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					                                                   Florida Wing
              Miami Beach Cadet Squadron
               http://www.mbcscap.com
                      SER-FL-101

                                                Civil Air Patrol



       Cadet Quick Start Uniform Guide




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
Introduction

As a new member of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, you are no doubt anxious to blend in with the
rest of the group. Naturally, the best way to do this is to get your new uniform and wear it proudly. This
introduction is your tool to help you do that quickly and to make sure that you understand how to do it
correctly. Please keep in mind that the uniforms are not yours, but belong to the United States Air Force.
They grant the Civil Air Patrol the privilege of wearing their uniform. It is the duty of every CAP member
to wear it according to regulations so that we do not lose that privilege. It is very important that CAP
members wear the appropriate insignia and markings when wearing the Air Force style uniform. This is
done intentionally so that we are NOT confused with regular Air Force personnel!!

This introduction should be used along with the Civil Air Patrol Uniform Manual, CAPM 39-1. The
descriptions in this condensed guide are designed to help you ‘get up to speed’ wearing the uniform.
Over the course of the cadet program, you will be expected to learn the rest of information in the
uniform manual, but it would not be practical to try to read it all so soon as a new cadet. If you have any
questions about the uniform that are not addressed in this guide, talk with your cadet staff, as they are
very knowledgeable and will most likely have the answers you are looking for.

Before a new cadet is allowed to wear the uniform (including all insignia), you must have a current CAP
ID card. You may begin assembling the items you’ll need to complete your uniform before you get your
card, but you will not be authorized to wear it until you have all items and they are approved by your
flight staff. Please seek help if you are having trouble getting all the items you need. We will do
everything we can to make sure you get the correct items as quickly as possible.

Please Note: The correct wear of the uniform(s) is the responsibility of every Cadet, not his/her parents
or family members. YOU must be responsible for your own appearance, insignia, nametags, etc. “My
parents didn’t bring them” is NOT an excuse for having an incomplete uniform.



     IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE TO WEAR AN INCOMPLETE UNIFORM


Cadets will normally wear one of two varieties of Air Force Style uniform: BDU’s and the Service Uniform.
Below are listed the minimum items needed. Other clothing articles are available – please talk to your
cadet staff with questions about these. When variations are authorized, the unit commander has the
discretion to decide on one method for all members.

Battle Dress Utilities (BDU’s)

BDU’s come in both winter and warm-weather weight material. Either is authorized.
There is no difference between male and female items. The minimum items required are:

1   pair BDU Trousers
1   BDU Coat (the top is referred to as a coat, not a shirt)
1   T-Shirt to be worn under the BDU coat. Must be brown or black.
1   BDU cap. (CAP style baseball cap is also authorized)
1   pair combat boots. (full leather combat style or jungle-style with nylon panel are authorized)
1   BDU style blue belt (black open buckle, black belt tip)
1   pair socks (must be black or white)
1   Ultra-marine blue cloth CAP name tape
1   Ultra-marine blue cloth CAP ID tape
1   pair metal CAP cutouts
1   Wing Patch

** NOTE:                The last four items listed are CAP specific and must be purchased from the CAP
                        Bookstore.
MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
Service Uniform (Blues)

The Service Uniform is the typical uniform worn in an office or classroom environment. It may be worn
short or long-sleeved. There are variations on style between the male and female uniform, but the basic
items needed are the same. The minimum items required are:

1   pair blue service trousers/slacks
1   short-sleeve blue service shirt/blouse
1   T-Shirt to be worn under the blue shirt. Must be white, V-neck style.
1   blue service belt (silver buckle and tip – female belt/buckle are narrower style to fit belt loops)
1   pair plain black dress shoes
1   blue enlisted style garrison cap (flight cap)
1   pair black dress socks
1   blue CAP name plate
1   pair metal CAP cutouts
1   cadet flight cap device
1   Wing Patch

** NOTE:                The last four items listed are CAP specific and must be purchased from the CAP
                        Bookstore.

** NOTE:                Females have the option of wearing a skirt in lieu of slacks, pumps vs. shoes, nylon hose
                        instead of socks, and the blouse comes in two styles – one is tucked in and one is worn
                        outside over the belt.

Assembling Your Uniform

            Battle Dress Uniform (BDU’s)



                                                                          center on seam


                                             ½ inch space




            The wing patch is placed on the left sleeve of the coat, ½ inch below the shoulder seam. The
            patch should be level and centered on the seam that runs from the collar to the shoulder. The
            best way to visualize this is to put your BDU coat on a hanger at eye level. Use a straight pin to
            position the patch and get the ½ inch spacing correct.
MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
            Name Tape




            The blue cloth nametape is placed over the wearer’s right pocket flap of the coat. It should rest
            immediately above the top of the pocket flap. There should be no gap between the tape and the
            pocket flap edge. It is best to trim the length of the tape so that about ¼ to ½ inch can be
            folded under. If the tape is cut flush with the pocket, it will gradually unravel with washing – not
            good at inspection time! The final length of the tape should be even with the left and right edges
            of the pocket. Regardless of the length of the letters in the name, the tape should cover the
            entire space across the pocket. The letters of the name should be centered on the pocket.

            Civil Air Patrol Tape

                                                        Length is flush with pocket edges.




            The blue cloth ‘CIVIL AIR PATROL’ tape is placed over the wearer’s left pocket flap of the coat. It
            is mounted the same as described for the nametape above. The letters of the tape should be
            centered on the pocket and should cover the entire space across the pocket. Some BDU’s have
            pockets that are slightly narrower than others – you may not be able to fit the letters within the
            space of the pocket. In this case, make the tape as short as possible and center the letters of the
            tape over the pocket.




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
            CAP Cutouts




                                                                                                 Centered 1 inch from
                                                                                                 edge; parallel to bottom




            The metal CAP cutouts are worn on each collar. The direction it faces is always referenced to the
            short, bottom edge – not the edge on the outside that goes around your neck. On the left side,
            center the cutout with the ‘C’ closest to and parallel with the bottom edge. On the right side,
            center the cutout with the ‘P’ closest to and parallel with the bottom edge. The distance from the
            bottom edge to the first letter of the cutout should be 1 inch. The right cutout will be replaced
            with your rank insignia as you get promoted. It should be oriented in the same manner with the
            ‘point’ of the chevron facing outward.

            When purchased, the belt will usually be longer than necessary. Try on the belt to get an idea of
            how long it needs to be. Trim the excess to no more than 1-2 inches so that it does not stick out
            or wrap around your belt line. When worn properly, the belt tip will be within 2 inches of the
            edge of the buckle.

            Your combat boots should be clean and well polished. A good buff shine is ok, but they look best
            when spit-shined. Find someone to teach you this! Spray-on shines or ‘shine-in-a-bottle’ do not
            look professional and can often peel or flake off. Your trousers must be bloused. It is acceptable
            to tuck them into the top of your boot but again, for the best results, it’s worth getting a $1 pair
            of blousing bands to secure the trouser leg onto the top edge of the boot.

            All pockets should be buttoned. There should be no threads (sometimes called cables, Irish
            pennants, strings) hanging from your uniform. Clothing should be ironed to present a neat
            appearance. Sleeves should be rolled up or left down – learn what the current practice is in the
            unit. It is customary to change with the seasons.




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
            Service Uniform (Blues)




            Name Tag, Males



                                                   No Gap

                                                                                             Center of pocket




            The blue plastic name plate is placed over the wearer’s right pocket of the shirt. It should rest
            immediately above the top of the pocket. There should be no gap between the plate and the
            pocket edge. The name plate should be centered between the left and right edges of the pocket.

            If ribbons are worn they should be centered above the left pocket following the same guidelines
            as for the nameplate.

            To keep the name plate from ‘flopping’, place a piece of cardboard on the inside of the
            shirt/blouse before attaching the fasteners. The cardboard should not be larger than the name
            plate or it may be visible through the material. Make sure you don’t trap any wrinkles behind the
            name plate when attaching it to the shirt/blouse.




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
            Name Tag, Females




                                                   Centered between seam and button row

                                                                                              1½ inches of first
                                                                                              visible button




            The blue plastic name plate is placed on the blouse to the wearer’s right. It should be positioned
            within 1 ½ inches above or below the first exposed button. The name plate should be centered
            between the button line and the right arm seam of the blouse. Using the bottom edge of the
            name plate as a reference, it should be horizontal to the ground when worn. A simple way to
            choose a location for your name plate would be to align the top edge of the name plate with the
            top of the button. This will also minimize re-positioning of the name plate when aligning for wear
            with ribbons.

            If ribbons are worn, the bottom row of ribbons will be even with the bottom edge of the name
            plate. This is easily done by placing the edge of a ruler against the bottom of the name plate to
            extend the edge over to the left side. The ribbons will be centered between the button line and
            the left arm seam of the blouse. They should also be horizontal to the ground when worn.

            To keep the name plate from ‘flopping’, place a piece of cardboard on the inside of the blouse
            before attaching the fasteners. The cardboard should not be larger than the name plate or it may
            be visible through the material. Make sure you don’t trap any wrinkles behind the name plate
            when attaching it to the blouse.

            One side-note: these instructions are for a short-sleeved service uniform - wearing a tie or neck
            tab is optional. It also is available with a long sleeved shirt/blouse. If this is worn you must wear
            a tie or neck tab.




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
            CAP Cutouts




                                                                                                Centered 1 inch from edge;
                                                                                                parallel to bottom




            The metal CAP cutouts are worn on each collar. The direction it faces is always referenced to the
            short, bottom edge – not the edge on the outside that goes around your neck. On the left side,
            center the cutout with the ‘C’ closest to and parallel with the bottom edge. On the right side,
            center the cutout with the ‘P’ closest to and parallel with the bottom edge. The distance from the
            bottom edge to the first letter of the cutout should be 1 inch. The right cutout will be replaced
            with your rank insignia as you get promoted. It should be oriented in the same manner with the
            ‘point’ of the chevron facing outward.

            When purchased, the belt will usually be longer than necessary. Try on the belt to get an idea of
            how long it needs to be. Trim the excess to no more than 1-2 inches so that it does not stick out
            or wrap around your belt line. When worn properly, the inside edge of the belt tip will be flush
            with the edge of the buckle. Remember that males wear the belt so that the tip exits the buckle
            on the left. Females wear the belt so that the tip exits the buckle on the right!

            Your dress shoes should be clean and highly polished. Style should be plain, low-quarter oxford,
            with laces. A good buff shine is ok, but they look best when spit-shined. Find someone to teach
            you this! Spray-on shines or ‘shine-in-a-bottle’ do not look professional and can often peel or
            flake off. Dress socks for males must be plain black – no exceptions. Females may wear plain
            black socks or plain neutral hose as they choose.

            The garrison cap (flight cap) is the standard Air Force enlisted style. Be sure you don’t get an
            officers cap by mistake (it has silver and blue trim). The hat device is worn on the left side of the
            cap, centered top to bottom, the edge of the device being 1 ½ inches from the front edge of the
            cap. Inside the headband of the cap there is usually a tag – write your last name in it! Caps are
            the most frequently lost uniform items.

            Make sure your trousers/slacks are tailored to the correct length. One of the most common
            uniform discrepancies for new cadets is trouser legs that are too long or too short. The proper
            length will have the front crease touch the top of the shoe with a slight break. The rear crease
            will be 7/8 of an inch longer. Not paying attention to this is the easiest way to look
            unprofessional in your uniform.

            All pockets should be buttoned. There should be no threads (sometimes called cables, Irish
            pennants, strings) hanging from your uniform. Clothing should be ironed to present a neat
            appearance. Military creases are not allowed! Once you are dressed, make sure your gig line is
            straight (belt, shirt, fly).




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
Grooming

            Getting the clothing items of your uniform put together is only part of wearing the uniform
            properly. The one other item is personal grooming and accessories. Males must keep a short,
            clean haircut. Hair will be off the ears, tapered and above the collar in the back. Conservative,
            professional cut only. No patterns or contrasting colors. Clean-shaven - mustaches are allowed if
            closely trimmed and not beyond the edge of the upper lip. Females must wear a style that does
            not allow the hair to fall below the bottom of the collar. Conservative, professional cut only. No
            patterns or contrasting colors. If natural hair length is longer than collar length, then it must be
            ‘put up’ resulting in a professional appearance. The style chosen must not interfere with the
            proper wear of the cap. Pins, clips, combs, and barrettes must be of an inconspicuous color that
            blends with the person’s hair.
            When worn, jewelry will be of conservative style. Earrings are not allowed for males. Females
            may wear one single stud-type earring in each ear lobe. Watches will be appropriate for the
            uniform. Sun glasses will be of aviator or similar style, dark color. Items such as pagers, pens,
            keys, and cell phones must be inconspicuous and concealed whenever possible. Tattoos are not
            to be visible.

            The key word here is ‘uniform’. Everyone is supposed to look the same. If you are wearing an
            item that is making you stand out in some way, you will probably get attention that you don’t
            want. Ask if you aren’t sure.

Conduct

            There are certain activities that in civilian life would be perfectly normal but are not appropriate
            while in uniform. Ask if you aren’t sure, but here are a few tips:

            -No open displays of affection; no hugs, kisses, hand-holding, etc.
            -Don’t stand around with your hands in your pockets or hooked in your belt
            -No chewing of gum, no spitting things on the ground
            -No running in the service uniform




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04
                                                           GLOSSARY OF TERMS


            Blouse:                  For female uniforms, the shirt. For BDU’s it may refer to the coat or top but most
                                     likely means the act of dressing or tucking in the bottom of the BDU trouser leg
                                     into or on top of the boot.

            CAP ID#:                 This will usually refer to the ID number on your CAP ID Card.

            Chevrons:                Enlisted and NCO grade insignia (stripes).

            CID/CIW:                 Cadet Improvement Day / Cadet Improvement Weekend; time dedicated to
                                     helping new cadets focus on basic skills needed for success in the cadet
                                     program. Usually coordinated by the cadet staff.

            Cover:                   Your hat; the BDU cap, blue CAP ball cap, flight cap, or service cap.

            Epaulets:                Shoulder-worn grade insignia used by officers.

            Flight Cap:              Worn with the service uniform. A flat, plain, blue, light-weight cap.
                                     Military name is the garrison cap.

            Gig Line:                The line formed by the right edge of the belt buckle, seam edge of the trouser
                                     fly, and the seam edge of the shirt. These should all be aligned vertically when
                                     the uniform is worn properly.

            Grade:                   Your achievement level – your rank. (Airman, Sergeant, Major, etc.)


            Military
            Creases:                 In some branches of the armed services it is acceptable to iron additional creases
                                     into the service uniform shirt. They would be vertical, centered on
                                     the front of the shirt through the pocket buttons. On the back of the shirt they
                                     are vertical in the center and one either side of center, midway between the
                                     center crease and the outer edge of the shirt. These are NOT authorized on the
                                     CAP uniform!

            Service Cap:             Worn with the service uniform, typically for more formal functions. Authorized
                                     only for senior members or cadet officers. Usually called a “wheel cover” because
                                     of its large round design.




MBCS Cadet Quickstart Uniform Guide – Revised 07AUG04

				
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