Airman First Class tie tacks and clasps are authorized only for Airmen currently serving in the E-3 pay grade when wearing uniforms for which the necktie (regular or pre-tied ) is required or optional. Tacks and clasps are centered on the necktie midway between the bottom of the knot and bottom of the tie; the tie tip must fall far enough to cover a portion of the belt buckle without extending past its bottom.
The Air Force’s uniquely designed chevrons, which point downward and have stripes that are slightly curved, were introduced in 1948 following a poll of enlisted personnel at Bolling Air Force Base regarding their opinions on a variety of chevron designs. But the design was in danger of being replaced following the 1952 approval of new chevrons for E-2 Airman through E-4 Airman First Class (the E-3 rank designation at that time was Airman Second Class). Instead of curved, angled chevrons, the new stripes would be horizontal in order to make the Staff, Technical, and Master Sergeant chevrons more distinct and recognizable.

But in 1952 the Air Force had a significant surplus of the old insignias on hand, and rather than throwing them away at a loss, the decision was made to delay the introduction of the new design until the backlog of old chevrons was tapped out. That happened at the start of 1956—but when a memo was sent to the Air Force Chief of Staff reminding him of the design change, he replied curtly “No change to be made in insignia,” and the matter was soon forgotten.

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