The Air Force is set to begin rolling out the new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniform starting October 1.
The transition from its current Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) to the OCP has been highly anticipated since it was announced in May.
Personnel at Aviano Air Base in Italy, MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and Shaw Air Force Base and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina will be the first of those able to purchase the OCP from base stores. If they are not issued directly, uniforms are only approved for purchase from Army and Air Force Exchange Stores and Military Clothing Sales Stores.
The Air Force will phase out the ABU for the OCP over the course of the next three years. All airmen are expected to don the OCP “by April 1, 2021.”
To prepare airmen for the OCP rollout and provide guidance on how to wear the uniform, Air Force Instruction 36-2903, “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel,” was updated in July.
By June 2020, the Air Force will transition to “the tan 499 shirt,” a “tan 499” belt, coyote brown boots, and green socks. If officers choose, they may also wear a patrol cap. All officers will wear “spice brown” rank insignia, except first lieutenants and lieutenant colonels, whose will be back.
Additional information regarding uniform direction for all personnel may be found in Instruction 36-2903 mentioned previously.