Service Dress Uniform: Does your uniform ‘measure up’?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Dan Bryant
  • 22nd Security Forces Squadron first sergeant
How accurate are you with the accouterment placement on your military uniform?

The Service Dress Uniform is my favorite uniform inspection that we first sergeants conduct for the Airman Leadership School. It is the one uniform that I feel you should take the most pride in and time in preparing. You wear this uniform on special occasions when you need to look your absolute best. I have compiled a short list of discrepancies that I commonly find during my inspections.

The occupational badge is centered one-half inch above your ribbons. Some people (and I don't know where they learned it) put their index finger or pinky above their ribbons and think that is one-half inch or "close enough". You need to measure.

The U.S. insignia is resting on but not over the seam of the lapel with the bottom of the U.S. parallel to the ground and centered halfway up the seam. This takes some time to get right. You need to measure. Both sides are usually not the exact same size so you will have to measure both sides.

The metallic name tag is very tricky. It is centered on the right side between the sleeve seam and the lapel with the bottom of the name tag parallel with the bottom row of ribbons. Although to some this may look out of place but as I said before, you need to measure.

To make your measurements easy, I suggest getting a small ruler or purchasing a uniform guide from clothing sales which has a handy plastic measuring guide. Take some time to get your Service Dress uniform ...measured up.