The United States Air Force Symbol is the symbol of the United States Air Force. It was introduced in January 2000. Guidelines that outlined appropriate uses for the new Air Force symbol were released March 23. The symbol was first tested on gates and water towers in August.
In the late 1990s, Air Force senior leadership recognized the need to design an official symbol and develop a centralized theme to encourage young people to join, encourage airmen to stay, and to build understanding, appreciation, and support for America's Air Force. They directed a commercial company, specializing in corporate branding, to research and develop a unique symbol. Company representatives traveled throughout the Air Force and to major U.S. cities to conduct research and become intimately familiar with the Air Force and its culture, environment, and heritage.
The new Air Force symbol is based on the familiar World War II "Hap" Arnold wings and represents the service's heritage. The symbol’s modern design represents the Air Force’s present and future leading edge capabilities defending the United States.
- 1998 Research, surveys and focus groups commissioned
- 1999 Symbol designed
- May 2000 Trademark registration filed
- 2001 Symbol tested throughout Air Force
- 2002 Survey of internal Air Force audience revealed 90% identify the new symbol as the official Air Force symbol
- Sept 2003 Trademark registration date. Serial #76040432 and Registration #2767190
- May 2004 USAF Chief of Staff designates Symbol as the Official Symbol of the Air Force 
The U.S. Air Force symbol honors the heritage of our past and represents the promise of our future. It retains the core elements of our Air Corps heritage—the "Arnold" wings and star with circle—and modernizes them to reflect our air and space force of today and tomorrow. The symbol has two main parts. In the upper half, the stylized wings represent the stripes of our strength—the enlisted men and women of our force. They are drawn with great angularity to emphasize our swiftness and power, and they are divided into six sections which represent our distinctive capabilities—air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority, and agile combat support. In the lower half are a sphere, a star and three diamonds. The sphere within the star represents the globe. It reminds us of our obligation to secure our nation's freedom with Global Vigilance, Reach and Power. The globe also reminds us of our challenge as an expeditionary force to respond rapidly to crises and to provide decisive aerospace power, worldwide. The area surrounding the sphere takes the shape of a star. The star has many meanings. Its five points represent the components of our Total Force and family—our active duty, civilians, Guard, Reserve and retirees. The star symbolizes space as the high ground of our nation's air and space force. The rallying symbol in all our wars, the star also represents our officer corps, central to our combat leadership. The star is framed with three diamonds, which represent our core values—integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. The elements come together to form one symbol that presents two powerful images—at once it is an eagle, the emblem of our nation, and a medal, representing valor in service to our nation.
The Air Force Symbol is NOT public domain. People wishing to use the Air Force Symbol need to enter a license agreement with the Air Force. (see below)
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