1949 - 1965


The USAF Summer Tan Shade 193 Service Dress uniform was replaced by the Blue Shade 1084 year round all season service dress. After 15 October 1965, the summer tan uniform could no longer be worn and was no longer covered by regulations.


The summer service dress uniform is identical in style and design to the winter shade 84 blue service dress uniform except for some obvious differences. The largest differences are the color and types of material used. The shade used for the summer service dress is referred to as USAF shade 193 tan. Tan shade 61 was also used prior to 1953. Over the years, many officers would refer to the summer service dress coat uniform as their “silver-tans.” They were referred to as “Silver Tans” because of the silver looking tint in the tan/khaki color. When compared to the US Army khaki summer service dress, the US Air Force “silver-tans” are quit distinctive.


The tan USAF Shade 193 service dress coat was also known as the summer coat. Various materials were authorized for use on the summer dress uniform. The different materials for the summer coat included all wool tropical worsted 10 ounce, all wool gabardine 11 ounce, all wool charmeen-type gabardine 10 ounce, tropical worsted or gabardine 8 to 11 ounces in a mixture of 60% maximum polyester fiber (dacron) and 50% maximum wool, and finally, tropical worsted in a mixture of 60% maximum polyester fiber (dacron) and 50% maximum viscoat rayon.


The coat is a semi-drape, single-breasted, four-button model with pleated breast pockets and lower blouse pockets. The summer coat was required for officers only.



Figure 1: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

 Tan Shade 193 Summer Service Dress Coat.



Figure 2: USAF Tan Shade 193 Service Dress Coat. Note pockets and the shade of tan.

Lower pockets were always fondly referred to Captain Kangaroo pockets.


The buttons used on Air Force uniforms are oxidized silver-color medal of suitable composition and weight, circular, and slightly convex with raised rim, the Seal of the Department of the Air Force in clear relief against a horizontally lined background. The button measurements are: 45 ligne at one and one-eight inches; 36 ligne at nine-tenths of an inch; 30 ligne at three-quarters of an inch; 25 ligne at five-eights of an inch; and 20 ligne at one-half of an inch.



Figure 3: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

Button types and sizes found on USAF uniforms.


Proper Fit Instructions: The service coat should always be fitted when the undergarment shirt and tie is worn. The coat is a semi-drape model slightly suppressed at the waist and never formfitting. A well-fitted service coat will have ease in the shoulders, chest and underarm. The sleeve should extend to one-quarter inch from the heel of the thumb when the arms are hanging naturally. The length of the coat is proportioned to the height of the figure. A standard guide is that the bottom of the coat should be fingertip length when arms hang naturally and hands are slightly cupped.


The trousers are to match the coat in color USAF Shade 193. The material for the winter trousers will be made of the same material used for the coat. Trousers are full cut, straight hanging, and without cuff. When pleats are worn they will face in towards the fly. Rear pocket tabs are required on all tan service dress trousers.



Figure 4: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

Tan Shade 193 Summer Service Dress Trousers.


Proper Fit Instructions: Trousers should be trim fitting without bunching at waist or bagging at seat. Standard stock trousers come in extra short, short, regular, long, and extra long inseam length. Personnel should familiarize themselves with one of the mentioned sizes which best fits their physical dimensions. Prescribed length is without a break in the crease and with the bottom of the trousers barely resting on the shoe in the front.


The belt required for service dress will be for winter and summer. Will be of USAF Shade Blue 89, of woven cotton webbing material with silver color metal tips. Buckles are plain satin finish, nickel silver-color medal. The prescribed width of the belt is one and one-quarter inches. The prescribed buckle is approximately one and one-half inches wide and two inches long. The end of the belt will not extend beyond one and one-half inches of the buckle. Optional fabrics will include elastic and plastic materials in blue. Suspenders are an optional item but must be of plain solid blue material. Suspenders must be worn underneath the coat and not be exposed at any time.


The required undergarment shirt to be worn with the tan summer service dress is USAF tan shade 505 cotton poplin and was required for officers only. The tan shirt worn under the summer coat is the one-pocket civilian type (no shoulder loops). The tan shirt could be of poplin material, with medium pointed, non-flaring collar or of oxford cloth, with modified spread collar. Sleeves should extend to the heel of the thumb so as to permit approximately one-quarter inch to extend beyond the sleeve of the coat.


The necktie required to be worn with the under garment shirt is for winter and summer. The necktie for the service uniform will be USAF Blue 84, four in-hand civilian type, unlined and constructed of all wool tropical worsted fabric 8 to 10 ounces without design or sheen.  Optional fabrics would include all wool, synthetics, and blends thereof in tropical worsted, twill, or woven weave without design or sheen.



Figure 5: From AFM 35-10: Tan shade 505 cotton poplin style shirt.


The Service Cap and Flight Cap are both appropriate for use with the summer uniform. The service cap is the visor type with dark blue, three-quarter inch braid and a front chinstrap of black leather. Material is wool serge, blue, for winter and summer. Caps are packed with a medal packing grommet that must be removed before wearing. The wearing of the service cap without the soft rolled grommet is prohibited.


A lightweight service cap is also approved. A lightweight service cap of gabardine material is authorized for optional wear. It will be of the same basic design as the required service cap except the headband will be of an open mesh construction to give clear firm openings through the braid. Also as optional wear on all service caps, a rear chinstrap of black leather.



Figure 6: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

Service dress cap used with the summer tan shade 193 service dress uniform.


The required fabric for the service cap is Blue 84, fifteen-ounce wool serge. However, optional fabrics were allowed as the cap was regulation for both summer and winter. The optional fabrics are: all wool gabardine, 13 to 15 ounces; all wool (Venetian) gabardine, 13 ounce; all wool tropical worsted, 8 to 10 ounce; and all wool barathea, 15 ounce for officers only.


On the service cap, persons are distinguished by use of aluminum wire on the visor as follows: General Officer – black broadcloth covered visor embroidered in aluminum wire with the Air Force lightning, cloud and dart design identifying general officers; Colonels – black broadcloth covered visor embroidered in aluminum wire with Air Force lightning cloud, and dart design identifying colonels; and Officers, Warrant Officers and Airmen – black leather visor without design.



Figure 7: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

Top: General Officer - Middle: Colonel (eventually will also be

lieutenant colonel and major) – Bottom: all officer ranks below colonel.



The flight cap is the overseas type with insert braid corresponding to the grade. Persons are distinguished by use of braid inserted on the flight cap as follows: General Officers – silver colored braid; Officers and Warrant Officers – silver color and blue braid in diamond pattern; and Airmen – blue braid. Material is wool serge, Blue 84, fifteen-ounce for winter and summer. As an option, Venetian gabardine is authorized for winter and summer, tropical worsted is authorized for summer and barathea material for both winter and summer.



Figure 8: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

 Known as the flight, garrison or overseas cap.



Figure 9: Private collection. Solid silver colored braid for general rank officer.


The only USAF officer cap that changes in design is that of the USAF Chief of Staff or if the person also becomes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this case, the clouds with lightning bolts found on the visor also go around the band of the cap as well.




Figure 10: Private collection. USAF Chief of Staff cap worn by

General Charles Gabriel.


The shoes for service dress are low quarter, black, laced, smooth or scotch grain leather, with plain or plain-capped toes, and without perforations, buckles or straps. The upper part of the shoe is not to exceed anklebone height. Socks are of black wool, worsted, cotton, synthetic type or silk, without decoration.


How the summer service coat uniform is worn. Uniform items: Headgear – service cap or flight cap, blue shade 84; Tie – blue shade 84; Belt – blue shade 89; Shoes – black; and Socks – black. Materials in the coat and trousers are to match. Tan shade 193 service coat with tan shade 193 trousers and tan shade 505 undergarment poplin or oxford cloth shirt. The summer service uniform shade 193 was no longer authorized for use after 15 October 1965.



Figure 11: From AFM 35-10 and private collection.

USAF Tan Shade 193 Summer Service Dress Coat Uniform.



Figure 12: On 9 January 1953, General Clements McMullen

presents Captain Jimmie Pittard, Jr. with a special award

1,000 hours of flying time with the XC-99 on

scheduled runs from Kelly to the west coast. Notice the XC-99

in the background. General McMullen is wearing

 his Summer Shade 193 Tan Service Dress uniform.

Official USAF photo from the General McMullen estate collection.