Air Force releases guidance for wear of PTU

  • Published
  • By Brad Jessmer
  • Air Force Uniform Office Public Affairs
The Air Force has released guidance this month for wear of the physical training uniform, replacing previous guidance in Air Force Instruction36-2903.

According to the message released from Air Force A1 and signed by Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, deputy chief of staff for Manpower and Personnel, effective immediately, individual items making up the PTU and improved PTU are considered uniform items.

A1 officials said this means that strict attention must be given to every item of the PTU, just as the items on Airmen Battle Uniforms or dress uniforms. However, individual items of the PTU may be worn with conservative civilian attire during personal PT or when off-duty.

Wear of the PTU is mandatory during physical fitness assessments, or PFA, and while participating in organized PT events as designated by the commander. Unit commanders will determine the PTU configuration.

If PTU/IPTU items are worn during personal PT, the following is required:

- During periods of low light, reflective belts and armbands are required when wearing the optional running shorts. Reflective accessories are optional when wearing the standard PTU, which already includes reflective material.
- Footwear is to remain conservative. No bright colors or excessive ornamentation is to be worn.
- Socks must be white, but small trademark logos are acceptable.
- The PTU jacket must be zipped at least halfway between the waistband and collar. Sleeves will end within 1 inch off the wrist.
- The PTU running pants waistband will rest at or within 2 inches of the natural waistline. Both pant legs will extend below the ankles and will be zipped to within 1 inch of the bottom.
- Both the PTU shorts and running shorts will rest at or within 2 inches of the natural waistline.
- The short sleeve PTU shirt will be tucked into shorts or running pants at all times. Do not remove or cut sleeves.
- The long sleeve PTU shirt will be tucked into the PTU shorts or running pants at all times. Do not push up, remove or cut sleeves.
- The optional IPTU sweatshirt will extend no lower than 6 inches below the natural waistline. Do not push up, remove or cut sleeves.
- Undergarments must be appropriate and worn with all uniform combinations.
- Short or full-length spandex may be worn under both the PTU and IPTU, but colors must only consist of black or dark blue.
- Headgear may be authorized by commanders, but may only consist of either a solid black or dark blue baseball cap with the Air Force symbol or "U.S. Air Force" logos. Headgear is to be worn outdoors only.
- Bandanas are not authorized unless due to medical waiver condition.
- Cold weather accessories may be worn outdoors only.
-- The knit watch cap will be plain solid black, dark blue or sage green without any logos.
-- Gloves will be plain solid black or dark blue without any logos.
-- Scarves and earmuffs will be solid black or dark blue, and may wrap around either the top or rear of the head.
-- Green or black fleece is not authorized with the PTU/IPTU. 

- The IPTU running suit top or bottom may not be mixed with the current PTU running suit top or bottom.
- The lining of the PTU/IPTU shorts may be removed, but no other uniform alterations are authorized.
- Headphones are authorized inside fitness centers or designated running areas, unless prohibited by the commander.
- Personal grooming and appearance standards apply during physical fitness activities with one exception: Long female hair will be secured but may have loose ends.
- Proper military customs and courtesies, standing at attention and saluting, to honor the flag during reveille and retreat will apply. Saluting due to rank is not required when wearing the PTU.

The few exceptions to this policy are at the discretion of commanders for accessions, professional military education, or academic training when unit distinction is required, such as identifying instructors from students. Temporary adjustments may also be authorized when safety is a concern, or in a deployed location. Any long-term exceptions to this policy must be submitted through the respective major command to Headquarters Air Force A1 for approval.

Any questions regarding this policy should be addressed through the proper chain of command.