CAP Cadet History Project


NJ Wing, 2008


BDUs in the 21st Century:

Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen Merrill McPeak

Discipline.  Determination.  The future of our country.

CA Wing, 2010

Old and New Service Coats, 1997:

The male coat changed quite a bit.  The female coat since hardly changed at all - it gained one chest pocket, and the lower pockets gained flaps.  Enlisted coats, which cadets must wear, shed the epaulets.  Cadets were exempted from the required phase-in/out for the service coat.

ABUs authorized 2016:

The Air Force authorized the current ABU in 2007, with a required wear date  of 1 November 2011.  All CAP members were authorized to transition to the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) 15 June 2016.  The nametapes and grade insignia were changed from ultramarine blue to dark blue on the ABU and BDUs.  Black boots are the authorized footwear.

Some Cadet Uniforms Reach Stasis, 1991:

By 1991 the blues uniform is indistinguishable from the current uniforms.  Only the blue service coat changes after 1991.  BDUs remain the same until the authorization of ABUs in 2016.  

CAP and the Air Force Dodge a Bullet: Gen Merrill McPeak and His Uniform.

Gen McPeak was the Air Force Chief of Staff, 1990-94.  The uniform he is modeling was his idea of a new Air Force uniform - and it was universally hated.  It was introduced in October 1991, but it was so unpopular it was never fully phased in - most officers dragged their feet over years to avoid it.  His successor canceled the transition to the McPeak uniform, but some changes to the uniform were implemented: high shine insignia/badges (previously were satin or oxidized), removal of chest pocket flaps, buttonless pockets, and no crewneck t-shirts with blues.

Some enterprising CAP members transitioned early from oxidized insignia and badges to high shine or mirror finish around 1993, either by having them chromed or polishing them vigorously.  The official transition year was 1995.

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