Our 1/2-inch silver sleeve braid for Air Force Officer Mess Dress coats is manufactured in the United States with Mil-Spec materials and meets or surpasses all U.S. Air Force uniform standards. Officers in the rank of Colonel (O-6) and below wear a half-inch-wide silver braid on each coat sleeve of the Men’s and Women’s Formal and Mess Dress uniforms. Male Officers place the silver braid 3 inches above the bottom of the sleeve on the coats of these uniforms, while female Officers position it 2-1/2 inches from the bottom.

We offer our half-inch-wide silver braid in 30-inch strips (enough to place the braid on both sleeves of either coat) and by the yard.

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Many people associate the introduction of silver sleeve braids to U.S. Air Force Officer uniforms with the arrival of the “McPeak uniform” in 1991, but this is likely due to the fact that silver braids were added to the sleeves of the Service Dress uniform, eliminating the single dark blue braid that had been a part of the ensemble for nearly five decades. (The McPeak-era insignia regulations also mimicked Navy regulations by using multiple braids, different widths, and “darts and clouds” embroidery on sleeves to indicate rank).

But silver braids were first used three decades earlier with the introduction of the Informal White Uniform, a modified version of the White Dress uniform that itself had replaced the short-lived Tropical Dress uniform in the early Sixties. The Informal White uniform was essentially identical to the Blue Service Dress except in white and, of course, with silver sleeve and trouser braids.

In at least one edition of the old Air Force uniform manual (AFM 35-10), it was referred to as the White Ceremonial Dress uniform despite the fact that another uniform was authorized under that name, an incongruity that ended in 1989 when the Informal White uniform was discontinued. Silver sleeve braids were used on both these uniforms, and in 1983 they were added to the Mess Dress coat.

Arguably the most notable aspect of the Informal White uniform was that in addition to introducing silver sleeve braids, it also featured a new braid width, 1 1/2-inches, for wear by General Officers.

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.