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Author Topic: Service coast for cadets? Epaulets ok for all?  (Read 1946 times)
BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 32
Unit: SER-FL-466

« on: February 12, 2018, 09:58:09 AM »

Please pardon if this has been covered before. My search failed to find it.

I would like to get my cadet son a service coat. He is enlisted, but hopefully will make officer someday. It would be nice to get one coat and hope he does not outgrow it before he makes officer. Is it ok to get the one with epaulets for him? From CAP M39-1:

"4.1.5.2.  Coat.  The men‘s service dress coat will be polyester and wool-blend, serge weave;
semi-drape, single-breasted with three USAF “Wing and star” or CAP Crest buttons and will have one
welt pocket on the upper left side and two lower pocket flaps. Officers will wear the service coat with
epaulets; NCOs will wear the coat without epaulets. Adults without grade who will become officers will
wear the service coat with epaulets; adults without grade who will become NCOs will wear the service
coat without epaulets. Cadets may wear either style."

That seems pretty clear to me, but I don't want to get it wrong since they are hard to get if one does not have base access and it would be just swell to only have to do it once.

Sometimes I wonder if the manual could be reorganized in sections for each type of member. For example, a section for seniors able to wear Air Force style, a section for seniors who wear corporate and a section for cadets. It might mean more pages, but since most of us are using it in PDF form, that really doesn't matter as much anymore.

Thanks in advance!
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NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,853
Unit: of issue

« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 10:08:14 AM »

You are correct, cadets may wear both.

To be fair: I have seen plenty cadets "convert" an NCO service coat to Cadet Officer by adding velcro for their shoulder boards and nobody is the wiser (the shoulder board covers the epaulet nearly completely).

But if you have a choice, get him the one with epaulets and he'll be fine.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 32
Unit: SER-FL-466

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 10:30:05 AM »

Thank you sir! There have been several times so far I have not understand the obvious, so the help is greatly appreciated.
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,242

« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 11:17:12 AM »

A couple things to keep in mind:
1. The officer style is more expensive. At Military Clothing Sales, I have seen it run up to $50 more.
2. Depending on your cadet's age, them outgrowing the service coat before making C/2d LT can be a certainty.
3. Cadets do NOT wear the sleeve braid. Even if they are wearing the officer style service coat. Even if they have attained C/Col.
4. Cadet officers are not required to wear the officer style service coat.

On your note about the organization of CAPM 39-1, there are more things in common between the senior and cadet wear of the uniforms than there are differences. Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,145

« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 12:22:19 PM »

Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

I have yet to see anyone actually enforce this. And it annoys me to no end that it isn't enforced.

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GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 170
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 12:41:32 PM »

>1. The officer style is more expensive. At Military Clothing Sales, I have seen it run up to $50 more.<

A lot more expensive. I think the new ones at our store are about $179.
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MrsRoe
Member

Posts: 61

« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 12:44:09 PM »

A couple things to keep in mind:
1. The officer style is more expensive. At Military Clothing Sales, I have seen it run up to $50 more.
2. Depending on your cadet's age, them outgrowing the service coat before making C/2d LT can be a certainty.
3. Cadets do NOT wear the sleeve braid. Even if they are wearing the officer style service coat. Even if they have attained C/Col.
4. Cadet officers are not required to wear the officer style service coat.

On your note about the organization of CAPM 39-1, there are more things in common between the senior and cadet wear of the uniforms than there are differences. Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

Which sleeve braid are you referring to? Is that different from a cord?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Just a new SM and mom of a CAP kid trying to figure it out one acronym at a time
kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 910

« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 01:03:09 PM »

You are correct, cadets may wear both.

To be fair: I have seen plenty cadets "convert" an NCO service coat to Cadet Officer by adding velcro for their shoulder boards and nobody is the wiser (the shoulder board covers the epaulet nearly completely).

But if you have a choice, get him the one with epaulets and he'll be fine.

Velcro is how the shoulder boards are supposed to be attached no matter if there are epaulets or not.

I would recommend getting a service coat without epaulets.  The cadet officer shoulder boards will work better on a jacket without epaulets since they are velcro'd in place.  You will need to put a few stitches in the velcro to keep it on the jacket.  The glue on the velcro doesn't hold very well.  You just need to put a few stitches in each corner and may in between the corners.
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AlphaSigOU
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,163
Unit: PCR-NV-069

The Kwaj Drafter!
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 01:16:17 PM »

A couple things to keep in mind:
1. The officer style is more expensive. At Military Clothing Sales, I have seen it run up to $50 more.
2. Depending on your cadet's age, them outgrowing the service coat before making C/2d LT can be a certainty.
3. Cadets do NOT wear the sleeve braid. Even if they are wearing the officer style service coat. Even if they have attained C/Col.
4. Cadet officers are not required to wear the officer style service coat.

On your note about the organization of CAPM 39-1, there are more things in common between the senior and cadet wear of the uniforms than there are differences. Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

Which sleeve braid are you referring to? Is that different from a cord?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


The sleeve braid is a 1/2" dark blue braid worn 3" from the end of the finished officer coat sleeve. New officer service coats usually include enough braid length for the alterations shop to add. It is only authorized for senior member officers; cadets do not wear the braid.
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Lt Col Charles E. (Chuck) Corway, CAP
Gill Robb Wilson Award (#2901 - 2011)
Amelia Earhart Award (#1257 - 1982) - C/Major (retired)
Billy Mitchell Award (#2375 - 1981)
Administrative/Personnel/Professional Development Officer
Nellis Composite Squadron (PCR-NV-069)
KJ6GHO - NAR 45040
MrsRoe
Member

Posts: 61

« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 01:16:58 PM »

Thank you ❤️


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Just a new SM and mom of a CAP kid trying to figure it out one acronym at a time
AlphaSigOU
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,163
Unit: PCR-NV-069

The Kwaj Drafter!
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 01:28:03 PM »

For those senior member officers needing information to give to a civilian alterations shop (base alterations shops already are familiar) on how to attach the officer sleeve braid.


NOT FOR CADETS!!!
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Lt Col Charles E. (Chuck) Corway, CAP
Gill Robb Wilson Award (#2901 - 2011)
Amelia Earhart Award (#1257 - 1982) - C/Major (retired)
Billy Mitchell Award (#2375 - 1981)
Administrative/Personnel/Professional Development Officer
Nellis Composite Squadron (PCR-NV-069)
KJ6GHO - NAR 45040
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,853
Unit: of issue

« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 01:42:43 PM »

Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

I have yet to see anyone actually enforce this. And it annoys me to no end that it isn't enforced.

Not only have I seen it enforced, but it freaks me out to see C/TSgt on corporates.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,242

« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 02:03:15 PM »

Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

I have yet to see anyone actually enforce this. And it annoys me to no end that it isn't enforced.

I have seen it enforced - much to the cadet's chagrin.
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PA Guy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 730

« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 02:05:16 PM »

Also, some cadets do wear the corporate uniforms (18+ and do not meet ht/wt standards).

I have yet to see anyone actually enforce this. And it annoys me to no end that it isn't enforced.

I have seen it enforced at some NCSAs   :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 287

« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 04:30:16 PM »

You are correct, cadets may wear both.

To be fair: I have seen plenty cadets "convert" an NCO service coat to Cadet Officer by adding velcro for their shoulder boards and nobody is the wiser (the shoulder board covers the epaulet nearly completely).

But if you have a choice, get him the one with epaulets and he'll be fine.

Velcro is how the shoulder boards are supposed to be attached no matter if there are epaulets or not.

I would recommend getting a service coat without epaulets.  The cadet officer shoulder boards will work better on a jacket without epaulets since they are velcro'd in place.  You will need to put a few stitches in the velcro to keep it on the jacket.  The glue on the velcro doesn't hold very well.  You just need to put a few stitches in each corner and may in between the corners.

Agreed.  I've only helped one cadet with the shoulder boards on epaulets, and I immediately saw that using an enlisted coat with no epaulets would be best.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,085

« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 09:49:09 PM »

You are correct, cadets may wear both.

To be fair: I have seen plenty cadets "convert" an NCO service coat to Cadet Officer by adding velcro for their shoulder boards and nobody is the wiser (the shoulder board covers the epaulet nearly completely).

But if you have a choice, get him the one with epaulets and he'll be fine.

Velcro is how the shoulder boards are supposed to be attached no matter if there are epaulets or not.

I would recommend getting a service coat without epaulets.  The cadet officer shoulder boards will work better on a jacket without epaulets since they are velcro'd in place.  You will need to put a few stitches in the velcro to keep it on the jacket.  The glue on the velcro doesn't hold very well.  You just need to put a few stitches in each corner and may in between the corners.

Agreed.  I've only helped one cadet with the shoulder boards on epaulets, and I immediately saw that using an enlisted coat with no epaulets would be best.

And a lot cheaper!
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BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 32
Unit: SER-FL-466

« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 10:45:37 PM »

If one can't get a coat from the exchange, the only sources appear to have little price difference between enlisted and officers. The primary source is eBay and that's hit or miss as to size and condition. Are there other sources besides the exchange or eBay?
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 910

« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 11:57:38 PM »

Not really.  There is not a very big market for USAF dress uniforms so you will rarely see them in surplus stores, even if they are near a large USAF base.  If you are near an Air Force base they may have a thrift shop on base that has some for a good price.  There is one near me and service coats go for under $35.
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BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 32
Unit: SER-FL-466

« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 10:22:08 PM »

Not really.  There is not a very big market for USAF dress uniforms so you will rarely see them in surplus stores, even if they are near a large USAF base.  If you are near an Air Force base they may have a thrift shop on base that has some for a good price.  There is one near me and service coats go for under $35.

Thanks! I'll keep watching eBay!
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Levi Lockling
Seasoned Member

Posts: 346
Unit: AZ-085

« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2018, 06:09:52 AM »

You are correct, cadets may wear both.

To be fair: I have seen plenty cadets "convert" an NCO service coat to Cadet Officer by adding velcro for their shoulder boards and nobody is the wiser (the shoulder board covers the epaulet nearly completely).

But if you have a choice, get him the one with epaulets and he'll be fine.

Velcro is how the shoulder boards are supposed to be attached no matter if there are epaulets or not.

I would recommend getting a service coat without epaulets.  The cadet officer shoulder boards will work better on a jacket without epaulets since they are velcro'd in place.  You will need to put a few stitches in the velcro to keep it on the jacket.  The glue on the velcro doesn't hold very well.  You just need to put a few stitches in each corner and may in between the corners.

Agreed.  I've only helped one cadet with the shoulder boards on epaulets, and I immediately saw that using an enlisted coat with no epaulets would be best.
I don't know where y'all seem to be getting this impression, because back WIWAC, I found that sewing through the epaulet on my old style service coat was way easier than sewing through my new-style NCO jacket's shoulder area. I was then able to replace the button that holds the epaulet down with some snaps, which allowed easy access to put on shoulder cords. It also made the jacket look a lot cleaner, as there wasn't a "Duplicate button," under the shoulder board's buttons.

Don't get me wrong, the new style looked decent too, and wasn't impossible to get right. But many cadet officers who did as I did often ended up lining the shoulder boards up with the seam running across the top, which gave the board a "perched," appearance, rather than a "resting," one. Wearing shoulder cords was also much more difficult, as the edge was always slightly exposed under the shoulder board, and you had to secure it in multiple places underneath the jacket(Already required, but rarely done anyway)to keep it from going anywhere or falling off. The placement and shoulder cord issues are readily solved with epaulets.

Just my $.02.  ::)
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1stLt Levi H. Lockling
SrA, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013
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