Posted on Dec 18, 2014
TSgt Joshua Copeland
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I know the AF gets a lot of flack for having so much "bling" on our uniforms, but I went to a Joint Service Dining In recently had have to say, for the Mess Dress, the Army definitely out "blings" the Air Force.

The individual I seen had both lower sleeves cover in stripes, 2 neck medals, a dozen or so regular mini medals, like 4 badges on the lower half of the jacket and 3 badges above the medals.

The Marine Mess Dress was pretty clean. Rank, mini medals, and badges above the medals.
Posted in these groups: Hqdefault BadgesUs medals Awards4276e14c Uniforms
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LTC Stephen C.
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Edited 7 y ago
TSgt Joshua Copeland, although I never had the opportunity to wear either, I thought the Army blue and/or white evening mess uniforms were very sharp. They are essentially the same as the blue and white mess uniforms, but the black tie, black cummerbund and straight collar tuxedo shirt combination is replaced with the white tie, white waistcoat and white winged collar shirt combination. It's the Army equivalent of "white tie and tails". The service cap is now an optional item of wear with mess and evening mess uniforms, but I would want to wear it anyway. The only problem would be finding a white service cap as I don't think they can even be purchased any longer! I know Marlow White doesn't offer them for sale.
I dislike wearing the regimental affiliation insignia on the right lapel. The wear of locally authorized neck ribbons/medals (Order of this or that) has become almost epidemic, and I'm really not crazy about the wear of such items. I would prefer that the Medal of Honor be the only item worn around the neck.
LTC Paul Labrador, here's the discussion we had about the mess uniforms on another thread!
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CW4 Battalion Senior Warrant Officer Advisor
CW4 (Join to see)
4 y
Acknowledging that this thread is super old by now, but in case anyone else out there is interested, you can buy Army white service caps directly from Kingform Cap. They are the same company that makes all the other ones that you buy at AAFES.
https://www.kingformcap.com/
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
4 y
Nice to know, CW4 (Join to see)! Thanks!
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Maj Neal Jackman
Maj Neal Jackman
3 y
When I got my mess dress, I had the option of getting the rank in the sleeve braid or the standard braid with oak leaf in the center. I went with the sleeve braid. Old school, and I think a cleaner look. I don't know if that is still an option. Like others have said, I would look for chances to wear it like dining in, military ball, formal weddings (wore it at mine!), etc. If you are looking to stay in, whether active or reserve, it shows your commitment. Much nicer than the standard dress blues.
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
3 y
Maj Neal Jackman, I’m familiar with the braiding of which you speak. I think as the rank got higher, there was more braiding.
I don’t know when that became obsolete, but my copy of The Officer’s Guide (c. 1973) shows only the actual rank and not enhanced braiding.
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LTC Paul Labrador
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I'm assuming this individual is a very senior NCO because the amount of awards he has would not be typical of a more junior Soldier. Neck medals are "honor societies" medals and typically only worn at formal occasions and at the discretion of the individual. Badges on the lower part of the jacket were probably drill sgt and recruiter badges mixed in with senior staff badges. Service stripes on dress uniforms tend to be big and exaggerated on dress uniforms.
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CMSgt Socom J2/Tsoc Reserve Program Manager
CMSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
Thank you! Good to know. :)

I found an obscure site online, but it was complete heartburn (read: A$$-pain) to order it. No sizing chart, sizes were completely wrong, restocking fee for returns. All told, I got it, but boy, did I have a time to get it ready to wear!
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LTC Paul Labrador
LTC Paul Labrador
>1 y
I had mine tailor made when I was in Korea. Best $200 I've spent..... ;o)
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
>1 y
CMSgt (Join to see), I know some woman that have resorted to getting the "ugly skirt" just for the material and have a local tailor alter it in to the "nice one."

LTC Paul Labrador, if it is like some of the other Korean ones I have heard about, they are awesome, till the first time to take it to get cleaned.
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LTC Paul Labrador
LTC Paul Labrador
>1 y
TSgt Joshua Copeland, actually I've found it quite the opposite. Korean tailors, particularly those who cater to US service members, expand their business by word of mouth. They aren't going to stay in business by putting out shoddy product. There's simply too much competition to be mediocre. All of the suits I had tailored in Korea were very good quality.
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Lt Col Strategic Planning Officer
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In general I think the AF blues are pretty sparse. Some special forces and security folks get a lot of ribbons which can look kind of extreme but i like that we don't have a lot of other badges to clutter the uniform.
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