Rumor Doctor blog archive
Air Force has not authorized wear of fanny packs
A super-secret source tipped the Rumor Doctor to what looks like an official Air Force message authorizing the wearing of a “hip or waist bag,” also known as a fanny pack.
“Only solid-color black hip or waist bags may be worn with blue uniform combinations; solid-color black olive drab or woodland camouflage are the only colors authorized” with the Battle Dress Uniform, according to the message spotted on Facebook. “Conservative manufacture logo is allowed. No ornamentation or design, nothing dangling.”
The Rumor Doctor doesn’t know much about fashion, so the (Google) search was on to find an expert to explain all things fanny pack.
As it turns out, they are more about function than fashion, said Ericka Chloe, of My Image Expert, a fashion and consulting firm in New York.
She sees possibilities for the modern airman. Rather than putting on a big backpack, fanny packs would allow servicemembers to store low-maintenance items that might otherwise fall out of their pockets.
“It’s a very rugged, outdoor kind of look,” she said. “You’ve got the fatigues color, the camouflage, the boots and they actually make fanny packs out of leather so they are a little more durable.”
They can be worn in lieu of a belt, and she suggested wearing them backward so the pack rests ruggedly over a back pocket.
The Air Force, however, does not see the utility of fanny packs.
“There is no guidance regarding the wear of fanny packs in uniform,” said Air Force spokesman 1st Lt. Derek White via e-mail. “Please refer to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel for current guidance.”
The Rumor Doctor’s Diagnosis: The message is fake. No fanny packs allowed.
However, the Doc has heard there is video out there of airmen displaying proper placement and wear of the fanny pack.
If you have said video, please put it to music from Lady Gaga and send it to the Rumor Doctor at: