Air Force brass told not to wear uniforms on commercial flights

Senior Air Force officers have been ordered not to wear their uniforms during official travel on commercial flights.

Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Christy Nolta said the agency imposed the ban following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington to protect its personnel from being singled out by possible terrorists aboard commercial flights. The ban, which lasts indefinitely and only affects senior officers, went into effect Sept. 21.

Nolta said the Air Force recommended last year that officers at the level of colonel and above wear their uniforms during official travel for recruitment and retention purposes. There was no official memo on the new policy, just a verbal announcement by the service's top leaders, Nolta said.

Each military branch makes its own decisions about wearing uniforms while on official travel, said Susan Hansen, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The Army, for example, gives its officers the option of wearing their uniforms on commercial flights. "We have not changed our policy" in light of the Sept. 11 attacks, said Army spokeswoman Diane Grant.

Marine Corps personnel also have a choice when it comes to wearing their uniforms on official travel. "It's optional, although some travel orders may instruct officers to wear their uniforms," said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Giannetti, a spokesman for the service. Giannetti said Marine Corps leaders have not ordered any changes to the dress policy because of the terrorist attacks.

In the Navy, senior officers do not wear their uniforms on official travel on civilian airliners outside the United States, according to Navy spokeswoman Lt. Elissa Smith. When traveling within the U.S., officers can choose whether to wear their uniforms. Smith said those policies will remain the same.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.