite faction in the mission of Force

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