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Air Force announces new mustache policy

Additionally, sister service and joint unit patch update

An F-16 demonstration team pilot wipes sweat from his head at Misawa Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2018. A draft memo shared on social media indicates that airmen may soon be allowed to wear wider mustaches. Photo credit: Sadie Colbert/U.S. Air Force

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) - The Air Force recently published a memorandum outlining updates to the Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of United States Air Force and United States Space Force Personnel, which include mustache, sister service and joint unit patch wear guidance. The updates are effective immediately for airmen.

"These changes will allow airmen additional flexibilities as to how to wear mustaches" said Gwendolyn DeFilippi, acting Deputy Chief of Staff for manpower, personnel and services. "Additionally, allowing airmen to wear sister-service patches in their current color configuration influences cohesiveness and pride while assigned to joint organizations."


No portion of the mustache will extend below the lip line of the upper lip. 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.


Airmen assigned, attached, detailed, or activated in support of sister-service units or joint organizations can now wear the unit's patches in accordance with the sister service or joint organizations wear instructions.

The badges or patches can be worn in the sister service or joint organization's color configuration and will not be converted to the spice brown color.

DAFI 36-2903 takes precedence if a sister service or joint organization wear instructions cause a conflict in Air Force patch configuration guidance, i.e. the wear instruction might switch a patch designated as a "left sleeve" patch to the right sleeve.

These updates were based off feedback provided to senior leaders and the updated DAFI will be published at a later date.

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