Posted on Nov 8, 2014
TSgt Joshua Copeland
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I the Air Force Mess Dress is mandatory for Officers and optional for enlisted. For SNCO's it becomes a defacto requirement as any SNCO showing up to an event in semi for formal is given the "crazy eye" by all the Chiefs and their SNCO peers as being "that guy."

Ii have had mine since I was a SrA and take my folk aside around that same rank and ask them if they plan on making the Air Force a career? If they are, I encourage them to invest in a mess dress. Most initially balk at the roughly $500 price tag. I ask they if they have a STAR card, which they always do, and then ask them about if they know about the clothing sales side of the card, which most don't! I then run through some basic math with them. The average Airman makes E7 in 15-18 year. Assuming they go to 4 events a year that would require mess dress (and that is generous) they would wear it only 20 times when they become retirement eligible. Now if they got it when they got a line number for E5 (4-5 years) and only wore it once a year till they became a SNCO they would get an additionally 10 wears out of it at a minimum! Be it an ALS graduation, AF ball, dining in, dining out, or order of the sword induction.

Outside of getting more wear for the buck, seeing a young SrA/SSgt with mess dress does set a positive impression on Sr Leaders. You have set yourself above your peers and visibly stand out IN A GOOD WAY!

Finally, a mess dress doesn't have to be expensive. The airman's attic gets them on a pretty regular basis and dry cleaners sell unclaimed ones for the cost of the tab!
Posted in these groups: 4276e14c Uniforms
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Responses: 16
TSgt Flight Chief
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I have not purchased Myers Dress yet but do plan on doing so very soon. It is totally worth it when planning on staying in. I wanted to purchase it several years ago but ended up talking myself out of it because of the price. Sometimes that price is worth spending to ensure you stand out.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
8 y
I will tell you, once you buy it, you FIND reasons to wear it.
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SFC Operations Nco
SFC (Join to see)
8 y
I agree with this comment. I try to wear mine a minimum of three times a year.
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CMSgt Socom J2/Tsoc Reserve Program Manager
CMSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
"New car wash opening? Let me bust out my Mess Dress..." Lol
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SCPO Senior Enlisted Leader
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I have had one since I was an E6. Had to go to a black tie wedding, so I purchased Blue Mess Dress. I do not have the White Mess Dress. I do not regret it at all, I where it every year at the Navy Ball.
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CSM Darieus ZaGara
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While I agree that E7 and above, even senior E6s should make the investment, for Junior NCOs and below it is not necessary, nor does it make financial sense. Married or single Junior service embers do not make that type of money, not to mention the constant change in style by Senior Leadership. Just my opionion.
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