Can You Have Tattoos in the Air Force?
Air Force Tattoo Policy
Recently relaxed in 2021, the Air Force wanted to be adaptive to the changing culture and welcome those who expressed themselves through body art. 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, 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 percent of the exposed body part. New Air Force tattoo regulations, however, 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, and 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 that 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 and 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.
Air Force tattoo regulations do 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.