Space Force Guardians are allowed to have more tattoos and longer mustaches and will be able to use more types of makeup while in uniform, according to new grooming and dress policies for the service.
The new policy, unveiled Tuesday, eases mustache restrictions at the outer corners of the mouth; increases color options for nail and lipstick to allow variations for women's skin tones; lets men wear inconspicuous concealer or foundation to cover up scars and blemishes; and grants new tattoo locations.
It also reveals new rank insignia, nametags, hat badges and buttons that Guardians can wear, as well as makes formal mess dress optional for all officers until a Space Force version of the uniform is created.
Tattoos are authorized on the chest and back, arms, legs and feet. But chest and back tattoos cannot be visible through any uniform combination or while wearing an open collar uniform, according to the policy.
A single, non offensive tattoo is now allowed on the neck or behind the ear, but it cannot exceed one inch in measurement in any direction. Additionally, "ring tattoos are limited to a single band, no more than 3/8 of an inch in width, below the knuckle and above the finger joint on one or both hands, maximum of one ring tattoo per hand," the policy says.
Tattoos on any other portion of the hand are not allowed.
There is a small update for mustaches allowing for an additional "1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth," according to the policy.
Women are allowed to wear nail polish and lipstick in a single color "that does not detract from the uniform" and is not a distracting hue such as gold, blue, black, and bright or neon colors.
Men are not permitted to wear lipstick or nail polish, but "male Guardians are authorized to wear foundation and concealer only to cover scars or blemishes," the policy states.
While the service dress uniform has not yet been finalized, Guardians got a peek at what it may look like when Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond showed off the latest prototype during a Senate hearing earlier this month.
Noteworthy changes on the uniform that Raymond sported include "adding stripes down the pants, changing the pocket style, adding pockets on the lower half of the jacket, and decreasing the number of buttons on the interior enclosure of the jacket," Maj. Vicky Porto, a Department of the Air Force spokeswoman, told Military.com.
But as Guardians await their own service dress uniform, guidance has been revealed for new lapel insignia, nametags, arm patches, hat badges and more.
"These items will further identify members as Guardians as they continue to wear the interim service dress uniform until the new Space Force service dress uniform is available," a press release from the Department of the Air Force said.
The pandemic has caused delays for the textile industry, pushing back the date the service uniform will be available to the ranks. After the dress uniform is tested and finally approved, it likely won't be available to all Guardians until 2025.
All of the updated Space Force policies can be viewed here.
Since being established in 2019, when former President Donald Trump signed off on the creation of the new service branch, Space Force Guardians have been patiently waiting for guidance on basic guidelines such as grooming, rank and dress.
They even created their own motto to describe when they might get updates: "Semper Soon."
"Guardians have been waiting a long time for this policy to drop, and I couldn't be happier to get it out there and start getting this stuff on the shelves," Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger A. Towberman said in a statement. "I appreciate their connection, which brought us these ideas, and the character they've shown waiting patiently for us to work through the policy process."
-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.