While the Air Force uniform may not be a part of the retiree's everyday wardrobe, there are many occasions during which it is appropriate to wear it.
The governing directive, Air Force Instruction 36-2903, states that Air Force retirees may wear the uniform at occasions of military ceremonies, which include military funerals, weddings, memorial services, and inaugurals, patriotic parades on national holidays and at other military parades or ceremonies in which any active or Reserve U.S. military unit is taking part.
They may wear the uniform traveling to and from these functions as long as it is within 24 hours of the scheduled function. The instruction does not authorize retirees to wear the uniform when traveling by Space Available aircraft.
In addition, the uniform may be worn at social or other functions when the invitation has been influenced by the member's active service.
When wearing the uniform, retiree must also conform to the same standards of appearance (i.e. no beard and hair cut to military standards) , military customs practices, and conduct in uniform as prescribed for active duty members. This is particularly noteworthy since retirees are authorized to wear the appropriate uniform prescribed at the date of retirement or one of the uniforms currently authorized for active duty personnel, including the dress uniform.
Retirees are reminded that mixing uniform items (Example: currently prescribed trousers with a 1950s coat) is not authorized. Also, some retirees may not be exercising good judgement by trying to cram a late 1990s body into a 1970s uniform.
Retirees traveling or living outside the United States should remember that while it is not addressed in the instruction, host-country agreements and foreign clearance guides may come into play should they consider wearing the uniform in a foreign country.
Although it probably affects only a few retirees, the uniform may also be worn at educational institutions when engaged in giving military instructions or when responsible for military discipline.