HomeNewsArticle Display

AF revises body modification, mutilation guidance

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force has revised personal appearance guidelines in response to a trend involving extreme body modification and mutilation that is becoming common among a small, yet growing segment of the population, according to personnel officials.

This change is in Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. It prohibits airmen from intentionally altering or modifying their bodies in order to achieve a visible effect that disfigures, deforms or otherwise detracts from a professional military image, said Lt. Col. Frank Pombar, chief of the Air Force quality of life programs and uniform branch at the Pentagon.

"The Air Force is a profession of arms and there are certain appearance standards that we must adhere to," Pombar said. "Whether in or out of uniform, we represent the Air Force and must conduct ourselves professionally."

Although the colonel believes very few airmen will actually be impacted by this policy clarification, it will benefit recruiters, first sergeants, commanders and airmen.

"For some time now, recruiters have been seeing a growing number of people with extreme body alterations or piercings," he said. "Without specific guidance, recruiters often had to rely on personal opinion or taste to make a decision as to what was or was not appropriate."

However, this change to the AFI is not a checklist nor is it intended to tie the hands of Air Force officials, Pombar said.

The goal is to establish broad guidance to assist commanders, first sergeants, recruiters and airmen in determining what is or is not acceptable and professional, he explained.

Administrative or disciplinary action will be left up to the discretion of each commander if they feel airmen have done something to themselves that might detract from their professional military image.

"This policy allows for some flexibility, but if anyone is considering some type of body modification or physical alteration procedure, they should talk to their first sergeant or commander before making a decision," Pombar said.

The bottom line is that there are certain appearance standards that the service and the nation expects airmen to adhere to and therefore Air Force people must always strive to conduct themelves in a professional manner, he said.

The Air Force is not the only armed service that has considered changing its policy or guidance on dress and personal appearance. Each of the four services are seeing the same things and are beginning to adopt policies similar to the Air Force, he said.

"Hopefully we have created a useful guideline that will let everyone know what the Air Force standard is and what is expected of all men and women wearing the Air Force uniform," Pombar said.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AFmuseum: Special thanks to TSgt.(Ret.) Richard Tung & his family for visiting! Tung was assigned to the 491st bomb group(h), 853rd Squ…
It's #NationalAviationDay! ✈️ #USAF has been a part of #aviation since its inception September 18, 1947. The… https://t.co/ESPaIUaJ1m
.@TeamEglin #Airmen drive innovation, increasing safety while saving money. https://t.co/xo30mkcHMg
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Callie is chillin’ with our CSAF 😎 @GenDaveGoldfein meets Callie, the only search-and-rescue dog in the @DeptofDefense,…
RT @AP_Top25: Secret's out on hard-hitting Air Force linebacker Kyle Johnson: He plans to attend graduate school, go through special forc…
Staff weather officers (SWO) from the 3d Weather Squadron were put to the test during a certification field exercis… https://t.co/wcGL2Dr2a1
RT @INDOPACOM: Man’s best friend is also his best protector, but even #MilitaryWorkingDogs need to retire eventually. The service members o…
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen with the 375th AES were headed to Travis AFB for a training mission, when a passenger on-board their commercial flig…
RT @AFW2: The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess & build off th…
RT @USNationalGuard: On a frigid commute to work one morning, Master Sgt. John Lawrence, of the @OKGuard, approached a vehicle resting side…
RT @USAFRecruiting: Being a part of the @usairforce means to be a part of a total force. Join us LIVE on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT to learn mo…
RT @PACAF: The closing ceremony for Pac Angel 19-3 #Mongolia brought together members from the U.S. military, Mongolian Armed Forces, @AusA
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Commander @PACAF Gen Brown & I just arrived in #Vietnam. What an honor to be here. We look forward to meeting Amb Krit…
RT @HQ_AFMC: Congrats to @HAFB for winning a @ENERGY award for #energy efficiency! From facility improvements to solar arrays, the teams at…
RT @AF_TFXC: Training camp is underway for Air Force Cross Country. Tonight, the upperclassman received their #CommitmentKits, symbolic of…
RT @USAFHealth: Lt. Col. Glenn Mandeville's commitment to his community goes beyond his Air Force service and into his everyday life as a g…
RT @AFResearchLab: No, you're not looking through The Predator's helmet, this is a simulated residual stress field due to multi-shot laser…
RT @CoachTimHorton: Congrats to my mentor and former ⁦@AF_Football⁩ Coach ⁦@FisherDeBerry⁩ on being named the recipient of the 6th annual T…
RT @DeptofDefense: Friday reflection. @usairforce airmen prepare to wash an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The…
RT @OKGuard: Photo of the Day: Four F-16 Vipers from the @138thFW fly in formation behind a @usairforce KC-135 Stratotanker during a sortie…