An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Air Force Symbol now official

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melanie Streeter
  • Air Force Print News
The Air Force symbol became official May 5, four years to the day from when the service first applied for trademark protection.

"I'm proud our symbol is now an official part of our heritage," said Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper. "It represents our storied past and links our 21st Century Air Force to our core values and capabilities."

The decision to designate it as the official symbol of the Air Force demonstrates the service's conviction to preserving the symbol's integrity and should ease concerns that the symbol is temporary or remains a test. Trademark protection designates the Symbol as exclusive property of the Air Force and gives the service authority to control and enforce its use.

A team of lawyers, public affairs officers, artists and historians are working to expand guidance and standards for the use of the symbol. An official Air Force Instruction is scheduled for release in fiscal 2005.

In the mean time, the intent is to expand use of the symbol today and protect it for the future. Use must be consistent with applicable Air Force instructions and symbol guidelines posted at 

When the Air Force began testing the symbol in 2001, the service deployed it on a limited number of base entry signs and water towers and a small number of aircraft and vehicles as test cases. Acceptance during the test was so widespread that in 2002, 90% of Airmen surveyed thought the symbol was already official.

"Since then, I've seen Airmen wear it, drive it, eat it, carry it, embroider it and even brand it," said Maj. René Stockwell, Air Force Public Affairs National Outreach and Communications division, who manages and executes the symbol Trademark licensing program.

The service is licensing use of the symbol on a variety of commercial goods, from candy and furniture to tires and jewelry, that allow Airmen to display their service pride off-duty.

On duty, the service is offering the symbol on optional military tie tacs, the proposed utility uniform and grey boots, the Air Force lightweight blue jacket and is showcasing it in Air Force marketing campaigns.
"We've used the Symbol to help encourage people to join, Airmen to stay and build understanding, appreciation and support for America's Air Force," Major Stockwell said.

Air Force members and their families can help protect the integrity of the symbol by adhering to the guidelines online, the major said. They have an implied license to use the Air Force symbol on personal items such as printed materials, food, clothing, literature, briefings, etc. However, these items must be intended for personal or internal use only, not used for retail sales, advertising or unauthorized endorsements.

Any commercial use of the symbol, by individuals or companies, requires completion of a license agreement with the Air Force, Major Stockwell said.

For questions not covered online, contact the Air Force Symbol office via e-mail at Due to the number of requests expect a delayed response.