Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel

All Air Force personnel are required to adhere to standards of neatness, cleanliness, safety, and military image while wearing the uniform. For a complete run down of what is expected, you can download a copy of AFI 36-2903: Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.

Wearing the Uniform

No matter when the uniform of the USAF is worn, it must always be neat, clean, pressed, properly fitted, in good condition, zipped, snapped, or buttoned.

A uniform must be worn while on duty; however the specific uniform and uniform accessories may be required by the installation commander. When at a location other than your own, you must comply with the uniform policies established at each location, if different.

Wearing a uniform is optional while travelling; however, any civilian clothing that is worn must be neat, clean, appropriate for the mode of travel and destination. Ripped, torn, frayed, or patched clothing, and tank tops, shorts, sandals, and any garments that are revealing or contain obscene, profane, or lewd words or drawings are inappropriate.

Personal Grooming

Hair: Hair must be clean, well groomed, and neat. If dyed, hair will look natural. Hair will alsonot contain an excessive amount of grooming aids, touch the eyebrows when groomed, or protrude below the front band of properly worn headgear (for men only).

Facial Hair/Sideburns (Men): Beards will not be worn except for health reasons when authorized by a commander on the advice of a medical officer. If authorized by the commander, members must keep facial hair trimmed not to exceed 1/4 inch in length. If granted a shaving waiver, members will not shave any facial hair. Commanders and supervisors will monitor progress in treatment to control these waivers.

Mustaches, if worn, will not extend downward beyond the upper lip or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the mouth. NOTE: This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.

Sideburns, if worn, will be neatly trimmed and tapered in the same manner as the haircut. They will be straight and of even width (not flared) and end in a clean-shaven horizontal line. They will not extend below the lowest part of the exterior ear opening. NOTE: This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.

Cosmetics (Women): Cosmetics must be conservative and in good taste. When worn, nail polish will be conservative, a single color or a French manicure that is natural or clear with white tips, and in good taste. The polish will not contain any ornamentation.

Fingernails: Fingernails must be clean, well groomed, and not interfere with duty performance or hinder proper fit of prescribed safety equipment or uniform items.

Accessory Items

Jewelry: Watches and bracelets must be conservative, not present a safety hazard, and worn around the wrist. A maximum of three rings on both hands combined may be worn. Necklaces may be worn if concealed under a collar or undershirt. Women are authorized to wear one small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced or clip earring per earlobe. Matching earrings must be worn and should fit tightly without extending below the earlobe, except for the connecting band on clip earrings.

Glasses/Sunglasses: Eyeglasses and sunglasses must be free of ornamentation on both the frames and the lenses. When indoors or in formation, eyeglasses must be conservative with clear, slightly tinted, or photosensitive lenses. When outdoors, sunglasses must have conservative lenses and frames; faddish styles and mirrored lenses are prohibited. Sunglasses are not permitted in formation. Eyeglasses and sunglasses must not be worn around the neck.

Tattoos and Body Piercings: Tattoos anywhere on the body that are obscene, advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of uniform. Also, excessive tattoos will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while in uniform. Excessive is defined as any tattoo/brands that exceed 1/4 of the exposed body part and those above the collarbone and readily visible when wearing an open collar 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 conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced, or clip earring per earlobe.

Other Items: Pencils and pens must be concealed except when carried in the left compartment of the BDU pocket or in the left pocket of food and hospital white uniforms. Beepers and cellular phones must be plain, and either black, dark blue, gray, or silver in color. They may be clipped to a waistband, a woman's purse, or carried in the left hand. Beepers, cellular phones, headphones, and earphones are prohibited unless required to perform duties. Attachments for access badges and passes will be plain, dark blue or black ropes; silver or plastic small conservative link chains; or clear plastic. (NOTE: Green attachments may be worn with the BDU.) These attachments must not present a safety issue. Umbrellas must be plain, black or dark blue, and carried in the left hand. Attaché cases, gym bags, backpacks, and women's purses may be carried in either hand or on either shoulder (not to interfere with rendering a proper salute). EXCEPTION: Members wear backpacks using both shoulder straps when riding two-wheeled vehicles or using crutches.

USAirForceDress.pdf4.15 MB