Can you hear me now?

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. -- Can you hear me now? We all love that commercial of the dude with the classic glasses and his cell phone roaming about the country. Unfortunately, we have to remember that the Department of Defense, the Air Force and your insurance agency don't want you to try that in your car!

One of the unpublished emphasis areas during our upcoming inspections will be cell phone usage. While cell phones are great tools for instant communication, here are some tips that we all have to keep in mind (reference applicable DoD regulations and Air Force instructions for the specifics). 

1.  Don't drive while holding a cell phone. Hands-free headsets are OK provided they still allow the driver to hear emergency signals. 

2.  Don't walk in uniform while using cell phones, radios or hands-free headsets unless required in the performance of official duties using a government issued device. 

3.  Know how to wear your cell phone. It may be clipped to the left side of the waistband or purse or carried in left hand. Only one may be worn on the uniform belt. 

While the guidance doesn't specifically mention texting, I think it's safe to say that the same rules apply to text chats as conversations. As with all of our professional dress and personal standards guidance, the intent is for us to present a positive and professional image of the Air Force.

Taking pride in your appearance is step one in building a culture of excellence and a spirit of professionalism that will translate into "Outstanding" work in all that you do.