LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The U.S. Air Force is changing its policies on dress and appearance in regards to tattoos in an effort to recruit more airmen.

The new policy, which will go into effect on Feb. 1, will allow airmen to display tattoos on their chest, back, arms and legs, according to a statement released by the Air Force.

(credit: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)

(credit: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)

Hand tattoos will be limited to a single-band ring tattoo on one finger on either hand to ensure a formal military image.

Airmen with existing hand tattoos that were authorized under the previous policy will be grandfathered under old standards.

Body markings that are present on the head, neck, face, tongue, lips and/or scalp will remain prohibited.

Markings that are obscene, associated with gangs, extremist and/or supremacist organizations, or that advocate sexual, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination will also remain prohibited in and out of uniform.

The new policy eliminates a “25 percent rule,” which previously restricted members from displaying markings that covered 25 percent of a body part.

For more information about the new policy, click here.


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