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CAF Policy on uniform
and associated matters

September, 2001

CAF recently reviewed a number of issues relating to clothing and uniforms and advised that the following policies will apply.

Specific Matters

Patent leather shoes. These have been approved following successful wearer trials and will be introduced as soon as supplies can be arranged. The existing leather shoes will be retained for the foreseeable future.

Female SD Cap. Females will continue to wear the peaked SD cap for parades and ceremonial purposes and this item will be standard issue for new entrants. However, the current female hat will be produced in Air Force blue and will be available as an optional, repayment item for wear as working dress.

Female Tropical/Hot Weather Dress. While ample stocks of the female blue-white dress are generally available, shortages in some size ranges are beginning to occur. Army's Joint Materiel Agency advises that supplies of the blue-white material required to produce further dresses are not available on an economic basis. Because of this situation, CAF has given the go ahead to develop a khaki (drabs), hot weather order of dress for females, in lieu of the blue-white dress. This will consist of shirt, shorts and skirt. Leather sandals are currently being trialed as a likely replacement for the 'bobby sox' currently worn by females with this outfit. The blue-white dress will still be able to be worn and will remain in the RAAF order of dress for the foreseeable future.

All Seasons Mess Uniform. The 'off the hook', all seasons, dark blue mess uniform project has been cancelled and existing patterns of mess dress will be retained.

Leather Flying Jacket.
Current policy restricting the wearing of the leather flying jacket remains firmly in place - i.e., it is only to be worn by aircrew in flying uniform.

General Policy
Notwithstanding the above initiatives, CAF has directed that to provide a period of stability in relation to clothing, no major changes to the RAAF uniform will be approved unless very significant reasons arise. This same philosophy will be applied to RAAF badges and embellishments. The following, ongoing principles are applicable to the RAAF uniform:

  • Changes to the uniform will be kept to a minimum and will only be made for significant reasons of comfort, safety, function or necessity.
  • The uniform should have a smart military appearance and clearly identify the wearer as a member of the RAAF.
  • The uniform should be functional and comfortable to wear.
  • The uniform should have an uncluttered appearance.
  • The uniform should have a reasonable degree of commonality between gender, rank level and musterings/categories to foster the 'one team' philosophy.

Initiatives/Considerations relating to purchase of the new uniform

Uniform Changeover Date. In response to some members' concern over their ability to find funds for new uniform purchases, CAF has extended the final date for wearing of blue-grey garments to 30 June 04, which is 12 months longer than the previously advised date of 30 June 03. Personnel will therefore have a significantly longer period in which to wear existing blue-grey garments and set aside funds to acquire new uniform items.

Deductions From Pay. All members are reminded that the maximum recovery rate of clothing debits is 10 per cent of fortnightly nett pay. Therefore the repayment for any large clothing purchases will be spread over a number of pay days.

Commanders' Authority to Reduce Debit Recovery Rates. CAF wishes all personnel to be aware of commanders' authority, IAW Chief Executive Instructions Part 8, to reduce the amount by which clothing and other debits are recovered from members' pay. Those who consider that new uniform purchases are impacting adversely on their fortnightly take home pay are encouraged to apply for reduced recovery rates.