400 (Birkenhead) Squadron

Air Training Corps

Your Uniform

Uniform is an integral part of an Air Cadet's life. This information will help cadets learn how to look after their uniforms. For a more detailed guide, view the AP1358C.

There are three different types of uniform;

Working Blues
Parade Shoes • Black socks • Belt • RAF Blue Trousers/Skirt • Working Blue Shirt • Jumper (September-May) • Beret  • Brassard

Wedgewood Blues (worn on formal occassions and parades)
Parade Shoes • Black Socks • RAF Blue Trousers/Skirt • Belt • Wedgewood Blue (Light Blue) Shirt • Tie • Jumper in cooler months • Beret • Brassard

DPM/MTP (Night Exercises, Camouflage and Concealment or anything else needing camouflage)
Combat Boots • DPM (disrupted pattern material) or MTP (Multi Terrain Pattern) trousers • Olive green or black shirt • OG ribbed jumper • Combat Jacket • Scrim netting around neck • Beret

Looking After Your Uniform

Parade Shoes
To get an ideal smooth shine on RAF shoes you should just build up layers and layers of Black and DARK TAN yes DARK TAN (Kiwi works
 best). The tan stops the shoe from going dull and gives a deeper gloss. First get a cup or bowl of the hottest water your finger can stand, wrap your finger into the dusting cloth (softer the better) and soak the end of it. Then get a fair amount of polish on the end and work it in with big circles don't just rub it in!! Work around the shoe doing this and for every four or five layers of black polish use a layer of dark tan.

After you think your shoes are smooth enough it is time to start bulling. Get another bowl of hot water and just touch the waters surface so there is only the smallest amount on the cloth and then get the same smallest amount of polish on the tip of your finger and work it in this time use small circles and slowly your shoes will become glossy.

The final stage is to get the faint smears off the surface (and if you have done them correctly you will have faint smears!!) get a cotton wool ball and soak it with cold water DO NOT USE HOT AS IT WILL MELT THE POLISH AND YOU WILL HAVE TO START AGAIN. When the smears have gone blow all the water off the shoes and you will have a fantastic looking pair of shoes, providing you have cleaned the welts first!

The aim is to get sharp creases all the way up the trousers. We suggest lying the trousers flat on the ironing board. Then get a hankerchief or brown paper and lay them over the trousers where the crease should be, and push the crease in with the iron. Push down hard - within reason! - and move the iron over the length of the trousers, repeating for each leg. The creases should last for a long time.

The belt is relatively easy to polish. First remove the buckle by carefully rotating the bar on the back, with the teeth holding it onto the belt. Now take some metal polish, e.g. - Brasso, and wet some cotton wool with this. Then, in the same circular motion as parade shoe polishing, buff the whole of the belt buckle. After a short while your belt should come to a high shine. N.B. You frequently have to change your cotton wool as it soon goes black.

This is probably the easiest to maintain. All that is needed to keep it in good condition is, if it starts to get "fluffy" then give it a quick shave, not literally with foam and razor, but by using a small, inexpensive razor. Being careful not to cut the jumper, remove any sticking out fibres.

Shirts (Wedgewood and Working blue)
These are fairly easy to maintain - just ensure that they stay neatly ironed. There is no need for excessive ironing, All that is required is that no creases where there shouldn’t be, and that there are no marks or stains on it. Ensure there is a sharp crease running from the top of the shoulder to the cuffs, as on a normal shirt.

First, wet the beret (do not get the leather strap wet, it will shrink!!) then place it on your head. Make sure that the beret badge over your left eye, and pull down the right side so that the badge sticks out a little. Then try and make the beret as smooth as possible. Once you've got the shape that you want, place the beret on a football or over the edge of a table, so it keeps it's shape.

Iron until flat with no creases. Not sure where your badges go, then click

This is toi be worn with the wedgewood blue shirt only. We use a Windsor knot to tie it. Please click here for a guide on how to use the Windsor knot

First, turn the skirt inside out, then put it over the end of the ironing board and iron it flat until all the creases are out.

Combat Jacket
Iron until flat. Remember that it's DPM or MTP
, so creases are hard to see. Iron all pockets flat against the jacket and sew on any missing buttons.(Don't iron creases in MTP)

DPM Trousers
As above. (Don't iron creases in MTP)

Combat boots
When on a night-ex. or needing camouflage: Clean with water to remove any dirt off and put on a thin layer of polish. These boots do not have to be shiny.

Shooting and non-camouflage boots: Clean the boots with water, then dry. Take 2 brushes and use one to put the polish on and the other to brush it in. Then use the same method as with parade shoes to buff the toe caps.

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