Like its sister services, the Air Force is getting in line to update its tattoo policy in the next few months.
"The Air Force has recently formed a working group to review the tattoo policy," Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Brooke Brzozowske told Air Force Times on Tuesday. "Depending on the working group's findings, we anticipate any policy change proposals to be ready for Air Force leadership consideration in the fall of 2016."
Brzozowske did not say specifically what senior leadership is looking to change, but that its been in discussion for some time.
The news comes just a week after the Navy overhauled its tattoo policy, allowing sailors to sport neck tattoos, sleeves and even markings behind their ears, the most lenient policy of any military service.
And airmen, like sailors, may be able to cheer on new reforms if the outcome is favorable.
The form remains on an airman's service record until the he or she leaves the Air Force or the tattoo is removed, Brzozowske said.
Airmen cannot tattoo themselves with symbols linked to hate groups, Brzozowske said. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations generates a list of what constitutes intolerable markings.
"If presented with a request from Air Force officials, AFOSI would research the symbol to determine if it has been reported to law enforcement in the past as associated with hate groups," Brzozowske said. Local and federal law enforcement, such as the Justice Department, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, play a part in determining such symbols, she said.
"As long as it's not visible in the Army uniform … that's the spirit of what we went after," he said.
Oriana Pawlyk covers deployments, cyber, Guard/Reserve, uniforms, physical training, crime and operations in the Middle East, Europe and Pacific for Air Force Times. She was the Early Bird Brief editor in 2015. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.