Customs & Courtesies Header

Customs & Courtesies

 Saluting

Our customs and courtesies reflect the unique nature of our profession and guide significant aspects of our behavior. We emphasize our strong bond with other military members, as well as our mutual respect for one another and our civilian leadership. See AFI 34-1201, Protocol; Air Force Pamphlet (AFPAM) 34-1202, Guide to Protocol. 

Saluting is a courtesy exchanged between members of the uniformed Services as both a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect. The basic rules regarding saluting are:

Airmen salute the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Department Secretaries, all superior commissioned and warrant officers, all Medal of Honor recipients, and superior officers of friendly foreign nations.

 Airmen salute the President, the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Department Secretaries, and senior officers in vehicles when distinguished by vehicle plates and/or flags.

 Airmen do not, typically, salute indoors. However, it is appropriate to salute when formally reporting to a superior officer and during ceremonial events.

Airmen salute outdoors when in uniform, both on and off base, unless:

Precluded by duties, safety, injury, carrying objects which cannot be transferred to the left hand, or other legitimate reason. In this case, a respectful oral greeting is appropriate. If the senior member’s right arm is incapacitated, Airmen will still salute.

In a designated no-salute area. 

In military formation or work detail, in which case, only the senior member of the formation or detail salutes.

Saluting while in physical training gear is authorized, but not required.

Salutes between individuals are not required in public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical.

Respect for the United States Flag. Guidance on proper United States Flag protocols is addressed in AFI 34-1201. Airmen should be familiar the guidance and requirements concerning proper respect to the United States Flag.

When in uniform, Airmen salute the flag as it passes in front of them in a procession or parade. Airmen salute six paces before the flag passes before them and hold the salute until the flag has passed six paces beyond their position.

National Anthem. Airmen must show respect for the flag during the playing of the National Anthem, both indoors and outdoors, in uniform and while in civilian clothing.

Indoor Ceremonies. When in uniform, face the flag (if visible) or music. Stand at attention at the first note and maintain that position until the last note without rendering a salute. If in civilian clothing, Airmen stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.

Outdoor Ceremonies. When in uniform, face the flag (if visible) or music. Stand at attention and salute at the first note of the National Anthem and hold until completion of the last note. If in civilian clothing, Airmen should either stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart or render a salute. Civilian hats will be removed.

During the playing of the national anthems of recognized nations, render the same customs and courtesies as those given during the playing of the United States National Anthem.

Reveille and Retreat. Flags on stationary flag staffs are only saluted during reveille, retreat, or special ceremonies. In these cases, when outside and in uniform, consistent with safety and mission requirements, Airmen stop what they are doing, face the direction of the flag (if visible) or the music. Stand at parade rest during the sounding of retreat (which precedes the lowering of the flag), then come to attention and salute during the playing of the National Anthem or “To the Colors.” If driving a vehicle, stop if consistent with safety and mission requirements. Airmen and their passengers should sit quietly until the music ends.

Taps. Many installations play “Taps” to signify lights out at the end of the day. For these purposes, there are no formal protocol procedures required. However, upon hearing “Taps” at a military ceremony (military funeral/memorial ceremony), proper protocol dictates Airmen in uniform render appropriate honors consistent with protocol for the National Anthem, indoor and outdoor, until the music is complete.

Pledge of Allegiance. When in uniform and outdoors, stand at attention, face the flag, remain silent, and salute. If indoors, stand at attention, face the flag, and remain silent (where the participants are primarily civilians or in civilian attire, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is optional for those in uniform). When not in uniform, Airmen stand at attention, face the flag, place their right hand over their heart, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Civilian hats will be removed.

Respect for Retirees. Retirees are entitled to the same respect and courtesies as active military personnel. They will be addressed by their retired grade on all official records and official correspondence, except for correspondence and other matters relating to a retiree’s civilian employment. See AFI 36-3106, Retiree Activities Program.

Respect for Authority. Junior personnel shall employ a courteous and respectful bearing and mode of speech toward senior personnel. When addressed by an officer senior to them, junior personnel shall stand (unless seated at mess or unless circumstances make such action impracticable or inappropriate). Junior personnel shall walk or ride to the left of senior personnel whom they are accompanying. Senior personnel enter an aircraft or automobile last and leave first.

Titles of Address. Military personnel are addressed by their grade or title. Pay grade terms (e.g., E-9, O-6) are not to be used to address or identify military personnel. Officers are addressed by their grade name (e.g., Captain, Major, General) or “sir” or “ma’am.” Physicians and dental officers may be addressed as “Doctor.” Chaplains may be addressed as “Chaplain” or by their ecclesiastical title. Enlisted personnel are addressed in Figure 1.1. Figure 1.1. Air Force Enlisted Terms of Address.

 

Terms of Address

 Standards

Overview. The high standards of the Air Force mandate that personnel conduct themselves consistent with those standards. This includes treating others with genuine dignity, fairness, and respect at all times. Each Airman is entitled to fair, just, and unbiased treatment. Each Airman has the obligation to care for, teach, and lead others. Behavior that departs from those standards not only degrades public trust in the Air Force, but also puts mission accomplishment at risk. This chapter provides details of conduct that is either expected of all Airmen or prohibited and the basis for possible discipline. 2.2. Professional Relationships. While personal relationships between military members are normally matters of individual choice and judgment, they can in certain circumstances become matters of official concern. They become such matters when the relationships adversely affect, or have the reasonable potential to adversely affect, the Air Force by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, or mission accomplishment. See AFI 36-2909, Air Force Professional Relationships and Conduct. 2.2.1. Professional relationships are those interpersonal relationships that reflect Air Force standards of conduct and the Air Force Core Values. Effective professional relationships enhance morale, unit cohesion, good order and discipline and improve the operational environment while, at the same time, preserving proper respect for authority and focus on the mission. 2.2.2. With respect to relationships between superiors and subordinates, whether they are other military members or civilian employees, there is a balance that recognizes the appropriateness of a relationship. Social interaction that contributes appropriately to unit cohesiveness and effectiveness is encouraged. Relationships are unprofessional when they detract from the supervisor-to-subordinate authority or reasonably create the appearance of favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests. This is true whether pursued and conducted on or off duty. 2.2.3. Unprofessional relationships can develop between officers, between enlisted members, between officers and enlisted members, between officers or enlisted members and cadets, and between military personnel and civilian employees or contractor personnel when standards are not maintained. Unprofessional relationships conducted via electronic means (e.g., by phone, text messaging, social media) are no less corrosive to good order and discipline, and abuse by members in these forums shall result in the same degree of accountability. This includes avoiding inappropriate electronic friendships that compromise and degrade the officer/enlisted command and supervisory relationships. 2.2.4. The rank of cadet is a unique military rank reserved for cadets at the United States Air Force Academy and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. A cadet is neither enlisted, nor an officer. Dating, close friendships, or sexual relationships between cadets and officers or cadets and enlisted personnel are prohibited. More specific guidance concerning relationships among different classes of cadets is provided through the leadership of the United States Air Force Academy and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs. AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 15 2.2.5. There is a long-standing and well-recognized custom in military service, as well as set forth in the UCMJ and DAF issuances, that officers and enlisted personnel shall not fraternize. Fraternization exists when a relationship between an officer and an enlisted member puts the enlisted member on terms of military equality with the officer in such a way that prejudices good order and discipline in the armed forces or is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Excessive socialization and undue familiarity, real or perceived, degrades leadership and interferes with command authority and mission effectiveness. With the proliferation of social media and online video conferencing, the task of maintaining professionalism requires a heightened awareness to ensure full compliance regardless of the medium of interaction used. 2.2.6. Relationships in which one member exercises supervisory or command authority over another can become unprofessional. Similarly, differences in grade increase the risk that a relationship will be, or will be perceived to be, unprofessional because senior members in military organizations exercise authority, or have some direct or indirect organizational influence, over the duties and careers of junior members. The danger for abuse of authority, or the perception of such abuse, is always present. The ability of the senior member to influence assignments directly or indirectly, promotion recommendations, duties, awards, and other privileges and benefits, places both the senior member and the junior member in vulnerable positions. Once established, unprofessional relationships, such as inappropriate personal relationships and favoritism, do not go unnoticed by other members of a unit and call into question the superior’s impartiality toward the subordinate and his or her peers. Failure to maintain relationships between members in a strictly professional manner undermines morale, good order, and discipline, and corrodes the indispensable respect for the chain of command and unit cohesion. 2.2.7. Unprofessional relationships can develop between members of different Military Services when the relationships adversely affect or have the reasonable potential to adversely affect the Air Force by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, or mission accomplishment. 2.2.8. Civilian employees and contractor personnel are an integral part of the Air Force. These fellow Airmen and teammates contribute directly to readiness and mission accomplishment. Consequently, military members of all grades must maintain professional relationships with civilian employees and government contractor personnel they work with, supervise or direct, and must avoid relationships that adversely affect or are perceived to adversely affect morale, discipline, respect for authority, and unit cohesion, or that violate law or regulation. 2.3. Standards of Ethical Conduct. As Air Force members, Airmen must practice the highest standards of conduct and integrity, not only in our jobs, but also in our relationships with other people, in our personal financial dealings, and in our interaction with the civilian community; and must not engage in any conduct that is illegal or otherwise brings discredit to the Air Force. An Airman’s code of ethics must be such that our behavior and motives do not create even the appearance of impropriety. Each Airman’s commitment to integrity will lead the way for others to follow. 2.3.1. Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 2635.101 establishes the basic ethical principles that must be followed by federal employees: 2.3.1.1. Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain. 16 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 2.3.1.2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty. 2.3.1.3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest. 2.3.1.4. An employee shall not solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties. 2.3.1.5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties. 2.3.1.6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the government. 2.3.1.7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain. 2.3.1.8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual. 2.3.1.9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities. 2.3.1.10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official government duties and responsibilities. 2.3.1.11. Employees shall disclose fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities. 2.3.1.12. Employees shall satisfy, in good faith, their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those—such as federal, state, or local taxes—that are imposed by law. 2.3.1.13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all persons regardless of protected class. 2.3.1.14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. Whether circumstances create an appearance that the law or ethical standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts. 2.3.2. Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest is a personal interest or relationship that conflicts with the faithful performance of official duty. Under 18 U.S.C. § 208, a Federal employee is prohibited from participating personally and substantially in an official capacity in any matter in which, to his knowledge, he, or any person whose interests are imputed to him under this statute has a financial interest, if the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on that interest. 2.3.2.1. One method of identifying potential conflicts of interest and preventing them is by the timely filing of financial disclosure reports if the individual is a required filer. 2.3.2.2. Ethics counselors help required filers by reviewing financial reports, educating on the law and regulatory guidance, and assisting with remedies. AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 17 2.3.3. Gifts from outside sources. Federal Regulation 5 CFR 2635.202, et seq provides guidance for gifts from outside sources: 2.3.3.1. As a general rule, employees may not solicit or accept gifts given to them from a prohibited source or given to them because of their official position. A prohibited source is an entity or company that: 1) is seeking official action by DoD; 2) does business or seeks to do business with DoD; 3) conducts activities regulated by DoD; or 4) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of a DoD employee’s official duties. 2.3.3.2. There are limited exemptions and exceptions to the general rule including, but not limited to: 1) modest food and refreshments (non-alcoholic) not offered as part of a meal; 2) items intended primarily for presentation that have little intrinsic value (such as plaques, certificates, and trophies); 3) discounts and favorable rates offered to all government or all military personnel; 4) non-cash items with a value of $20 or less (not to exceed $50 per calendar year from a single source); and 5) gifts based on outside personal/family or business relationships (of the Airman or their spouse). 2.3.4. Gifts Between Employees. Federal Regulations (5 CFR 2635.301, et seq.) provides guidance on gifts between employees: 2.3.4.1. Employees may generally not accept gifts from subordinates or employees that make less pay than themselves. 2.3.4.2. Employees may not: 1) solicit a donation or a contribution from other personnel for a gift to a superior; 2) make a donation for a gift to a superior official, or 3) accept a gift from subordinate personnel, except under these circumstances: (a) voluntary gifts or contributions of nominal value (the solicitation of which should not exceed $10); (b) on occasions of special personal significance (e.g., marriage, birth of a child, bereavement); however, the gift must be appropriate to the occasion; (c) or on occasions that terminate the superior-subordinate relationship (e.g., retirement, permanent change of station or assignment); however, there is a $300 limit for a gift from any group that includes a subordinate. 2.3.5. Use of Government Resources, Time, and Title. 2.3.5.1. In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.704, federal employees have a duty to protect and conserve Government property as well as refrain from using or allowing its use for purposes other than those for which it is made available to the public or those authorized in accordance with law or regulation. 2.3.5.2. Federal Employees shall use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties, unless authorized under law or regulation to use official time for other purposes. See 5 CFR 2635.705[a]. 2.3.5.3. Per 5 CFR 2635.705(b), an employee shall not encourage, direct, coerce, or request a subordinate to use official time to perform activities other than those required in the performance of official duties or authorized in accordance with law or regulation. 2.3.5.4. Employees may not use or permit the use of their government positions, titles, or authority in a manner that could be reasonably construed to imply official endorsement or sanction of personal activities or non-Federal entities, 5 CFR 2635.702. However, per the 18 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 Joint Ethics Regulation (JER) 5500.07-R, 3-300(a)(1), use of grade and branch of Service are usually considered customary terms of address and do not imply official endorsement. 2.3.6. The Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), DoD 5500.07-R, provides additional guidance concerning acceptable ethical conduct by DoD personnel: 2.3.6.1. Employees may not engage in any personal commercial solicitation or sale to any military personnel junior in grade at any time—on or off-duty, in or out of uniform. This does not apply to the one-time sale of personal property, such as a home, boat, or car, where the junior buyer approaches the senior seller to engage in the transaction and the junior buyer receives fair market value for any purchase made. It also does not apply to off-duty DoD personnel employed—with appropriate supervisor permission—in retail stores or other situations that do not include solicited sales. See JER, paragraph 2-205. 2.3.6.2. Employees may not gamble or bet while on government-owned or leased property or while in a duty status, unless specifically authorized. See JER, paragraph 2-302. 2.3.6.3. Employees may not endorse, or appear to endorse, fundraising for any charitable purpose. However, there are limited exceptions to this prohibition including endorsement or the appearance of endorsement of fundraising for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF), and other organizations composed primarily of DoD employees or their dependents when fundraising among their own members for the benefit of welfare funds for their own members or their dependents. Supervisors may encourage subordinate participation in the AFAF Campaign and in the CFC generally (but may not endorse individual component charities). See JER, paragraph 3-210. 2.3.6.4. As members of private nonprofit and professional organizations, employees must avoid using, or appearing to use, their title, position, or DAF organization in a way that might suggest DAF or DoD endorsement of the private organization. Employees may participate in the management of such an organization so long as those duties do not interfere with their official DAF duties and the position of responsibility was not offered to them because of their official DAF position. See JER, paragraph 3-300.

 Duty Performance.

Our primary responsibility as Airmen is to do our part to accomplish the mission; however, accomplishing the mission requires more than just technical proficiency. Airman must be team members. We must be responsive and accomplish our duties in a timely and efficient manner. We must be dependable and responsible for our own actions and avoid the need for supervisors and commanders to constantly monitor or follow up on our activities. Quality and quantity of work are both important since they are our primary measures of efficiency and productivity. Our conduct and performance must be guided by the Air Force Core Values and the principles of mission command.

 Mission Command

Mission command is a philosophy of leadership that empowers Airmen to operate in uncertain, complex, and rapidly changing environments through trust, shared awareness, and understanding commander’s intent. The key attribute of mission command is decentralized execution through the delegation of authority to empower subordinate decision making and enable flexibility, initiative, and responsiveness in the accomplishment of commander’s intent. Airmen at all levels should be comfortable making decisions and operating

 Wingmen

Airmen at all levels of command and supervision, have a role as wingmen. The Air Force culture is centered on the idea that a wingman will always safeguard their lead, and it adheres to the belief that a lead never lets his or her wingman stray into danger. All Airmen are encouraged to be good wingmen. Being a good wingman means taking care of fellow Airmen and taking action when signs of trouble or distress are observed, especially in situations where Airmen appear as if they are about to make a poor decision, are in despair, or show signs of hurting themselves or others. Commanders also need to recognize when their people need help and know where to send them to get it. Supervisors are the first line of defense for the well-being of the people they supervise. And as leaders, supervisors are often in a position to spot the first signs of trouble and are in the best position to listen and provide, or arrange for, needed assistance.

 Unlawful Discrimination

The DAF does not tolerate unlawful discrimination and harassment (including bullying, hazing, and sexual harassment) against military members on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion. The DAF does not tolerate unlawful discrimination and harassment against civilian employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), religion, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, and retaliation that contributes to a hostile work environment. The right to non-discrimination on the basis of religion includes the right to reasonable accommodation of one’s religious beliefs and practices. See DAFI 36-2710, Equal Opportunity Program.

Unlawful harassment includes creating an intimidating, hostile working environment for another person on the basis of a protected class. The use of disparaging terms with respect to a person’s protected class contributes to a hostile work environment and must not be tolerated. It is the obligation of each Airman (military and civilian) in the chain of command or supervision to identify and prevent such conduct.

Commanders and supervisors are responsible for establishing a work climate free from unlawful discrimination and harassment and are responsible for fostering a work climate that can readily identify and appropriately address these behaviors.

 Harassment

The DAF will not tolerate harassment that is unwelcome or offensive to a reasonable person, whether oral, written, or physical, that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Harassment can occur through electronic communications, including social media, other forms of communication, and in person. Harassment may include offensive jokes, epithets, ridicule or mockery, insults, or put-downs, displays of offensive objects or imagery, stereotyping, intimidating acts, veiled threats of violence, threatening or provoking remarks, racial or other slurs, derogatory remarks about a person’s accent, or displays of racially offensive symbols. Activities or actions undertaken for a proper military or governmental purpose, such as combat survival training, are not considered harassment. Types of harassment include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment, bullying, and hazing. See DoDI 1020.03, Harassment Prevention and Response in the Armed Forces; DAFI 36-2710, Equal Opportunity Program.

Bullying includes acts of aggression by military members or civilian employees, with a nexus to military service, with the intent of harming a Service member either physically or psychologically, without a proper military or other governmental purpose. Bullying may involve the singling out of an individual from his or her coworkers, or unit, for ridicule because 20 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 he or she is considered different or weak. It often involves an imbalance of power between the aggressor and the victim.

Hazing includes conduct which physically or psychologically injures or creates a risk of injury without a proper military or governmental purpose for the initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, change in status or position within, or a condition for continued membership in any military or DoD civilian organization.

Sexual Harassment. 2.8.3.1. Sexual harassment under Article 134, UCMJ, involves knowingly making unwelcome sexual advances, demands or requests for sexual favors, or knowingly engaging in other conduct of a sexual nature. Under the circumstances, the conduct would cause a reasonable person to believe that submitting (or refusing to submit) to such conduct would be made (either explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition or be used as a basis for a decision affecting, the person’s job, career, pay, benefits, or entitlements. The conduct may also constitute the offense if it is so severe, repetitive, or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive it as creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment and under the circumstances, the conduct affects good order and discipline in the armed forces, or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Sexual harassment under DAFI 36-2710 involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and deliberate or repeated offensive comments or gestures of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for career or employment decisions affecting that person; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; and is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the environment as hostile or offensive. Use or condonation, by any person in a supervisory or command position, of any form of sexual behavior to control, influence, or affect the career, pay, or job of a member of the armed forces is prohibited. Any deliberate or repeated unwelcome verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature by any member of the armed forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense is prohibited. There is no requirement for concrete psychological harm for behavior to constitute sexual harassment. Behavior is sufficient to constitute sexual harassment if it is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the complainant does perceive, the environment as hostile or offensive. Sexual harassment can occur through electronic communications, including social media, other forms of communication, and in person.

Retaliation. Airmen shall not retaliate against any person for reporting or planning to report a criminal offense, or making or planning to make a protected communication, or with the intent to discourage any person from reporting a criminal offense or making or planning to make a protected communication. Retaliation is taking or threatening to take an adverse personnel action, or withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action, with respect to a military member because the member reported a criminal offense. See DAFI 36- 2710, Equal Opportunity Program.

 Sexual Assault

The DAF will not tolerate sexual assault. Sexual assault undermines our mission readiness, directly contradicts the Air Force Core Values, and erodes the trust and confidence upon which our institution is built. All Airmen have the enduring responsibility to foster a climate of dignity and respect and to promote and ensure a culture that will not tolerate sexual assault or behaviors that support it. See Article 120 UCMJ and DAFI 90-6001, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program.

 Drug Abuse

The illegal use of drugs, or improper use of legal drugs, is not just against federal law, but is also completely inconsistent with Air Force Core Values and DAF standards of behavior, performance, and discipline necessary to accomplish the Air Force missions. Drug abuse can seriously damage an Airman’s physical and mental health, jeopardize their safety and the safety of others, and adversely affect the success of Air Force missions and national security. It can result in criminal prosecution or nonjudicial punishment under Article 112a, UCMJ, as well as administrative discharge. It can also subject members to prosecution under federal, state, and local criminal law. See AFI 44-121, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Program.

 Alcohol Abuse

DAF standards call on all members to prevent alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Air Force leaders will assist Airmen in resolving alcohol-related problems. DAF standards ensure humane management and administrative disposition of those who are unable or unwilling to be restored to full, effective functioning. Alcohol abuse, such as driving while intoxicated, can also lead to disciplinary action, including criminal prosecution under the UCMJ or state and local law. Airmen are responsible for exercising good judgment in the use of alcohol. This includes ensuring alcohol use does not adversely affect an Airman’s ability to be recalled, if specifically required (e.g., when serving in an on-call status), to the duty station during scheduled off-duty time. Further, State, and foreign nation drinking age laws, including those in a deployed environment, must be obeyed both on- and off-duty. Airmen may be enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Program by Self-Identification, Command Referral, Medical Referral, or Addictive Behavior Referral if their misuse of alcohol negatively affects individual behavior, duty performance, and/or physical and mental health. See AFI 44-121, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Program.

 Financial Responsibility

Just like physical fitness is important for an Airman’s health, “fiscal fitness” is equally important to their overall well-being as an Air Force member. Failure to 22 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 satisfy just financial obligations is not consistent with the standards of conduct expected of Airmen. Two of the key tools to individual financial responsibility are the development and maintenance of a personal budget and effective management of one’s debt. Airmen are expected to review leave and earnings statements on a regular basis to ensure the accuracy of pay and allowances, file travel vouchers in a timely manner, and use the government travel card for authorized purchases only. Additionally, Airmen are expected to provide regular and adequate support for dependents, including payments required by court order. To assist with financial affairs, the Air Force provides financial management information and personal counseling, as well as legal assistance. See DAFI 36-2906, Personal Financial Responsibility.

 Self-Reporting Criminal Conviction

All Air Force commissioned officers, enlisted members above the grade of E-6, and any member serving in a Designated Special Duty assignment who are in the Regular Air Force or in an active duty status in the Reserve Component will report, in writing to their commander, any conviction for a violation of a criminal law of the United States or while serving overseas. The member must report a conviction whether or not the member was on active duty or inactive duty at the time of the conduct that provides the basis for the conviction. See AFI 36-2909, Air Force Relationships and Conduct.

 Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation

Airmen should confidently practice their own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from their own. Every Airman is free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all. Every Airman also has the right to individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs, to include conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs, unless those expressions would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment.

 Political Activities

Generally, as individuals, Airmen enjoy the same rights and have the same responsibilities as other citizens. However, because they are Airmen in the United States Air Force, the manner in which they exercise their rights is limited in some cases. Under our democratic system, the military, as a group, must remain politically neutral and divorced from partisan politics per AFI 51-508, Political Activities, Free Speech, and Freedom of Assembly of Air Force Personnel. There are some general rules that Airmen should remember: 

Airmen have the right as American citizens to vote and to voice their opinions concerning political matters; however, they must be careful that their personal opinions and activities are not directly, or by implication, represented as those of the Air Force. Airmen must take care not to appear to represent the Air Force when they express their personal opinions and engage in activities associated with voting and political matters. Airmen must also refrain from contemptuous words against certain federal and state officials; the details of such rules are included in Articles 88 and 134 of the UCMJ.

Airmen may attend partisan political rallies or speeches when not in uniform, not on duty, and when solely acting as a spectator. Airmen, including Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard when in an active status, may not speak before a partisan political event, ride, or participate in a partisan political parade, or engage in partisan political fundraising activities, regardless of whether they are in uniform.

Airmen may make a monetary contribution to a political organization, party, or committee favoring a political candidate or slate of candidates, subject to the limitations of 52 USC § 30116.

Airmen may support or endorse a particular political candidate, party, cause, or issue through displaying a single standard-sized bumper sticker on personally owned vehicles. No larger vehicle signs are permitted. Airmen may not display any type of political sign, banner, poster, or similar device in their office or work area or at their on-base residence, even if that residence is part of a privatized housing development.

Federal installations and workplaces are not traditional public forums for free speech and political discussions are generally not appropriate. Airmen may not attempt to influence the view, position, or vote of any subordinate except to generally encourage participation in the voting process. 24 AFI1-1

 Protest and Extremist Activities

Airmen have a constitutional right of freedom of assembly. However, our ability to exercise that right is largely dependent on the setting. Demonstrations or other activities within military installations, which could result in interference with or prevention of the orderly accomplishment of a mission of the installation or which present a clear danger to loyalty, discipline, or morale of members of the Armed Forces, are prohibited. Military members are also prohibited from participating in demonstrations when they are on duty, when they are in a foreign country, when they are in uniform, when their activities constitute a breach of law and order, or when violence is likely to result. See DAFI 51-508, Political Activities, Free Speech, and Freedom of Assembly.

Airmen are prohibited from actively participating in extremist activities. Extremist activities are inconsistent with the responsibilities and obligations of military service, as well as the oaths of office and enlistment, and can be prohibited even in some circumstances in which such activities would be constitutionally protected in a civilian setting. Extremist activities as defined below is prohibited and, as appropriate, may be punishable under Article 92 of the UCMJ.

Extremist activities include, but are not limited to: (a) advocating or engaging in unlawful force, unlawful violence or other illegal means to deprive individuals of their constitutional rights; (b) advocating or engaging in unlawful force or violence to achieve goals that are political, religious, discriminatory or ideological in nature; (c) advocating or engaging in or supporting terrorism within the United States or abroad; (d) advocating or engaging in or supporting the overthrow of the U.S. Government (or a political subdivision thereof), by force or violence, or seeking to alter the form of these governments by unconstitutional or unlawful means; or (e) advocating or encouraging military, civilian, or contractor personnel within the DoD or United States Coast Guard to violate the laws of the United States, or any political subdivision thereof; (f) advocating widespread discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, or sexual orientation. DAF regulations broadly define prohibited active participation to include a large range of organizing, recruiting for, fundraising on behalf of, and execution of extremist activities. See AFI 51-508, Political Activities, Free Speech, and Freedom of Assembly.

 Public Statements

Only DAF military and civilian employees may be authorized to act in the capacity of an official DAF or Air Force spokesperson. Although military and civilian employees (including 10 U.S.C. § 1588 volunteers) may be asked to author or review proposed information releases such as statements press, releases, articles, imagery, or other content, only authorized DAF, and Public Affairs representatives, as appropriate, are permitted to publicly release such information on behalf of their DAF organization and its leaders, or to express an official position. Ensuring that official statements are properly worded and approved avoids statements that do not reflect official DAF policy or that, if taken out of context, could be misleading to the public. Public statements should be fully coordinated with the appropriate Public Affairs office, for security and policy review, before release. See AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Operations; AFMAN 35-101, Public Affairs Procedures.

 Personal Use of Social Media

Airmen are personally responsible for what they say and do, including through any electronic medium and on any social media or similar platform. Regardless of the method or style of communication used, DAF standards must be observed by Airmen at all times, on and off duty. For further guidance regarding personal use of social media, see Air Force Handbook (AFH) 33-337, Tongue and Quill; AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Operations, DoDI 5400.17, Official Use of Social Media for Public Affairs Purposes, for DoD Social Media.

Operations security is vital to the accomplishment of the Air Force mission. The use of social media and other forms of communication that allow Airmen to communicate with a large number of people brings with it the increased risk of magnifying potential vulnerabilities to a DAF activity. Classified, controlled unclassified information, and other official DoD information and documents are prohibited from being released to unauthorized recipients, including posting on social media or transmitted via non-DoD e-mail accounts without proper authorization. See DoDM 5200.01, Volume 1_DAFMAN 16-1404, Volume 1, Overview, Classification and Declassification; DoDM 5200.01, Volume 2_AFMAN 16-1404, Volume 2, Information Security Program: Marking of Information; DoDM 5200.01, Volume 3_DAFMAN 16-1404, Volume 3, Information Security Program: Protection of Classified Information.

Airmen are obliged to communicate and conduct themselves appropriately with officer and enlisted personnel, peers, superiors, and subordinates (to include civilian superiors and subordinates). This obligation is applicable whether they communicate via social media or other forms of communication, such as e-mail, instant messaging, or texting. Do not add slogans, quotes, or other personalization to a signature block in official correspondence.

Airmen should strive to avoid offensive and/or inappropriate language or behavior on social media and through other forms of communication that could bring discredit upon on the Air Force or themselves as a member of the Air Force, or that would otherwise be harmful to good order and discipline. Bullying or harassment of other Airmen, via social media platforms, is likewise corrosive to good order and discipline, and strictly prohibited. See paragraph 2.6.

When Airmen express personal opinions on social media sites and can be identified as a member of the Air Force, they should make clear that they are speaking for themselves and not on behalf of the Air Force. While Service members may generally use their grade and Service even when acting in their personal capacity, they should not do so in situations where the context may imply official sanction or endorsement of their personal opinions (e.g., through the use of images in uniform).

Airmen should recognize that social network “friends” and “followers” may potentially constitute relationships that could affect determinations in background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with security clearances.

Dress & Appearance

 Dress and Personal Appearance

Pride in one’s personal appearance and wearing of the uniform correctly enhances the esprit de corps and the professional image essential to an effective military force. All Airmen must maintain a high standard of dress and personal appearance and comply with DAFI 36-2903. This standard consists of five elements: neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity, and military image. The first four elements are absolute, objective criteria needed for the efficiency and well-being of the Air Force. Although the fifth element—military image—is subjective, it is critical. Individuals, both military and civilian, draw certain conclusions about the individual members and the Air Force based on what they see. When in uniform or civilian clothes, in an official capacity, Airmen must present a professional image.

 Personal Grooming

While every Airman may, within limits, express individuality, and their racial and cultural identity, through their appearance, the Air Force has defined what is and is not an acceptable professional military image in terms of personal grooming. All uniformed Air Force personnel must comply with the grooming standards found in DAFI 36-2903. Commanders have the responsibility to determine whether an Airman’s personal grooming is within standards. Supervisors also have the responsibility to determine compliance and to correct violations of DAFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force and Space Force Personnel.

 Uniforms

Wearing Air Force uniforms means carrying on a tradition—one that identifies you as an Airman in the profession of arms. While in uniform, Airmen must adhere to standards of neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity, and military image. Airmen will procure and maintain all mandatory uniform items; follow local supplements and procedures regarding wear of the uniform; and keep their uniforms neat, clean, buttoned, and properly maintained. Airmen are responsible for knowing the authorized uniform combinations and the correct placement of ribbons, insignia, and other uniform items.

Authorized Wear of the Uniform:

Military Duties. Airmen wear the appropriate uniform while performing military duties unless authorized to wear civilian clothes. Airmen assigned to non-Air Force organizations wear the Air Force-equivalent uniform to the dress observed in the assigned organization. If authorized to wear civilian clothes on duty, Airmen must still comply with Air Force appearance and grooming standards unless the member has obtained a proper waiver for operational necessity.

Travel. If departing from or arriving at commercial airports in the continental United States, any authorized combination of uniform, except the flight duty uniform, may be worn. If departing from and arriving at a military airfield via United States government aircraft or contracted United States government commercial flights, any authorized combination of the uniform is appropriate. When traveling in an official capacity on AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 27 commercial air overseas, members should consult the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide for authorized and expected uniform wear. Airmen who wear civilian clothes during official travel must ensure that their clothing is neat, clean, and appropriate for the mode of travel and destination.

Social Functions. Airmen attending a military event must wear the appropriate uniform or civilian attire as requested by the host or hostess or directed by the commander. If the uniform is worn to civilian social functions, Airmen should wear a uniform commensurate with the attire worn by civilian attendees typically, service dress uniform, mess dress uniform, or semiformal uniform.

Prohibitions on Wear of Uniform. Airmen will not wear any uniform combination or any uniform items in the following situations:

When attending a meeting of, or sponsored by, an organization, association, movement, or group that: the Attorney General of the United States has named as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive; advocates or approves acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the United States Constitution; or seeks to change the United States government by unconstitutional means.

When participating in or attending public political speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, or rallies, or in any public demonstration when participation might imply Air Force sanction of the cause or if the purpose may be to advocate, express, or approve opposition to the armed forces.

When it would discredit the armed forces.

When furthering political activities, private employment, or commercial interests.

When engaged in off-duty, civilian employment.

When participating as a defendant in civilian court proceedings if a conviction would bring discredit to the Air Force.

When using frequent flyer miles to upgrade to business or first class. Thus, even when an upgrade to business or first-class accommodations is legitimate, military personnel should not wear the uniform to avoid the public perception of misuse of government travel resources.

When distinctive uniform items are mixed with civilian clothes. Distinctive uniform items are those items that are unique to the uniform, such as grade insignia, ribbons, cap devices, badges, uniform jackets and other United States or Air Force insignia. Note: items of physical training gear are not considered distinctive uniform items.

When eating at off-base restaurants where most diners wear business attire, or at establishments that operate primarily to serve alcohol, members will not wear the operational camouflage pattern uniform, or flight duty uniform.

 Physical Fitness

Airmen must be physically fit to support the Air Force mission. An active lifestyle increases productivity, optimizes health, and decreases absenteeism, which helps maintain a higher level of readiness. Also, by maintaining a fit appearance, we project the proper military image. The Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) and the Body Composition Assessment (BCA) provides commanders with a tool to assist them in determining the overall fitness of their military 28 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 personnel. The fitness assessment uses a composite score based on various scientifically established physical fitness components. Age- and gender-specific fitness assessment score charts are provided in DAFMAN 36-2905, Air Force Physical Fitness Program. The body composition assessment uses the Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) to calculate body composition to determine an associated health risk. Commanders and supervisors should incorporate fitness into their organizational culture to encourage members to maintain physical fitness and good health to meet expeditionary mission requirements. However, each Airman is ultimately responsible for keeping themselves in good physical condition. See DAFMAN 36-2905, Air Force Physical Fitness.

OCP uniform

Customs and Courtesies.

Our customs and courtesies reflect the unique nature of our profession and guide significant aspects of our behavior. We emphasize our strong bond with other military members, as well as our mutual respect for one another and our civilian leadership. See AFI 34-1201, Protocol; Air Force Pamphlet (AFPAM) 34-1202, Guide to Protocol. 
 
Saluting.
Saluting is a courtesy exchanged between members of the uniformed Services as both a greeting and a symbol of mutual respect. The basic rules regarding saluting are:
 
Airmen salute the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Department Secretaries, all superior commissioned and warrant officers, all Medal of Honor recipients, and superior officers of friendly foreign nations.
 Airmen salute the President, the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Department Secretaries, and senior officers in vehicles when distinguished by vehicle plates and/or flags.
 Airmen do not, typically, salute indoors. However, it is appropriate to salute when formally reporting to a superior officer and during ceremonial events.
Airmen salute outdoors when in uniform, both on and off base, unless:
 
Precluded by duties, safety, injury, carrying objects which cannot be transferred to the left hand, or other legitimate reason. In this case, a respectful oral greeting is appropriate. If the senior member’s right arm is incapacitated, Airmen will still salute.
In a designated no-salute area. AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023
 
In military formation or work detail, in which case, only the senior member of the formation or detail salutes.
Saluting while in physical training gear is authorized, but not required.
 
Salutes between individuals are not required in public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical.
 
Respect for the United States Flag. Guidance on proper United States Flag protocols is addressed in AFI 34-1201. Airmen should be familiar the guidance and requirements concerning proper respect to the United States Flag.
 
When in uniform, Airmen salute the flag as it passes in front of them in a procession or parade. Airmen salute six paces before the flag passes before them and hold the salute until the flag has passed six paces beyond their position.
 
National Anthem. Airmen must show respect for the flag during the playing of the National Anthem, both indoors and outdoors, in uniform and while in civilian clothing.
 
Indoor Ceremonies. When in uniform, face the flag (if visible) or music. Stand at attention at the first note and maintain that position until the last note without rendering a salute. If in civilian clothing, Airmen stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.
 
Outdoor Ceremonies. When in uniform, face the flag (if visible) or music. Stand at attention and salute at the first note of the National Anthem and hold until completion of the last note. If in civilian clothing, Airmen should either stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart or render a salute. Civilian hats will be removed.
 
During the playing of the national anthems of recognized nations, render the same customs and courtesies as those given during the playing of the United States National Anthem.
 
Reveille and Retreat. Flags on stationary flag staffs are only saluted during reveille, retreat, or special ceremonies. In these cases, when outside and in uniform, consistent with safety and mission requirements, Airmen stop what they are doing, face the direction of the flag (if visible) or the music. Stand at parade rest during the sounding of retreat (which precedes the lowering of the flag), then come to attention and salute during the playing of the National Anthem or “To the Colors.” If driving a vehicle, stop if consistent with safety and mission requirements. Airmen and their passengers should sit quietly until the music ends.
 
Taps. Many installations play “Taps” to signify lights out at the end of the day. For these purposes, there are no formal protocol procedures required. However, upon hearing “Taps” at a military ceremony (military funeral/memorial ceremony), proper protocol dictates Airmen in uniform render appropriate honors consistent with protocol for the National Anthem, indoor and outdoor, until the music is complete.
 
Pledge of Allegiance. When in uniform and outdoors, stand at attention, face the flag, remain silent, and salute. If indoors, stand at attention, face the flag, and remain silent (where the participants are primarily civilians or in civilian attire, reciting the Pledge of 12 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 Allegiance is optional for those in uniform). When not in uniform, Airmen stand at attention, face the flag, place their right hand over their heart, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Civilian hats will be removed.
 
Respect for Retirees. Retirees are entitled to the same respect and courtesies as active military personnel. They will be addressed by their retired grade on all official records and official correspondence, except for correspondence and other matters relating to a retiree’s civilian employment. See AFI 36-3106, Retiree Activities Program.
 
Respect for Authority. Junior personnel shall employ a courteous and respectful bearing and mode of speech toward senior personnel. When addressed by an officer senior to them, junior personnel shall stand (unless seated at mess or unless circumstances make such action impracticable or inappropriate). Junior personnel shall walk or ride to the left of senior personnel whom they are accompanying. Senior personnel enter an aircraft or automobile last and leave first.
 
Titles of Address. Military personnel are addressed by their grade or title. Pay grade terms (e.g., E-9, O-6) are not to be used to address or identify military personnel. Officers are addressed by their grade name (e.g., Captain, Major, General) or “sir” or “ma’am.” Physicians and dental officers may be addressed as “Doctor.” Chaplains may be addressed as “Chaplain” or by their ecclesiastical title. Enlisted personnel are addressed in Figure 1.1. Figure 1.1. Air Force Enlisted Terms of Address.
 
Terms of Address

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CONDUCT 2.1. Overview. The high standards of the Air Force mandate that personnel conduct themselves consistent with those standards. This includes treating others with genuine dignity, fairness, and respect at all times. Each Airman is entitled to fair, just, and unbiased treatment. Each Airman has the obligation to care for, teach, and lead others. Behavior that departs from those standards not only degrades public trust in the Air Force, but also puts mission accomplishment at risk. This chapter provides details of conduct that is either expected of all Airmen or prohibited and the basis for possible discipline. 2.2. Professional Relationships. While personal relationships between military members are normally matters of individual choice and judgment, they can in certain circumstances become matters of official concern. They become such matters when the relationships adversely affect, or have the reasonable potential to adversely affect, the Air Force by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, or mission accomplishment. See AFI 36-2909, Air Force Professional Relationships and Conduct. 2.2.1. Professional relationships are those interpersonal relationships that reflect Air Force standards of conduct and the Air Force Core Values. Effective professional relationships enhance morale, unit cohesion, good order and discipline and improve the operational environment while, at the same time, preserving proper respect for authority and focus on the mission. 2.2.2. With respect to relationships between superiors and subordinates, whether they are other military members or civilian employees, there is a balance that recognizes the appropriateness of a relationship. Social interaction that contributes appropriately to unit cohesiveness and effectiveness is encouraged. Relationships are unprofessional when they detract from the supervisor-to-subordinate authority or reasonably create the appearance of favoritism, misuse of office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests. This is true whether pursued and conducted on or off duty. 2.2.3. Unprofessional relationships can develop between officers, between enlisted members, between officers and enlisted members, between officers or enlisted members and cadets, and between military personnel and civilian employees or contractor personnel when standards are not maintained. Unprofessional relationships conducted via electronic means (e.g., by phone, text messaging, social media) are no less corrosive to good order and discipline, and abuse by members in these forums shall result in the same degree of accountability. This includes avoiding inappropriate electronic friendships that compromise and degrade the officer/enlisted command and supervisory relationships. 2.2.4. The rank of cadet is a unique military rank reserved for cadets at the United States Air Force Academy and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. A cadet is neither enlisted, nor an officer. Dating, close friendships, or sexual relationships between cadets and officers or cadets and enlisted personnel are prohibited. More specific guidance concerning relationships among different classes of cadets is provided through the leadership of the United States Air Force Academy and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs. AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 15 2.2.5. There is a long-standing and well-recognized custom in military service, as well as set forth in the UCMJ and DAF issuances, that officers and enlisted personnel shall not fraternize. Fraternization exists when a relationship between an officer and an enlisted member puts the enlisted member on terms of military equality with the officer in such a way that prejudices good order and discipline in the armed forces or is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Excessive socialization and undue familiarity, real or perceived, degrades leadership and interferes with command authority and mission effectiveness. With the proliferation of social media and online video conferencing, the task of maintaining professionalism requires a heightened awareness to ensure full compliance regardless of the medium of interaction used. 2.2.6. Relationships in which one member exercises supervisory or command authority over another can become unprofessional. Similarly, differences in grade increase the risk that a relationship will be, or will be perceived to be, unprofessional because senior members in military organizations exercise authority, or have some direct or indirect organizational influence, over the duties and careers of junior members. The danger for abuse of authority, or the perception of such abuse, is always present. The ability of the senior member to influence assignments directly or indirectly, promotion recommendations, duties, awards, and other privileges and benefits, places both the senior member and the junior member in vulnerable positions. Once established, unprofessional relationships, such as inappropriate personal relationships and favoritism, do not go unnoticed by other members of a unit and call into question the superior’s impartiality toward the subordinate and his or her peers. Failure to maintain relationships between members in a strictly professional manner undermines morale, good order, and discipline, and corrodes the indispensable respect for the chain of command and unit cohesion. 2.2.7. Unprofessional relationships can develop between members of different Military Services when the relationships adversely affect or have the reasonable potential to adversely affect the Air Force by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, or mission accomplishment. 2.2.8. Civilian employees and contractor personnel are an integral part of the Air Force. These fellow Airmen and teammates contribute directly to readiness and mission accomplishment. Consequently, military members of all grades must maintain professional relationships with civilian employees and government contractor personnel they work with, supervise or direct, and must avoid relationships that adversely affect or are perceived to adversely affect morale, discipline, respect for authority, and unit cohesion, or that violate law or regulation. 2.3. Standards of Ethical Conduct. As Air Force members, Airmen must practice the highest standards of conduct and integrity, not only in our jobs, but also in our relationships with other people, in our personal financial dealings, and in our interaction with the civilian community; and must not engage in any conduct that is illegal or otherwise brings discredit to the Air Force. An Airman’s code of ethics must be such that our behavior and motives do not create even the appearance of impropriety. Each Airman’s commitment to integrity will lead the way for others to follow. 2.3.1. Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 2635.101 establishes the basic ethical principles that must be followed by federal employees: 2.3.1.1. Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain. 16 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 2.3.1.2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty. 2.3.1.3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest. 2.3.1.4. An employee shall not solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties. 2.3.1.5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties. 2.3.1.6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the government. 2.3.1.7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain. 2.3.1.8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual. 2.3.1.9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities. 2.3.1.10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official government duties and responsibilities. 2.3.1.11. Employees shall disclose fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities. 2.3.1.12. Employees shall satisfy, in good faith, their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those—such as federal, state, or local taxes—that are imposed by law. 2.3.1.13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all persons regardless of protected class. 2.3.1.14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. Whether circumstances create an appearance that the law or ethical standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts. 2.3.2. Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest is a personal interest or relationship that conflicts with the faithful performance of official duty. Under 18 U.S.C. § 208, a Federal employee is prohibited from participating personally and substantially in an official capacity in any matter in which, to his knowledge, he, or any person whose interests are imputed to him under this statute has a financial interest, if the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on that interest. 2.3.2.1. One method of identifying potential conflicts of interest and preventing them is by the timely filing of financial disclosure reports if the individual is a required filer. 2.3.2.2. Ethics counselors help required filers by reviewing financial reports, educating on the law and regulatory guidance, and assisting with remedies. AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 17 2.3.3. Gifts from outside sources. Federal Regulation 5 CFR 2635.202, et seq provides guidance for gifts from outside sources: 2.3.3.1. As a general rule, employees may not solicit or accept gifts given to them from a prohibited source or given to them because of their official position. A prohibited source is an entity or company that: 1) is seeking official action by DoD; 2) does business or seeks to do business with DoD; 3) conducts activities regulated by DoD; or 4) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of a DoD employee’s official duties. 2.3.3.2. There are limited exemptions and exceptions to the general rule including, but not limited to: 1) modest food and refreshments (non-alcoholic) not offered as part of a meal; 2) items intended primarily for presentation that have little intrinsic value (such as plaques, certificates, and trophies); 3) discounts and favorable rates offered to all government or all military personnel; 4) non-cash items with a value of $20 or less (not to exceed $50 per calendar year from a single source); and 5) gifts based on outside personal/family or business relationships (of the Airman or their spouse). 2.3.4. Gifts Between Employees. Federal Regulations (5 CFR 2635.301, et seq.) provides guidance on gifts between employees: 2.3.4.1. Employees may generally not accept gifts from subordinates or employees that make less pay than themselves. 2.3.4.2. Employees may not: 1) solicit a donation or a contribution from other personnel for a gift to a superior; 2) make a donation for a gift to a superior official, or 3) accept a gift from subordinate personnel, except under these circumstances: (a) voluntary gifts or contributions of nominal value (the solicitation of which should not exceed $10); (b) on occasions of special personal significance (e.g., marriage, birth of a child, bereavement); however, the gift must be appropriate to the occasion; (c) or on occasions that terminate the superior-subordinate relationship (e.g., retirement, permanent change of station or assignment); however, there is a $300 limit for a gift from any group that includes a subordinate. 2.3.5. Use of Government Resources, Time, and Title. 2.3.5.1. In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.704, federal employees have a duty to protect and conserve Government property as well as refrain from using or allowing its use for purposes other than those for which it is made available to the public or those authorized in accordance with law or regulation. 2.3.5.2. Federal Employees shall use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties, unless authorized under law or regulation to use official time for other purposes. See 5 CFR 2635.705[a]. 2.3.5.3. Per 5 CFR 2635.705(b), an employee shall not encourage, direct, coerce, or request a subordinate to use official time to perform activities other than those required in the performance of official duties or authorized in accordance with law or regulation. 2.3.5.4. Employees may not use or permit the use of their government positions, titles, or authority in a manner that could be reasonably construed to imply official endorsement or sanction of personal activities or non-Federal entities, 5 CFR 2635.702. However, per the 18 AFI1-1 18 AUGUST 2023 Joint Ethics Regulation (JER) 5500.07-R, 3-300(a)(1), use of grade and branch of Service are usually considered customary terms of address and do not imply official endorsement. 2.3.6. The Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), DoD 5500.07-R, provides additional guidance concerning acceptable ethical conduct by DoD personnel: 2.3.6.1. Employees may not engage in any personal commercial solicitation or sale to any military personnel junior in grade at any time—on or off-duty, in or out of uniform. This does not apply to the one-time sale of personal property, such as a home, boat, or car, where the junior buyer approaches the senior seller to engage in the transaction and the junior buyer receives fair market value for any purchase made. It also does not apply to off-duty DoD personnel employed—with appropriate supervisor permission—in retail stores or other situations that do not include solicited sales. See JER, paragraph 2-205. 2.3.6.2. Employees may not gamble or bet while on government-owned or leased property or while in a duty status, unless specifically authorized. See JER, paragraph 2-302. 2.3.6.3. Employees may not endorse, or appear to endorse, fundraising for any charitable purpose. However, there are limited exceptions to this prohibition including endorsement or the appearance of endorsement of fundraising for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF), and other organizations composed primarily of DoD employees or their dependents when fundraising among their own members for the benefit of welfare funds for their own members or their dependents. Supervisors may encourage subordinate participation in the AFAF Campaign and in the CFC generally (but may not endorse individual component charities). See JER, paragraph 3-210. 2.3.6.4. As members of private nonprofit and professional organizations, employees must avoid using, or appearing to use, their title, position, or DAF organization in a way that might suggest DAF or DoD endorsement of the private organization. Employees may participate in the management of such an organization so long as those duties do not interfere with their official DAF duties and the position of responsibility was not offered to them because of their official DAF position. See JER, paragraph 3-300.

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