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Chapter 4, AFJROTC Grooming Standards

4.1. Personal Appearance. One thing that makes the AFJROTC program a unique course of instruction is the identification it has with the Air Force. AFJROTC cadets wear the Air Force uniform and have grooming standards like members of the Air Force. Our standard has four basic elements: neatness, cleanliness, safety, and military image. This standard is based on Air Force Instruction 36-2903 and AFROTC Regulation 35-12, and applies to cadets while in uniform. The following general standards apply to both male and female cadets any time they are in uniform.

4.1.1. Hair. Must be clean, neat, and well groomed. Must be styled so it does not touch the eyebrow or protrude in front below the band of properly worn headgear except that the hair may be visible in front of the women’s cap. Hair must not be worn in an extreme or fad style such as a Mohawk, pigtails, dog-ears, ducktail, or have designs cut in the hair. The design must not cause the hair to exceed length or bulk standards. Hair may not be dyed unnatural or multiple colors.

4.1.2. Jewelry. Members may wear wristwatches and no more than a total of three rings on both hands. One bracelet is also permitted if it is neat, conservative, not wider than one-half inch, and its color does not clash with the uniform. Colored bracelets that support a cause are not allowed with the uniform. Female cadets in uniform may wear one pair of earrings in the earlobe if the earrings are conservative and kept within limits. For example, you may wear one small spherical (diamond, gold, black, white pearl, or silver) pierced or clip earring on each earlobe. The earring worn in each earlobe must match. Earrings should fit tightly without extending below the earlobes. Male cadets may not wear earrings in uniform and may not wear them in the JROTC classroom or at JROTC functions. Cadets will not wear any ornamentation on the face (e.g. nose rings, tattoos, etc.) Jewelry, healing posts, or spacers will not be worn in the tongue, nose, or eyebrow while in uniform or at any time in the JROTC classroom or at JROTC functions.

4.2. Male cadets. These specific standards apply to male cadets.

4.2.1. Beards. Must not be worn except for medical reasons when authorized by the SASI with the written recommendation of a physician.

4.2.2. Mustaches. Must not extend downward beyond the lip-line of the upper lip or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the mouth.

4.2.3. Sideburns. You may have sideburns if they are neatly trimmed and tapered in the same manner as your haircut. Sideburns must be straight and of even width (not flared) and end in a clean-shaven horizontal line. They may not extend below the lowest part of the outer ear opening.

4.2.4. Hair. Keep your hair clean, neat, and trimmed. It must not contain large amounts of grooming aids such as greasy creams, oils, and sprays that remain visible in the hair. When your hair is groomed, it should not touch your ears or eyebrows, and only the closely cut or shaved hair on the back of your neck should touch the collar.

Your hair should not exceed 1-1⁄4 inches in bulk regardless of the length. Bulk is the distance that the hair projects from the scalp when groomed (as opposed to length of the hair). The bulk and length of your hair must not interfere with wearing any Air Force headgear properly, and it must not protrude below the front band of the headgear. Your hair must have a tapered appearance on both sides and back, both with and without headgear. A tapered appearance means that, when viewed from any angle, the outline of the hair on the side and back will generally match the shape of the skull, curving inward to the end point.

Your hair may not contain or have attached to it any visible foreign items. If you dye your hair, it should look natural. You may not dye your hair an unusual color or one that contrasts with your natural coloring. No extreme of faddish hair styles are allowed. Hair may not protrude below the front band of properly worn headgear.

4.3. Female cadets. These specific standards apply to female cadets.

4.3.1. Cosmetics. Must be conservative and in good taste in the opinion of the instructors.

4.3.2. Nail Polish. Should be clear, neutral, or a subdued color which does not clash with the uniform. Nail Polish should not be chipped.

4.3.3. Hair styles. Your hair should be no longer than the bottom of the collar edge at the back of the neck. Your hairstyle must be conservative—no extreme or faddish styles are allowed. It should also look professional and allow you to wear uniform headgear in the proper manner, so your hair must not be too full or too high on the head. In addition, your hairstyle shouldn’t need many grooming aids. If you use pins, combs, barrettes, elastic bands or similar items, they must be plain, similar in color to your hair, and modest in size. Wigs or hairpieces must also conform to these guidelines.

Hair will not contain excessive amount of grooming aids or touch the eyebrows. Hair color/ highlights/frosting (must not be faddish). Examples of natural looking for human beings: Blonde/Brunette/ Red/Black. No shaved heads or flat-top hairstyles for women. Micro-braids and cornrows are authorized for women.

4.4. Failure to meet standards. Cadets must work hard to continually meet the grooming standards. It is the responsibility of all cadets to inform a cadet when that standard has not been met. A cadet who is informed of his or her violation is expected to take corrective action immediately, if possible. If not possible to correct immediately, the problem should be corrected as soon as possible, but definitely before the uniform is worn again. The trick question goes like this: “How often should a good cadet need a haircut?” The correct answer is, of course, “a good cadet should NEVER need a haircut, because he took care of it before it was needed.”

4.5. Personal Hygiene. Cadets are expected to maintain high standards of personal cleanliness and sanitary practice. Cadets may be counseled and/or referred to the school nurse if they fail to meet acceptable standards. Do not mark on your skin with pens or markers.