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History of US Air Force Uniforms

April 17, 2021

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The Air Force did not officially become its own branch of the military until 1947, but distinct uniforms were being designed as early as 1945. By 1946, the leaders of the fledgling organization determined that Air Force uniforms would be blue. Although President Truman approved the plan in 1948, Congress struck down the idea, citing expenses as a primary concern.

Initial plans for the Air Force uniform included a preference for minimalism. According to a memo from the Office of Air Quartermaster in 1946, “Insignia and accessories of all types [shall] be limited to an absolute minimum. … To keep the [esprit] de corps of the Air Force at top level … all personnel [should] be permitted to wear the same uniform with only the necessary military command requirements.”

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