The United States Air Force updated its policy in 2022 to allow for recruits to get waivers to enter the Air Force if hand tattoos were smaller than 25% of the surface of the hand. Other than that the policy remains the same and is pretty standard when it comes to other branch policies.

In 2023 the Air Force took their tattoo policy further than the 2022 update and added hand and neck tattoos. Even though these tattoos are small it is a huge break in the norms of tattoo policies in recent years.

Below is a quick primer on what tattoos are allowed and not allowed for members of the Air Force.

Unauthorized Areas:
– Face / Head / Scalp
– Lips / Tongue

Restricted Areas:
– Airmen with small hand tattoos authorized under the old policy will be grandfathered in.
– One tattoo per hand no more than one inch in any direction
– One ring tattoo per hand no more than 3/8 inch thick
– One tattoo on the back of the neck from the opening of the ear to the back of the neck – no more than 1 inch in any direction

Updated regs in BOLD