When Chief Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force Kaleth Wright speaks with fellow airmen, his uniform is perfect. Is yours?
YOUR UNIFORM is a visual representation of your commitment to the Core Values.
Because uniforms are unique — only CAP cadets wear the CAP cadet uniform — they are a source of pride. Wearing the uniform is part of your leadership training. The uniform helps you develop self-discipline, personal responsibility, and self-respect. Whenever you wear the uniform, you represent not just yourself but also all of CAP and the U.S. Air Force, so wear the uniform with pride.
How to Obtain Uniforms
Your squadron may have uniform items, especially ABU uniforms, on-hand. Please have your parent or another trusted adult measure you so that you can identify the best uniform sizes for you. If your squadron doesn't have the items you need or items in your size, consider our uniform partner, Vanguard, for some uniform items such as insignia and specialized uniform clothing items such as hats, pants, belts, and shirts. Blues uniforms can also be purchased at your local Air Force Base.
The suggested best practice is for each cadet to obtain a utility (camouflage) uniform (also known as the ABU) as soon as possible after earning their first stripe. The approximate cost for a full ABU uniform is $150.
Upon completing Achievement 1, CAP provides cadets with a Curry Blues Voucher for the dress “blues” uniform. Again, some articles may be available for free locally. The approximate cost is $150, less a $100 voucher.
When a cadet outgrows a uniform or leaves CAP, we ask families to turn those items into the squadron so other cadets might use them.
How to Prepare Your Uniform
See pages 7-9 in the New Cadet Guide, pictured below, for a quick start.
Ten Tips for Looking Sharp in Uniform
Keep your insignia in a particular place at home.
Prepare your uniform the night before you wear it.
Trim loose strings from buttons, pockets, and belt loops.
Use spray starch when ironing.
Obtain “enforcers” or put cardboard behind your ribbons.
Check your appearance in a full-length mirror.
Keep a small cloth with you to dust your shoes and brass.
Check your gig-line upon exiting a car or restroom.
Avoid leaning against anything while in uniform.
Ask your wingman to double-check your uniform and return the favor.
ABU Uniform Special Notes
For the ABU (camouflage) uniform, cadets will need a cap, belt, pants, and coat/blouse. Our squadron has many of these uniform items, and the odds are pretty good that we can get these items for you. If not, you can also get these uniform items on the web (eBay, etc.) or through vanguardmil.com.
In addition to the above, cadets will need a tan t-shirt, black boots, and Civil Air Patrol/name tapes. Cadets are not required to use vanguardmil.com exclusively for their purchases, but they are the best source for the tapes. The link for name tapes is here. The link for the civil air patrol tapes is here.
Boots and t-shirts can be easily obtained online and don’t have to be purchased through vanguardmil.com. Familiar places to get these uniform items include amazon, Walmart, and REI. If these items match the description in CAP Regulation 39-1, it is acceptable. CAP members also have the privilege of using the Air Force Base Exchanges (on-base military stores) to purchase uniform items. Still, the ABU uniform is no longer authorized by the active-duty military, so you probably won’t find those uniform items on-base.
A helpful video on uniforms is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjzlXtTJRoQ&t=13s&pp=sAQA
Cadets who have questions about uniform items are encouraged to ask their element leaders and flight sergeants.
In addition, the ABU sizing chart (found to the upper right or below) may be helpful for you in determining which size of uniform you should consider. If you are ordering your ABUs from Vanguard, please use their sizing chart here: https://www.vanguardmil.com/pages/sizing-charts
Blues Uniform Special Notes
The “Blues” uniform has many different combinations than the ABU uniform. While each of the various uniform combinations is authorized for our cadets, we tend to recommend that our new cadets go with the most straightforward combination of uniforms in the beginning and can then add other elements, such as the various ties and service coat options, as desired. Although cadets wearing the female uniform may elect to wear a skirt instead of slacks, the example in this article describes the wear of the slacks.
Please consider using the uniform sizing chart sent home to cadets last month. Please note, cadets must have both sets of uniforms, ABUs and Blues, to promote to Cadet Airman First Class (the second promotion).
The simplest version of the blues uniform, the “Class B” uniform, consists of clothing items that include a flight cap, belt, pants, and shirt. Male and female versions of the uniform have slightly different versions of these clothing items, but links to these items are included below. In addition to clothing items, the nameplate and cap device are common to both genders of cadet uniforms. The Curry Blues Voucher can be used to purchase these items on vanguardmil.com, but you can also purchase the clothing items using Air Force Base Exchanges (on-base military stores) without the voucher.
Cadets wearing the male uniform must wear a white, V-neck undershirt with their blues uniform, but cadets wearing the female uniform may wear either a white V-neck or athletic style undershirt. Cadets wearing the male uniform must wear black socks and plain-toed, low quarter shoes. Cadets wearing the female uniform may elect to wear hosiery instead of black socks while also having the option to wear dress boots, pumps, or slip-on shoes.
Low quarter shoes are described as “low quarter, oxford-style, lace-up with a plain rounded toe or a plain rounded-capped toe. Soles will not exceed ½ inch in thickness, and the heel will not exceed one inch in height (measured from the inside front of the heel). Shoes will be smooth or scotch-grained leather or manmade material. Shoes will be shined; high gloss or patent finish is optional.” In addition, the female version of low quarters allows that “the sole may have a low wedge heel. They will be plain, clean and serviceable, and without ornamentation such as buckles, bows, or straps” (ref. CAP Regulation 39-1). Shoes, socks, and undergarments can be easily obtained online or at local stores and don’t have to be purchased through vanguardmil.com.
A helpful video on blues can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbhtaxrPStg
Top (Shirt / Blouse)
Bottom (Trousers / Slacks)
Sizing charts are available for cadets wearing both male and female uniforms:
- If you are ordering uniforms from vanguard, please consider using their size chart here: https://www.vanguardmil.com/pages/sizing-charts
- If you are using squadron uniforms or are ordering military spec uniforms, the attached sizing charts might be more helpful (found to the upper right or below).