US Air Force Tattoo Policy

Recently updated in 2023, the Air Force wanted to adapt to the changing culture and welcome those who expressed themselves through body art, see the updated policy. Their policy is now one of the most lenient in all the armed forces. Albeit not as strict as the tattoo policy for the Marines, the Air Force tattoo policy in 2021 still has some restrictions. In the past, the Air Force officer tattoo policy, as well as the general Airmen tattoo policy, enforced the 25 percent rule — tattoos on the chest, back, arms and legs could be no larger than 25% of the exposed body part. However, new Air Force tattoo regulations allow for full sleeves and large pieces on the back or legs.

Air Force Tattoo Regulations


What Your Tattoo Means

The content of the airman’s tattoo is still regulated. No tattoos or brands that are racist, vulgar, anti-government, graphically violent or affiliated with any gangs or outlaw organizations are allowed. If there is a question of whether a tattoo violates Air Force policy, the final decision is made by the soldier’s commanding officer. If you think your tattoo does not represent the US Air Force values, find a location and book a time to speak with one of our laser specialists.

Unauthorized Tattoos & Brands

Tattoos or brands on the head, neck, face, scalp and inside of the mouth are still prohibited under the new Air Force tattoo regulations for enlisted servicemen and officers. Those in the Air Force are also not allowed to have any visible piercing while in uniform. This includes piercings of the ears, nose, tongue or any other body part that is not covered by or can be seen through clothing. The only exception is one small conservative earring per earlobe of gold, white pearl, or silver for women. The earring must fit tightly and not extend below the earlobe. If your tattoo is on the hands, neck or face, find a location and book a time to speak with one of our laser specialists.

Hand Tattoos

Air Force tattoo regulations specify that one band ring tattoo is permitted on the hand. If an airman already has a hand tattoo that was previously authorized by a commanding officer, they will be allowed to keep that tattoo under the new policy. The Air Force tattoo policy can be read in full here.

Other US Military Tattoo Policies

See US Army Tattoo Policy
See US Navy Tattoo Policy
See USMC Tattoo Policy
See US Coast Guard Tattoo Policy
See US National Guard Tattoo Policy

Complete Tattoo Removal Discounts For US Military

Heroes Get 20% Off Tattoo Removal

Removery offers 20% off for our standard military discount with valid military ID or recruiters letter, and 50% off discount on Complete Removal Packages for non-compliant military tattoos .

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Air Force tattoo policy

Laser Removal for Tattoos That Violate Air Force Policy

Air Force tattoo policy

The Air Force Tattoo Policy is now one of the most lenient in all the armed forces. However, it still has some restrictions. Removery offers a discount to those who are in the process of enlisting or already enlisted in the USAF. Contact a Removery tattoo removal expert to learn more about your options.

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