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Air Force Republishes Personal Appearance Rules

03-05-24 WR AF Personal Appearance WEBSITE
03-05-24 WR AF Personal Appearance WEBSITE
Washington Report

The Air Force republished its dress and personal appearance instruction last week, complete with graphics to clarify recent accommodations made at the request of airmen and to boost the service's recruiting.

The revised DAFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Department of the Air Force Personnel, incorporates policy changes from the 102nd Air Force Uniform Board and all other guidance memorandums. The instruction also features updated graphics for visual clarity.

Images in the 149-page instruction show what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to neck tattoos, nail polish colors, mustaches and hairstyles, including women’s ponytails.

"We’ve reviewed the policy in whole to make certain we are communicating standards clearly, making it an easier tool for commanders, supervisors, airmen and guardians," said Lt. Gen. Caroline Miller, the deputy Air Force chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, in a Feb. 29 press release.

"Revisions were made over a number of years, but we felt the need to revisit the entire document to remove redundancies, out-of-date information and decrease subjectivity," she added.

DAFI 36-2903 applies to Air National Guard personnel when on duty.

The updated instruction covers the following subjects:

  • The religious accommodation process
  • No-hat, no-salute areas
  • Specialized nametag wear for DAF and Joint Chiefs of Staff support staff
  • Two-piece flight duty uniforms
  • Bags, including gym bags, backpacks and handbags
  • The flight duty uniform policy
  • Female wear of mess dresses, trousers or slacks
  • Wearing caps for baldness or hair loss due to medical conditions
  • Permanent wear of enlisted professional military education badges
  • Security Forces shields on the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform
  • Beverage consumption while walking in uniform
  • Wear of cold weather headbands
  • The authorized wear of commercial maternity cold weather outerwear
  • Wing commander delegations to approve religious regalia
  • Organizational emblems on the back of morale shirts
  • Heritage morale patches on the flight duty uniform

The instruction also clarifies duty badge guidance, explaining the wear and placement of up to three duty badges on male and female service, semi-formal, formal and mess dress uniforms.

DAFI 36-2903 additionally clarifies sister service and joint unit patch wear and provides graduate patch criteria.

— By John Goheen