• J. Olson

Air Force & Other Military Branches Announce New Facial Hair and Uniform Policies

A new mustache policy has arrived for airmen.


Effective immediately, the Air Force will allow airmen to grow their mustaches past the width of their lips, but not longer than “1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth.”


Airmen will also now have more flexibility to wear specific unit patches while assigned to joint organizations.


Meanwhile, the Navy has announced they are lightening the restrictions on beards and will allow retired sailors to sport them while in dress uniform.


The Space Force also announced progressive new grooming and uniform policies at the end of May.


Here’s more from Military.com:

"These changes will allow Airmen additional flexibilities as to how to wear mustaches," Gwendolyn DeFilippi, acting deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said in a press release. "Additionally, allowing airmen to wear sister-service patches in their current color configuration influences cohesiveness and pride while assigned to joint organizations."
Similar to the Space Force's policies unveiled earlier this week, airmen will now be able to grow mustaches an additional one-fourth of an inch.
"No portion of the mustache will extend below the lip line of the upper lip," the updated policy reads. "Additionally, the mustache will not go beyond a horizontal line extending across the corners of the mouth and no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth."
The other policy update, according to the Air Force's press release, is allowing airmen to wear patches worn by Guardians when working in joint units together.

The Air Force’s new grooming policies come shortly after last year’s updates to approved female hairstyles. In 2021 the Air Force began allowing female service members to wear their hair in a single braid, double braid, or ponytail that can go down to the bottom of their shoulder blades.


Although the Air Force has relaxed their mustache policy, beards are still off limits for airmen.


Certain exceptions are made however for those with medical waivers or religion exemptions.


The Space Force also announced the same expanded mustache policy, along with a more loose tattoo policy. You can see what the new tattoo policy is here.