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Forget “aim high,” or “it’s not science fiction, it’s what we do every day,” or any of the other recruiting slogans the Air Force has used over the years. Now, it just needs three words to get more recruits than any other branch: “Hands in pockets.”
Starting in October, the Air Force will break with decades of tradition by allowing its members to put their hands in their pockets while in uniform.
The change is one of many grooming and uniform changes that loosen up restrictions for airmen. Others include being able to use a cell phone or drink water while walking in uniform; new physical training uniforms; longer hair and hair accessory standards; cosmetic tattooing for men; and wearing morale patches on Fridays or during special events.
“We trust our airmen, noncommissioned officers and commanders with incredible resources and significant responsibilities and we’ll need to do so even more as we prepare for future conflicts,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, in a statement on Tuesday. “We likewise trust they can figure out what it takes and means to maintain standards without specifying exact behavior in every situation.”
In October, the Air Force will break with decades of tradition by allowing members to put their hands in pockets.