Uniform is issued to cadets on a temporary basis: it belongs to the Royal Air Force throughout the time that you loan it, which is until you hand it back in at the end of your cadet career, or when you outgrow it.

It is of utmost importance to look after your uniform until it is handed in. Responsibility lies with the cadet, not their parents, to keep uniform in a clean and serviceable manner!

It is also good practice to learn how to iron and look after your kit yourself. If you get into the habit of getting parents, grandparents or anybody else to look after it for you, when you go away on activities, you will find that you cannot look after your own kit, and so will score very low on inspections.

Types of Uniform

RAF No 2A (Wedgwood (Light) blues)

  • Beret
  • Brassard
  • Blue belt
  • RAF blue jumper
  • RAF blue trousers / skirt
  • Parade shoes*
  • Black socks* / nearly black tights*
  • Wedgwood shirt and tie (Windsor knot)

RAF No 2C (Working (Dark) blues)

  • Beret
  • Brassard
  • Blue belt
  • RAF blue jumper
  • RAF blue trousers / skirt
  • Parade shoes*
  • Black socks* / nearly black tights*
  • Dark blue shirt 

RAF No 3 (MTP or DPM)

  • Beret
  • Olive green (OG) t-shirt*
  • MTP or DPM shirt
  • MTP or DPM trousers
  • Olive green belt
  • Thick black / olive green socks*
  • Black assault boots (Brown for MTP)*
  • MTP or DPM smock

Notes:

MTP is the newer style pattern for No 3 uniform; it is likely that DPM will be phased out in the near future. 

* Must be bought privately.

† May need to be bought privately.

Uniform Care

How should the beret be worn?

  • The beret is worn so that the headband (edge binding) is horizontal across the head, one 1 inch (25cm) above the eyebrows.
  • The badge must be clearly displayed in a position above the left eye.
  • The excess material is draped over to the right ear, extending to at least the top of the ear, and no lower than the middle of the ear.
  • Females with long hair are required to wear a hair net the colour of which must match their hair colour as closely as possible.
  • When worn properly, the beret is formed to the shape of the head, therefore, cadets should not wear hairstyles that cause distortion of the beret.

How To Shape Your Beret

  • Place the beret in on your head with the headband horizontal across the forehead, one 1 inch (25cm) above the eyebrows.
  • Pull the headband drawstring tight and tie it off in a square knot.
  • Take the beret and dunk it in warm (not hot!) water.
  • Once you get it soaking wet, put it on your head and pull the stiff badge mounting over your left eye and smooth the material over your head and pull it down towards your right ear. It should just touch your ear or go just below that.
  • Once you've got it all set, wear it for a while until it's almost dry.
  • Carefully take it off and set it down to dry. You may need to shape it a few times to get it right.
  • Once you're happy with its shape, conceal the excess headband drawstring by tucking it into the edge binding (Do not cut it off as this will prevent future adjustment).
  • Fit your badge onto the mounting and secure it with the split pin.

The jumper is to be kept clean with no holes, and lightly pressed so that there are no creases. The epaulettes should be damp pressed and the cuffs should be worn turned back. If your jumper starts to get 'fluffy', then remove the fluff with a razor (taking care not to rip the jumper) or a de-fuzzer.

Both shirts should be cleaned and well ironed at all times, with a single crease in the sleeves. This crease goes from the centre of the epaulette to the furthermost pleat from the button at the end of the sleeve.

You only wear your tie with the wedgwood shirt in a Windsor knot. If you ever have to remove creases in the tie iron it on the reverse on a cool setting.

Your brassard should not have any creases in it and should be occasionally ironed on the reverse side to iron out any creases. The brassard badges need to be positioned correctly: ask if you are unsure where one goes, or check the badges page.

These are to be kept in a clean and well-pressed condition at all times. Creases are to run down the front and back of each trouser leg. A good way to get better creases is to use a dampened tea-towel over the top of the trousers so that the iron can be hot, but doesn’t burn the material. There should be a sharp crease down the front and back of the trousers.

The skirt should be pressed to ensure a creaseless finish. You should iron lightly with a tea-towel, as described for trousers.

The current regulation colour for tights is ‘nearly black'.

Socks must be black and no other colour with no logos, stripes, or anything added to them.

Male shoes should be bulled on the toecap, then polished to a good shine on the body of the shoe. Female shoes should be bulled at the front of the shoe and polished to a good shine on the body. Visible areas of the shoe, including welts, should be kept clean. These shoes should not be 'cross laced’.

To polish, use plain black shoe polish and some water. Take a small piece of cotton wool, dunk it in the water, and squeeze off any excess. Rub this in the polish to pick up a small amount, and rub small circles very lightly into the shoe. Keep doing this until a shine starts to appear, replacing the cotton wool balls as needed. Once you have finished polishing run the shoe under a tap to remove any water droplets.

Jewellery and watches may be worn as long as they are not visible. Girls may wear discreet makeup and one simple gold stud on each ear if their ears are already pierced. Only engagement or wedding rings are to be worn.