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Tattoos Brands Piercings

 

 

 
Tattoos/Brands

This is something that you may consider printing out and sending to your Airman. Why? Because they don't always tell us that they are getting a Tattoo.

Unauthorized (content). Tattoos/Brands anywhere on the body that are obscene, advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of uniform. Tattoos/brands that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force are prohibited in and out of uniform.

Any member obtaining unauthorized tattoos will be required to remove them at their own expense. Using uniform items to cover unauthorized tattoos is not an option. Members failing to remove unauthorized tattoos in a timely manner will be subject to involuntary separation, or punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Inappropriate (military image). Excessive tattoos/brands will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while in uniform. Excessive is defined as any tattoo/brands that exceed ¼ of the exposed body part and those above the collarbone and readily visible when wearing an open collar uniform.

Members will not be allowed to display excessive tattoos that would detract from an appropriate professional image while in uniform. Commanders will use the above guidelines in determining appropriate military image and acceptability of tattoos displayed by members in uniform. Air Force members with existing tattoos not meeting an acceptable military image should be required to:

• maintain complete coverage of the tattoos using current uniforms items (e.g. long-sleeved shirt/blouse, pants/slacks, dark hosiery, etc.) or

• volunteer to remove tattoo(s).

Members who receive tattoos/brands not meeting the standards after the effective date of this policy (1998) are required to initiate tattoos/brands removal upon notification by their Commander at their own expense (may not use Air Force Medical Centers for removal). Members not complying with these requirements will be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply with Air Force Standards and may be involuntarily separated.

 

REVISED:

From AFI 36-2903: 3.4.1. Tattoos/Brands/Body Markings. (Unauthorized content). Tattoos/brands/body markings anywhere on the body that are obscene, commonly associated with gangs, extremist, and/or supremacist organizations, or that advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of uniform. AFOSI maintains information regarding gang/hate group, etc. on tattoos/brands/body markings. Commanders should contact their servicing AFOSI unit for additional information. Tattoos/brands/body markings with unauthorized content that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or the content is of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force are prohibited both in and out of uniform.

 

  • 3.4.1.1. Members who have or receive unauthorized content tattoos/brands/body markings are required to initiate tattoo/brand/body marking removal/alteration. At the commander's discretion, members may be seen, on a space and resource available basis, in a Department of Defense (DoD) medical treatment facility for voluntary tattoo/brand/body marking removal. When DoD resources are not available, members may have the tattoo/brand removed/altered at their own expense outside of DoD medical treatment facilities. Permissive TDY is not authorized for this purpose; therefore, travel is at member's expense. Members who fail to remove/alter unauthorized tattoos/brands/body markings in a timely manner, or who choose not to comply with appropriate military standards, will be subject to a variety of appropriate quality force actions, including but not limited to reprimand, UIF, control roster, referral EPRs/OPRs, military justice action (Article 15, UCMJ punishment), ineligibility for schools and assignments and administrative discharge. If removal at government expense is not possible, the member's affirmative responsibility for complying with this AFI or the Air Force's responsibility to enforce it with any or all available options does not change. 

 

  • 3.4.2. Tattoos/Brands/Body Markings (Excessive). Excessive tattoos/brands/body markings will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while wearing any/all uniform combination(s) except the PTU. This includes any combination of short sleeve, long sleeve, open collar uniform, utility uniform sleeves rolled up or worn down, flight duty uniform, etc. This policy does not apply when wearing the PTU. "ExcessiveƊ is defined as any tattoos/brands/body markings that exceed 1⁄4 (25%) of the exposed body part and are readily visible when wearing any/all uniform combination(s). The "exposed body part" is defined as the total area, to include front, sides and back of a limb or other body part protruding from a uniform item. For example, a tattoo exclusively on the hand cannot exceed 25% of the exposed hand since the hand is considered a separate body part when wearing a long sleeve uniform item. Any tattoos/brands above the collarbone, i.e. on the neck, head, face, tongue, lips, and/or scalp, are prohibited. For example, a tattoo/brand that can be seen on the neck while wearing an open collar, front-fastening, blue or utility uniform is prohibited. (For cosmetic tattoos see paragraph 3.4.3).3.4.2.1. When assessing excessive tattoos/brands/body markings, the member will be reviewed while standing at the position of attention. See figure 3.3 for a guide on how to measure. To preclude multiple measurements of the same tattoo, commanders should photograph borderline or questionable tattoos and document their findings on the Air Force Form 4428, Tattoo/Brand/Body Marking Screening/Verification Form (see Attachment 7). Both the photo and form will be included in the Airman's automated personnel records. Air Force members with excessive tattoos/brands/body markings are required to (a) maintain complete coverage of the tattoos/brands/body markings using current uniform items (e.g. long-sleeved shirt/blouse, pants/slacks, dark hosiery, etc.) or (b) remove or alter tattoo(s)/brand(s).

It goes on to discuss the AF Form 4428 and how to fill it out to document an airman's tattoos... A7.2.1. Commander indicates tattoo/brand/body marking(s) with a number on body diagram, enters number, location, description on chart below and has member initial each.A7.2.2. Commanders photograph and describe tattoo(s)/brand(s)/body marking(s) and complete the corresponding blocks below with number, location and complete description of the documented tattoo, ensure member initials each corresponding tattoo block. (Photo(s) filed with form in Airman's record.)

And due to my security clearance the AF years ago, yes I had to have my Tattoo on my breast measured and pictures taken for records... 

  • From AFI 36-2903: 3.4.1. Tattoos/Brands/Body Markings. (Unauthorized content). Tattoos/brands/body markings anywhere on the body that are obscene, commonly associated with gangs, extremist, and/or supremacist organizations, or that advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of uniform. AFOSI maintains information regarding gang/hate group, etc. on tattoos/brands/body markings. Commanders should contact their servicing AFOSI unit for additional information. Tattoos/brands/body markings with unauthorized content that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or the content is of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force are prohibited both in and out of uniform.

 

  •  3.4.1.1. Members who have or receive unauthorized content tattoos/brands/body markings are required to initiate tattoo/brand/body marking removal/alteration. At the commander's discretion, members may be seen, on a space and resource available basis, in a Department of Defense (DoD) medical treatment facility for voluntary tattoo/brand/body marking removal. When DoD resources are not available, members may have the tattoo/brand removed/altered at their own expense outside of DoD medical treatment facilities. Permissive TDY is not authorized for this purpose; therefore, travel is at member's expense. Members who fail to remove/alter unauthorized tattoos/brands/body markings in a timely manner, or who choose not to comply with appropriate military standards, will be subject to a variety of appropriate quality force actions, including but not limited to reprimand, UIF, control roster, referral EPRs/OPRs, military justice action (Article 15, UCMJ punishment), ineligibility for schools and assignments and administrative discharge. If removal at government expense is not possible, the member's affirmative responsibility for complying with this AFI or the Air Force's responsibility to enforce it with any or all available options does not change.

  

  •  3.4.2. Tattoos/Brands/Body Markings (Excessive). Excessive tattoos/brands/body markings will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while wearing any/all uniform combination(s) except the PTU. This includes any combination of short sleeve, long sleeve, open collar uniform, utility uniform sleeves rolled up or worn down, flight duty uniform, etc. This policy does not apply when wearing the PTU. "Excessive" is defined as any tattoos/brands/body markings that exceed 1⁄4 (25%) of the exposed body part and are readily visible when wearing any/all uniform combinations(s). The "exposed body part" is defined as the total area, to include front, sides and back of a limb or other body part protruding from a uniform item. For example, a tattoo exclusively on the hand cannot exceed 25% of the exposed hand since the hand is considered a separate body part when wearing a long sleeve uniform item. Any tattoos/brands above the collarbone, i.e. on the neck, head, face, tongue, lips, and/or scalp, are prohibited. For example, a tattoo/brand that can be seen on the neck while wearing an open collar, front-fastening, blue or utility uniform is prohibited. (For cosmetic tattoos see paragraph 3.4.3).3.4.2.1. When assessing excessive tattoos/brands/body markings, the member will be reviewed while standing at the position of attention. See figure 3.3 for a guide on how to measure. To preclude multiple measurements of the same tattoo, commanders should photograph borderline or questionable tattoos and document their findings on the Air Force Form 4428, Tattoo/Brand/Body Marking Screening/Verification Form (see Attachment 7). Both the photo and form will be included in the Airman's automated personnel records. Air Force members with excessive tattoos/brands/body markings are required to (a) maintain complete coverage of the tattoos/brands/body markings using current uniform items (e.g. long-sleeved shirt/blouse, pants/slacks, dark hosiery, etc.) or (b) remove or alter tattoo(s)/brand(s).

 

  •  3.4.6. MAJCOM/CCs may impose more restrictive standards for tattoos/brands/body markings and body ornaments, on or off duty, in those locations where Air Force-wide standards may not be adequate to address cultural sensitivities (e.g., overseas). Additionally, MAJCOM/CCs may impose more restrictive standards on those performing highly visible special mission requirements or special duty positions (e.g.; more restrictive standards for permanently assigned recruiters, reserve officer training corps (ROTC) cadre, Officer Training School (OTS) cadre, United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadre, Military Training Instructors (MTI), Military Training Leaders (MTL), instructors in any training environment, etc.).

 

  • It goes on to discuss the AF Form 4428 and how to fill it out to document an airman's tattoos... A7.2.1. Commander indicates tattoo/brand/body marking(s) with a number on body diagram, enters number, location, description on chart below and has member initial each.A7.2.2. Commanders photograph and describe tattoo(s)/brand(s)/body marking(s) and complete the corresponding blocks below with number, location and complete description of the documented tattoo, ensure member initials each corresponding tattoo block. (Photo(s) filed with form in Airman's record.)

 

  • I did a lot of research for my Airman that wants to get her commission and wanted a tattoo. Although personally I'm not against them, the commissioning enlisted to officer regulations stated any body modifications (other than pierced ears for females) will be denied. I spoke with a LTCol that used to sit the commissioning boards and he said if their were tattoos they pushed the record aside.  Even though the tattoos were not visible in uniform. She also checked around and read the commissioning regulations... Her unit told her it would be better to wait until she is commissioned. Why have a little ink stop her from her dream. Funny is direct in to officer from civilian is easier to have a tattoo than the enlisted to officer commissioning... So the uniform regulation 36-2903 states all the requirements for having them, the commissioning regulations are stricter.
  • Q: We need to find out if this all pertains to Active Military only or AirGuard as well?

A: That is easy ma'am! The front of all regulations state who they are applicable to! And AFI 36-2903 states: It applies to all active duty Air Force members, members of the Air Force Reserve Command and members of the Air National Guard, retired and separated members.

  • Body Piercing  

In Uniform: 

Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part (includes visible through the uniform). EXCEPTION: Women are authorized to wear one small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced, or clip earring per earlobe and the earring worn in each earlobe must match. Earring should fit tightly without extending below the earlobe. (EXCEPTION: Connecting band on clip earrings.)

Civilian Attire: 

1.Official duty: Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part (includes visible through clothing). EXCEPTION: Women are authorized to wear one small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced, or clip earring per earlobe and the earring worn in each earlobe must match. Earring should fit tightly without extending below the earlobe. (EXCEPTION: Connecting band on clip earrings)

2.Off duty on a military installation: Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part (includes visible through clothing). EXCEPTION: Piercing of earlobes by women is allowed, but should not be extreme or excessive. The type and style of earrings worn by women on a military installation should be conservative and kept within sensible limits.

Above Information Derived from AFI 36-2903 and the Air Force News Service Tattoos/Brands

lgs as compiled by Diane Dickey for Air Force MOMS BMT

 
  ©AirForceMOMSBMT for personal use only not to be used in part or whole for or by any other group without explicit written consent from Lorraine Silva