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USAF BDU Question -- 1980s

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Does anyone know when USAF switched back to embroidered name/branch/stripes from the black leather nametags on BDUs? replacement AFII've been looking for 1980s PDF's of the old AFR35-10  and successor AFI but, thus far, haven't found anything.

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I'm not too good with airforce stuff but I think the velcro on black leather nametags was just flight crew and maybe some of their support. So it's more a matter of unit or maybe role rather than time. I dont security forces ever wore them for example. 


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Very familiar with flightsuit nametags. In this case, I'm literally referring to the period of time when USAF was wearing woodland BDUs but did away with the embroidered name/branch tapes along with stripes.

I was able to find an old AFI 36-2903 specifying the aircrew style leather nametag would not be used on BDUs after 30 SEP 1997. Same AFI states embroidered Name/USAF tapes were mandatory on 1 OCT 1997. I'm assuming that somewhere in there both styles were in concurrent use.

 

 I'm interested in when it started. Was it a McPeak thing that started around 1990? Or did USAF BDUs utilize the aircrew style nametag upon adoption of BDUs in ~1986? 

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Very familiar with flightsuit nametags. In this case, I'm literally referring to the period of time when USAF was wearing woodland BDUs but did away with the embroidered name/branch tapes along with stripes.

I was able to find an old AFI 36-2903 specifying the aircrew style leather nametag would not be used on BDUs after 30 SEP 1997. Same AFI states embroidered Name/USAF tapes were mandatory on 1 OCT 1997. I'm assuming that somewhere in there both styles were in concurrent use.

 

 I'm interested in when it started. Was it a McPeak thing that started around 1990? Or did USAF BDUs utilize the aircrew style nametag upon adoption of BDUs in ~1986? 

Here's a photo from Lackland AFB of new recruits sporting BDUs with the leather nametags
031101-F-1994A-009.jpg

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As i recall, we started wearing them in 1990 after McPeak became the worst Chief of Staff the Air Force has ever had.

 

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I was Army but worked with a lot of USAF personnel in various capacities and my recollection was that the Velcro name tag period was very short.  It was also not universally adopted, as I know that the USAF Weather personnel assigned to units I was in continued to wear the embroidered name tags and USAF tags above the pockets the entire time I was in. 

 

I know it was very unpopular with most Airmen.  It was especially frustrating because you literally did not know if the person you were approaching was an officer or an NCO until you were within a couple of steps of them. 


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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10 hours ago, mvmhm said:

As i recall, we started wearing them in 1990 after McPeak became the worst Chief of Staff the Air Force has ever had.

 

Mark sends

 

Yep, 1990.  Black leather names tags - FOR EVERY AIRMAN WEARING BDUs - was another - in a VERY long line - of Merrill McPeak's bad ideas.  Mr. McPeak's faulty reasoning was "...it doesn't make sense to  to punch a bunch of holes in a brand new uniform..." referring to sewing on name tags, unit patches, qualification badges.

 

McPeak's successor, General Fogleman, having heard the legitimate gripes from the field, convened a uniform board within a month of taking over in Oct 1994.  The board rescinded most of McPeak's poorly advised, universally despised efforts to leave his mark on the Air Force uniform. (Black leather name tags, no sleeve/shoulder rank, the reviled airline pilot dress uniform, the epaulet flight suit {which was also - kid you not - equipped with zippers where front pants pockets are normally located, but had no pockets...just a zippered opening that afforded easy access to ...uuhhh...your pitot tube})   

 

So the answer to the question is

- Black leather name tags rescinded by USAF Uniform Board late 1994

- Phase out by 30 Sept 1997

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I was issued two of these but never had them mounted.  I did't want to buy new BDUs or have the "ghosts" of name tapes, stripes, badges, etc on my uniform.  Fortunately, their wear was not enforced by our local command and they were discontinued before it was ever became an issue.

 

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Yep a McPeak directive.


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Thanks for your replies!

 

I served in USAF in the early 1980s and the green fatigues were still in use. Changed branches for 6 years and returned to USAFR/ANG in the early 90s. I remember BDUs being worn but do not recall seeing anything but the usual embroidered tapes. 

 

I'm sure it must have been a timing thing. Presuming there was a wearout date for the pre-1990 embroidered stuff? Judging by the Lackland photos, TI's are still wearing stripes/embroidered tapes in 1992 while the recruits appear to be issued the leather nametag. By 1993, TI's are seen with the leather nametags but stripes are back on their sleeves. And by 1994, it looks like things reverted back to pre-1990 

 

 

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I was at Lackland in 1989 and BDUs were 100% nametapes with blue lettering. Aircrew nametags weren’t a thing. My recollection was that it started just after ODS and lasted until the late 90’s. They did not want to sew nametapes on desert BDUs.

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I learned something


A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand pictures!

"I read that in war bad things happen, Ain't that the ************* truth" -1st Lt Mike Scotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

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