How to Iron Your Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) Coat

Intro: How to Iron Your Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) Coat

Watch the before and after videos to see the result of this Instructable. Do you want to look sharp...?

Taking pride in your uniform will make you stand out among your peers. These simple steps will ensure that your ABU coat looks sharp. Your supervisors will take notice, and perhaps you could teach your fellow Airmen how to look sharp. These actions will foster a successful career in the military. Below is an important excerpt from paragraph 1.1.2 of Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.

“Pride in one’s personal appearance and wearing the uniform, greatly enhances the esprit de corps essential to an effective military force. Therefore, it is most important for all Airmen to maintain a high standard of dress and personal appearance. The five elements of this standard are neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity, and military image. The first four are absolute, objective criteria needed for the efficiency and well-being of the Air Force. The fifth, military image is subjective, but necessary. Appearance in uniform is an important part of military image. Judgment on what is the proper image differs in and out of the military. The American public and its elected representatives draw certain conclusions on military effectiveness based on the image Airmen present. The image must instill public confidence and leave no doubt that Airmen live by a common standard and respond to military order and discipline.”


YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS BEFORE WE BEGIN:

1. Your ABU Coat

2. Ironing Board

3. Steam Iron

4. Coat Hangar


DISCLAIMER - Caution notes are placed throughout this presentation. It is advised to read and follow these cautions. Not doing so could result in bodily injury. Michael Beran is not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of of this demonstration. For more information on the Airman Battle Uniform, or it's wear, please refer to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.

Step 1: Set-up Your Ironing Area

CAUTION! DO NOT TOUCH SOLEPLATE (BOTTOM OF IRON) WHILE IN USE OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER USE. SURFACE WILL BE HOT TO THE TOUCH.

Set up your ironing board near an outlet. Pour water into steam iron to fill line and then plug it into the outlet. Wait a couple minutes so the iron gets hot. Now you're ready to go!

Step 2: Iron the ABU Sleeves

CAUTION! BE MINDFUL OF HOT STEAM WHICH CAN CAUSE BURNS.

Lay the ABU coat on the ironing board with the focus being on one sleeve. Make sure that you fold the ABU sleeve so that the crease goes right down the middle of your chevron. Once physically creased, start slowly ironing from the opposite end of the crease, to the actual crease itself. Apply pressure and use the hot steam button once over the crease. Once the crease looks good enough, flip over and do the same for the other side of that sleeve. Once that specific sleeve is finished, repeat this step for the remaining sleeve.

Step 3: Iron the Front of the ABU Coat

Button your ABU coat in the way you would wear it. Now slide it over the narrow end of the ironing board. Simply iron from the top of the coat to the bottom, ignoring the collar. The ABU coat pockets may need extra ironing. You do not need to use the steam button for the front of the ABU coat.

Step 4: Iron the ABU Coat Collar

CAUTION! BE MINDFUL OF HOT STEAM WHICH CAN CAUSE BURNS.

Make sure the collar is evenly folded before you begin. Once ready, start ironing over the collar while applying pressure and using the hot steam button. Repeat this process to make sure the collar doesn’t stick out when worn.

Step 5: Preserve Your Work

To preserve your ABU coat, you must first retrieve the coat hanger. Your ABU coat should still be buttoned up, so slide in the coat hanger. Hang the ABU coat with the sleeves turned in. This way the sleeve crease will stay sharp. Always hang your ABU coat after ironing. If you fold it and put it in a drawer, you negate all the work you just accomplished.

That's it! Your ABU coat should now be crisp, wrinkle fee, and have sharp sleeve creases. You may have thought because it was 5 steps, that this process would be quick. I promise the more you iron your ABU coat, the quicker it will be. Just get in the habit of it and you'll never go back!

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