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Old 10-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #1
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Airforce, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard question

What is the Airforce policy on tattoos BEFORE enlisting or before actually going to Basic Training?


I have a fairly large tattoo on my right arm sleeve, however it can only be seen when I am in (Fruit of the loom type under T-shirts), not regular everyday shirts. It's about 3' above my elbow. It isn't offensive and doesn't have any meaning (political, brand etc) other than a personal one. I have read the policies, but I know sometimes recruiters let these slide maybe with a waiver?


I just wanted to get the general consensus of the guys actually stationed in and around bases to see what is generally tolerated and what is not.


Thanks for the input and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!


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Old 10-16-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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I think you'd be fine with the Tattoo. Had one guy in my Division when I went to RTC (boot camp) that had a full sleeve. Just when you go to MEPS, you will receive a piece of paper that shows a diagram of A human body and you will have to disclose where the tattoo is located, what it is and what it represents. This is coming from a Navy stand point... But I think the grooming standards is pretty much the same through out the military.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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for AD it was no more than 25% of the visible part of your arm wearing a short sleeve shirt
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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Your Good

You should be good to go. As long as it's not visible when wearing a Short Sleeve shirt and doesn't cover more than 25% of your body part then you're golden.
Just a heads up, do some research before you go talk to a recruiter in regards to what AFSC ( job ) you'd like and cross reference what you'll need to make on the ASVAB to qualify for that job.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSSTaco View Post
You should be good to go. As long as it's not visible when wearing a Short Sleeve shirt and doesn't cover more than 25% of your body part then you're golden.
Just a heads up, do some research before you go talk to a recruiter in regards to what AFSC ( job ) you'd like and cross reference what you'll need to make on the ASVAB to qualify for that job.


Thanks everyone. Good info! I'm going to start studying for the ASVAB once the school semester is over. My Algebra may be a bit rusty though but I'll manage.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #8
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I heard the ANG has been getting tougher on tattoo's...almost to a no-tattoo policy for those wishing to join(even prior service xfering) at least in my area.

From what you listed, you should be ok.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
I heard the ANG has been getting tougher on tattoo's...almost to a no-tattoo policy for those wishing to join(even prior service xfering) at least in my area.

From what you listed, you should be ok.
Is that on both visible and non visible or just visible?
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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I think both.

lots of other agencies are adapting tattoo policies as well (police, fire,etc)

while I was working in the personnel office, i'd hear of a few potential (18yr-old out of high school) recruits were d/q'd for having tattoo's...

it's turning more of an image thing and the way the economy is, there are a higher volume of older(30+yrs old) people joining..
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #11
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Tattoos and jobs

I recruited up until last year (Air Force, active duty). I'm still in recruiting just not in a recruiting office now (HQ).

As far as tattoos go if you're in shorts and t-shirt and any tattoo is visible it can't be over 25% of the exposed body part (leg or arm). It also can't show above the collar of the shirt. It also can't be derogatory in nature (racist, sexist, etc...). Your recruiter will take pictures (as long as they are visible, like the leg or arm, and send it to his HQ for review. It's a pretty simple process.

As far as jobs there are two main considerations: the physical and ASVAB. There are 5 scores you will get on the ASVAB...a QT score, mechanical, electronic, general, and admin.

For the most part your QT should be 50 or higher. However, this score doesn't affect jobs, it's just a "qualification" to get in. What matters are your mech, elec, general, and admin (MAGE). You'll get a score for each.

Your recruiter can tell you what jobs you qualify for based on your ASVAB but you still have to go take the phyiscal at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). If you're color blind or don't have depth perception that may knock you out of a few jobs.

When you go to MEPS they will administer the physical and when complete you'll go to the Air Force office for job counseling. Generally they'll ask you for 5 jobs and a career area (MAGE). At the end of the day you'll head back to your recruiter and wait for a job to come up (you'll end up booking one of your jobs or the area). If you get one of your "specific" jobs you'll go to basic knowing exactly what you're doing. However, if you get your area (lets say your most interested in mechanical) then you'll go to basic knowing you'll do something mechanical and pick out something there. My personal opinion is mechanical and electronic (valuable skills you can use in the "real" world) is the way to go.

The big thing is don't put jobs down you don't want. If you don't want to be a desk jockey don't put admin jobs down. However, don't go to MEPS and put all medical, graphic arts, and junk like that. It'll take longer for you to get a job. Most people that get a medical job go down in the general career area. However, there are a lot of different jobs in the general area (cop, firefighter, intel, medical, etc..). That's why they call it the general career area.

The easiest career field to get into are mechanical, electronic, and security forces (cop).

You can also take special tests with your recruiter for special forces jobs (EOD, Combat Control, Pararescue, TACP (tactical air control party), and SERE (survival evasion resistance escape).......if you're into that sort of job.

The biggest piece of advice is be honest with your recruiter. There are a few tools out there but the majority are good people. We don't have a problem making our numbers (goal, quota..whatever you want to call it) because of the economy and the fact it's a great way of life (19 years so far for me).

The above comments are for active duty. The Air Guard and Air Reserve work a little different on jobs. Unless you just want to stay home I would go active duty.

Well, hopefully that helps you out!
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