The Airman First Class metal rank insignia is worn on the epaulets of the Blue Cardigan (with or without tie for males and without tie tab for females), the White Cardigan (worn only by females with Maternity Jumper and Blouses), and the Blue Pullover Sweater. It’s also worn on the collars of both the Topcoat and the All-Weather Coat and on the shirt worn with Medical Scrubs.

When the United States Air Force was created from the U.S. Army Air Force in 1947, it designated its enlisted pay grades with many of the rank titles from the Army and the USAAF. At that time, the E-3 enlisted pay grade—today’s Airman First Class—was named Corporal or Technician Fifth Grade; the latter was indicated by the addition of the letter “T” under the two stripes. In 1948, the grade was redesignated simply as Corporal.

To helped the newly birthed military branch forge a unique identity and boost esprit de corps, Air Force Chief of Staff announced in February 1952 that enlisted personnel would have the generic title of “Airmen,” giving them a distinct appellation similar to “Soldiers” and “Sailors.” This new nomenclature helped shape the name of the grades when they were redesignated in April 1952, when the E-3 grade became Airman Second Class. The current designation of Airman First Class and the insignia of two chevrons (stripes) was approved in 1967.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.