Air Force Issues New Guidelines for Beards, Turbans and Hijabs

Source: Stars and Stripes | By Chad Garland

Airmen will be allowed to wear up to 2-inch beards under a new Air Force guidance that outlines grooming standards for religious accommodations.

The updated grooming policy, published Friday, also allows members of the Sikh faith to wear turbans and Muslim women to wear hijabs.

Airmen must have religious or medical exemptions to grow beards, the policy says.

The guidance for beards grown under a shaving waiver remains unchanged: Such whiskers must not be trimmed to give a sculpted appearance and cannot exceed a quarter-inch in length, the updated policy states.

The Air Force is following the lead of the Army, which in 2017 became the first service to allow Muslim and Sikh soldiers to wear head coverings and beards in line with their religious beliefs. A similar accommodation was extended later to Norse pagan service members.

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