Posted on Sep 29, 2020
SGT Combat Engineer
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If i were to become and officer in the Air Force, will I be able to wear my Army "combat patch" or any of my Army badges that I've earned in the Army?
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SSgt Security Forces
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Edited 1 y ago
Rewrite of AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, Questions and Answers:


Question: Are Airmen authorized to wear Army combat patches on the OCP uniform?
Answer: “Combat patch,” applies ONLY to Soldiers. If an Airman was previously a Soldier in the U.S. Army and was authorized the wear of shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service IAW with AR 670-1, they may wear it in addition to the mandatory Air Force higher headquarters patch on the left sleeve.
Personnel who served in a designated area as a civilian or a member of another service, but were not a member of the U.S. Army during one of the specified periods are NOT authorized to wear the Army’s shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service. NOTE: Some Airmen may have been provided an HONORARY Army shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service after completing a deployment with an Army unit, but it is NOT authorized to be worn by Airmen.

https://www.afpc.af.mil/Portals/70/documents/05_DRESS%20AND%20APPEARANCE/QAs_AFI%2036-2903%20update_10%20Feb%202020.pdf?ver=2020-02-24-112524-420
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
1 y
Not really, SMSgt Lawrence McCarter. Awards and other insignia which are only authorized for wear while assigned to a unit are not uncommon, so the fact that zoomies get awarded a Ranger tab and are allowed to wear it while still on an Army base doesn't automatically translate into the Air Force allowing them to wear it when they return to their home station.
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SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
4 mo
1LT William Clardy - Actually there are some Air Force units that are required to attend Army Ranger School as part of their Air Force requirements and duties. Also most that became jump qualified by the Army it was because their Air Force duties required it. If You attended that school, were qualified You were not forbidden from wearing that qualification emblem or badge and it hd nothing to do with later assignment. Wearing Army unit patches though once You left the Army unit You were assigned if that was the case, NO You could not do that. Don't confuse qualification badges with unit assignment patches or insignia.
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
4 mo
"Don't confuse qualification badges with unit assignment patches or insignia."
I wasn't, SMSgt Lawrence McCarter. I was referring to Army awards and insignia which are authorized based on unit. For example, the blue Infantry cord and blue backgrounds are authorized for wear by infantry soldiers, but only while assigned to an infantry unit. Soldiers assigned to units which have been awarded one or more Presidential Unit Citations are authorized to wear the appropriate ribbon only while assigned to that unit, with the caveat that soldiers who were assigned at the time of the award are allowed to wear it regardless of subsequent reassignment.
On a personal note, I see that the current version of AR 670-1 contains language that could have cinched a slight disagreement I had with my squadron commander when he asked why my mortarmen were wearing their infantry cords when we were part of a cavalry troop in a cavalry squadron. I explained that I interpreted "unit" to include sections, and therefor we were assigned to an infantry "unit" within the troop. Somewhen in the last 40 years, someone added a clarification to the reg's language, making clear that "infantry personnel assigned to infantry sections or squads within units other than infantry units may wear the cord when authorized by battalion or higher-level commanders." (Judging from the squadron CO's reaction, he was more persuaded by my chutzpah than my memorized rationalization.)
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SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
4 mo
1LT William Clardy - even in the Air Force some unit awards that the unit was awarded You can wear while in that unit but not after You leave. The bottom line Is if anyone isn't sure, check the Regulations. I do know the difference between qualification badges and unit patches or insignia. No confusion here.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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The AF does wear some Army awards and badges. A quick Google for Air Force Uniform Regulation will answer your question
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SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
4 mo
Exactly, the key word is qualification badges and NOT Army UNIT patches or insignia.
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LTC Hardware Test Engineer
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air force doesn't do "combat patches" so the answer to that one is "no". As for badges and other awards it just depends. some are allowed and some are not. I went the other direction, enlisted USAF to Army officer. I am allowed to wear my USAF good conduct medal, AF training ribbon, achievement medal, commendation medal, NCOPD ribbon and AF presidential unit citation and AF meritorious unit award. It does raise some eyebrows because most people in the Army don't recognize these ribbons and I always have to explain what they are.
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SSG Paul Headlee
SSG Paul Headlee
1 y
LTC (Join to see) I've seen the blue ones on a soldier or two! Good on ya for exceeding the standard!
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SSgt Security Forces
SSgt (Join to see)
1 y
Actually sir, with the Air Force switching to OCP the new Air Force regs says if you have supporting documentation that you earned it, you can wear it as far as right sleeve patches go. I've looked into this in depth, hope to be switching air guard soon so been reading Air Force regs. Mainly applies to army switching Air Force
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SGM Steve Wettstein
SGM Steve Wettstein
1 y
LTC (Join to see) - I've seen numerous JTACs wearing combat patches. Some were even "awarded" it when they were assigned to my company during OIF V when I was the HHC BCT 1SG. I don't know if they only while assigned to Army units or if it's permanent.
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Capt Adam Saxe
Capt Adam Saxe
8 mo
SSgt (Join to see) - Hope you're correct. That's how it should be. If we, the AF (well, I'm no longer in, but . . . ) switch to OCP combat uniforms extremely similar to those of the Army, there's really no logical reason that troops who've earned certain badges or patches shouldn't be able to velcro them into their uniforms.
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