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Wednesday, October 05, 2022


Details regarding the various CAP uniform items and how they will be worn may be found within the official CIVIL AIR PATROL UNIFORM MANUAL (CAPM 39-1). The information below are excerpts from the manual but should not be considered as comprehensive. Consult the CAPM 39-1 if you have any questions.

1. Squadron Uniform Schedule
2. Air Force Blues Uniform
3. Airman Battle Uniform (ABU)
4. Physical Fitness Uniform (PT)
5. Uniform Items to Buy
6. Places to Buy Uniform Items
7. Ribbon Rack Builder

Squadron Uniform Schedule

Week 1- PT 
Week 2- ABU/BDU
Week 3- ABU/BDU
Week 4- Blues
Week 5- TBD

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Air Force Blues Uniform


Flight Cap

  • Male and Female Flight Caps are different shapes
  • The cap extends approximately 1 inch from the eyebrows in front
  • If not worn, tuck under the belt on wearer‘s left side, between the first and second belt loops (cap will not fold over belt or be visible below service coat).

Flight Cap Insignia

  • 1 ½ inches from edge, centered


  • Differs for males and females
  • Female shirt has no pockets

Grade Insignia

  • 1 inch from leading edge of collar, centered, and parallel
  • Grade insignia on BOTH sides of collar

Ribbons and Name Plates

  • Females:
    • Ribbons: Even with or up to 1.5 inches higher or lower than first button, parallel to ground, and is even with name plate.
    • Name Plate: Even with or up to 1.5 inches higher or lower than first exposed button, parallel to ground, and bottom row and even with bottom row of ribbons.
  • Males:
    • Ribbons: Resting on but not over top edge and centered on left pocket
    • Name Plate: Centered on right pocket


  • V-Neck!!! NOT Tank-Top


  • Sliver tip extends to left for males and right for females. No blue fabric should show. Highly shined.
  • Gig line shall be straight. Gig line is a military term that refers to the alignment of the seam of the uniform shirt, belt buckle, and uniform trouser fly-seam. In order to be properly dressed, these three should align to form a straight line down the front of a person’s body.


  • Front of pant leg should rest on front of shoe with a slight break in the crease, 7/8 of an inch longer on the back side.


  • Highly Polished, laces tucked in.


  • Black socks, higher than the ankle

Additional Items not required (but will make your uniform look better)

  • Shirt Garters
  • Cardboard/ Ribbon Backer for behind:
    • Flight Cap Insignia
    • Grade Insignia
    • Ribbons
    • Name Plate

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Airman Battle Uniform (ABU)


  • Clean, not fully down on head or wrinkled
  • Bottom edge of cover should be parallel to the ground

ABU Blouse

  • Ironed
  • Creases in sleeves
  • Pockets buttoned


  • 1 inch from leading edge of collar, centered, and parallel
  • Grade insignia on BOTH sides of collar

Name Tape

  • On wearer’s right pocket
  • Last Name only and in all capital letters
  • Full length of the top of the pocket

CAP Tape

  • On wearer’s left pocket
  • Full length of the top of the pocket

California Wing Patch

  • ¾” from top of left sleeve

Squadron Patch

  • Centered on top right breast pocket


  • A standard Desert Tan short or long-sleeved t-shirt will be worn under the ABU blouse.


  • While rolled up, material must touch or come within 1” of forearm when bent at 90 degree angle

ABU Pants

  • Creases down front and back of pants legs, parallel to each other


  • A standard Desert Tan nylon belt will be worn. The best is a rigger-style belt with a hook and loop buckle.


  • Black Combat or Tactical Leather Boots
  • Should be high up on leg (at least 8 inches tall)
  • Highly polished leather
  • Laces tucked in


  • Black Socks that extend higher on leg than boots

Blousing Bands

  • Two types, green standard ones and black thick elastic ones– your preference

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Physical Fitness Uniform (PT)


  • Dark Blue or Black Running Shorts/ Running Pants
  • Black Shirt or sweatshirt with nothing on it unless CAP or USAF Related
  • Running Shoes
  • White ankle socks
  • WATER is a required item for the PT Uniform

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Uniform Items to Buy

You may need to buy some uniform items yourself as the Squadron cannot always provide them. Here is a list of what to buy for the Blues and ABU Uniform. Click on the individual item and it will take you to the Vanguard website to purchase them. 

Required Items:

Optional Items (these will make your uniform look better):

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Places to Buy Uniform Items

Below are some places (online and local) to purchase uniforms and accessories for uniforms. These stores may have some of the items you need. Listing these stores here does not constitute an endorsement of such stores or items they may sell or promote.

  • Vanguard (online)
  • Military bases (you will need a CAP ID to get on the base). You can only shop at clothing sales with a CAP ID.
  • Military Surplus stores

There are many other online sources, i.e. Google search for "Air Force ABU". ABU's should be "ripstop cotton" or "nylon/cotton twill" only. To ensure that you are purchasing the correct items online, please consult with the Cadet Programs Officers before purchase. 

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Ribbon Rack Builder

This ribbon rack builder allows you to enter in which ribbons you have and it generates an image of what your ribbon rack should look like once assembled. 

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