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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Haircuts

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

All male recruits get their hair cut at AFMBT

Official USAF Photo

Guys, in the first day or two after arrival at Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT), you will meet your first civilian at Lackland AFB. He will introduce himself by cutting off all of your hair (well, most of it, really). To add insult to injury, you have to pay for the haircut. The good news is that it will probably be about the fastest haircut you've ever had in your life. There's hardly no waiting! Don't bother saying, "Just a little off the sides." He's heard it a hundred times.

When I went through basic, one of the (stupid) recruits in my flight asked the T.I. if there was any way he could keep his hair. It seems his recruiter had told him that the Air Force no longer required hair to be cut short in basic training.

The T.I. looked at him, gave him a kindly smile (that should have been his first hint that something bad was going to happen), and said, "Sure. Let me talk to the barber."

When it came his time in the chair, the barber quickly cut off all his hair, then put it into a small trash bag, handed it to the recruit, and said, "Here. Keep it."

The T.I. made him carry that bag with him at all times during the first two weeks of basic. He also earned the nickname, "Harry."

After the first haircut, you'll receive a haircut once every other week while in AFBMT.

Ladies, you won't have to have your hair cut. However, while in uniform (which is 90 percent of the time in basic training), you must wear your hair in such a manner that it does not protrude past the bottom of the collar. You can braid it and/or put it into a bun, but, at no point can the bulk of your hair (including any "bun") exceed three inches. Any pins or barrettes you wear must be the same (approximate) color of your hair. Your bangs cannot touch your eyebrows, and your hair cannot interfere with the proper wear of military headgear (for your BDU uniform, the uniform you will wear most days, your "headgear" is kind of like a small baseball cap.

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