Skip to Content

Air Force alters entry standards to meet dwindling recruiting numbers

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The fallout from the pandemic sent schools into lockdown, preventing recruiters from engaging with interested students and causing enlistment numbers to drop.

TSgt Ricardo Perez said, "None of the recruiters were able to get into the schools for a couple of years, and so I'd like to consider that more so like a snow ball less and less students were interested in doing a military career."

The Air Force changed their dress and appearance standards, specifically their tattoo policy, to combat the drop in numbers.

"We are allowing neck tattoos behind the ear as long as it is behind the line there, and it can only be one inch wide by one inch in length, said Perez."

Hand tattoos are also now allowed in the same dimensions. Before the change, tattoos were the third highest disqualifying factor behind past medical history and law violations.

Tattoos aren't the only policy change.

Perez said, "And so they changed the hair policies for males and females starting with their mustaches...females can now...don't have to wear a bun, they can wear, you know, ponytails, as long as they meet the specific standards."  

The Air Force does not offer services to remove tattoos. However, recruiters can refer applicants to tattoo removal shops that offer discounts and are familiar with the policy.

TSgt Ricardo Perez can be reached at 915-241-6192 or by email at

His office is located on the east side at 8660 Montana Ave Ste J.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Crista V. Mack

Crista V. Mack is a U.S. Air Force veteran who transitioned to news as a multi-media journalist.


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content