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In new uniform guidance, Space Force is down with OCP

The Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform has been designated the Space Force’s duty uniform, according to the service’s inaugural Space Force Guidance Memorandum.

That means that Space Force members will don a full-color U.S. flag patch on the left sleeve, grade insignia, and an occupational badge. The name and service tapes will employ space blue embroidery — a departure from the “spice brown” embroidery the Air Force has used for its OCPs.

Blue name tapes will also appear on the back of patrol caps and officers will have their rank insignia included on the front — either embroidered in spice brown for 2nd lieutenants and majors, or space force blue for the other officer ranks.

The guidance also stipulates that boots, t-shirts and fleeces will be “Coyote Brown,” while socks may also be green. Gloves, scarves and earmuffs may be Coyote Brown or black.

“Our uniforms are the first visual cue of our identity as a service,” Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, U.S Space Force senior enlisted advisor, said in a news release Thursday. “Adopting the OCP worn in the joint environment reflects our role in the joint warfighting effort, and we incorporated space Force-specific colors and configuration to establish our own independent identity.”

Space Force members will have the option to sew or velcro insignia and tapes onto the OCPs, so long as there’s uniformity among all components.

Additionally, Space Force members have until April 1, 2021 to make sure their uniforms comply with the Space Force-specific configuration. That also coincides with the Air Force’s deadline to transition from the airman battle uniform to OCPs.

Meanwhile, the Space Force is still hammering out some aspects of its organizational structure.

For example, it’s unclear what ranking system the Space Force will ultimately use — either the Air Force’s or the Navy’s. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, introduced legislation that was included in the House’s version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that requires the Space Force adopt the same ranks as the Navy.

However, lawmakers will have to hash out the issue later this year, given that a similar measure was not inserted into the Senate’s version of the legislation.

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