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Update AFI 36-2903: Highlight #10

U.S. Air Force Airman has an excessive amount of tattoos on his arms Aug. 31, 2011, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The new Air Force Instruction 36-2903, which was revised July 18, 2011, states Airmen with 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 (25 percent) of the exposed body part and are readily visible when wearing any/all uniform combinations. The photo is staged and intended to provide a visual example of improper standards due to recent updates to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Hughes/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman has an excessive amount of tattoos on his arms Aug. 31, 2011, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The new Air Force Instruction 36-2903, which was revised July 18, 2011, states excessive tattoos/brands/body markings will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while Airmen wear 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. Excessive is defined as any tattoos/brands/body markings that exceed 25 percent of the exposed body part and are readily visible when wearing any/all uniform combinations. The photo is staged and intended to provide a visual example of improper standards due to recent updates to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Hughes/Released)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Editor's note: This Highlight is just one of many changes included in the recently updated version of AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. A total of 10 Highlights are scheduled to be included in this series. All photos are staged and intended to provide visual examples of improper standards due to the AFI updates.  For more information on dress and appearance standards, Airmen are encouraged to review the new AFI or contact their commander or first sergeant.
 
Air Force officials released the updated Air Force Instruction 36-2903 July 18, 2011, to all Air Force personnel.

One of the changes in the updated AFI is located in Chapter 3.4.2. which states that 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 one-fourth (25 percent) 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 percent 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).
 
Chapter 3.4.3. continues to explain that tattooing for cosmetic purposes is authorized when directed by licensed, qualified medical personnel to correct a medical condition, illness or injury for both men and women. When not medically directed, cosmetic tattooing is permitted for women if done to apply permanent facial makeup (i.e. eyebrows, eye liner); the cosmetic tattooing must have a natural appearance and be conservative, moderate, within reasonable limits, not excessive or extreme, not distinctly contrast with their complexion, and in good taste.

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