125 Air Force Tattoos that Catch the Eye

Tattooing has been one of the powerful ways of self-expression for not only civilians but also military veterans. These tattoos exhibit stories of soldiers’ bravery, valor, and sacrifices. A lot of retired military veterans try to bridge the isolation gap of what these veterans experienced after returning from their deployment. In general, similar to civilians, tattooing in air forces is also considered a powerful mode of expression that represents plenty of emotional associations a warrior or soldier experiences in his/her career. From anger and loss to fear and freedom, forces tattoos have a lot to portray.

Although all the arm forces tattoos are popular, air force tattoos have a separate fan base. It is the large variety of air force tattoos that do not allow airmen sketch eye-catching tattoos on their body, but also ordinary people who want to display their patriotism. Air force tattoos have tons of variations including badges and symbols that people specially like to dedicate to the aviation branch. As air force controls the activities in the air and is always ready to attack anyone who violates the airspace, the force dominates the airways.

That is one of the reasons why you will find wings, nation mascots, bald eagle, medals, and air force badges among popular air force tattoos. Interestingly, to get air force tattoo, you don’t necessarily have to be in the air force. Tattooing is the common passion you would find in people who are somehow related to airmen. They sketch air force tattoos in the memory of their loved ones who served the arm forces. Like every other military branch, the risk of accidents, wars, and death is always high in the air force. And tattooing any air force symbol is one of the best ways to remember the services of fallen soldiers.

To put it simply, demonstrating your patriotism through a tattoo is a proud way to stand for your country.  If you are planning to ink your body to honor air force services, reading this article might help you find exciting tattoo ideas. However, before we round up these tattoos, let’s run through the latest amendments in air force tattooing policies.  Air Force Tattoo

Air Force Amendments in Tattoo Policy


Air force will soon be more colorful with stylish tattoos as the policy concerning tattoos has been amended. Previously, air force candidates were allowed to have tattoos only on certain parts of their body, which shouldn’t be more than 25% of the body. The new policy has gone into effect from Feb 1, 2017 and it is considered a step toward making tattooing policy more lenient.

The Air force Secretary Deborah Lee James communicated this shift from previous policies after reviewing them. The amendment aims to broaden the pool of opportunities for eligible applicants looking to join the service. Past policies on tattooing restricted a lot of youngsters who wanted to support the air force mission and show their love for the country.

That is what makes knowing the tattoo policy, along with the latest amendments substantially important.

Allowed Air Force Tattoos

Although air force has already lifted the 25 percent rule for a good reason, there is a need for you to know what body parts are allowed to get inked. Knowing the policies may save you from potential disqualification if you intend to apply to air force soon.

The good news is that airmen can now virtually have a tattoo of any size anywhere on the legs, feet, and arms.  Not only this, tattooing full or half sleeves arms are perfectly and technically allowed on both hands. If you have an existing tattoo on your hands, they were authorized and assessed under the new policy standards.

Air Force Tattoo

 Air Force Tattoos that are NOT allowed

 Although air force has comparatively more lenient policies when it comes to sketching tattoos on various parts of the body, it still has some restrictions and standards that you need to follow.

Airmen cannot ink up tattoos on the following locations:

  • The Head
  • The Neck
  • The Tongue
  • The Lips
  • The Scalp
  • The Face

Despite these restricted body areas, airmen have a lot of canvas to get tattoos.

Air Force Tattoo Ideas and Meanings

There is no doubt that like other military branches, the air force has its medals and badges. These badges and medals signify special skills, qualifications, and service of airmen for their country. These badges show the identification of the air force ranking.

If you choose to get a tattoo based on a particular badge, it demonstrates how proud you are of your services for your motherland. It further shows the accomplishments you’ve done in the uniform. Apart from that, badge tattoos are a strong reminder of your courage and fearlessness.

Although aviation tattoo designs are primarily different but also have some standard features including ordinary wings that symbolize occupation, spirit, and skills of airmen. Precisely, the navigator air force symbol is a famous air force tattoo design that embodies wings and planes.

Fighter Jet and Wing Tattoo

An air force tattoo is incomplete if it doesn’t have fighter jets. Artists ink this tattoo on the upper arm, and it displays your associations with the air force quintessentially. They draw it with the American flag and a fighter jet that is in action. Plus, this air force tattoo has an official USASF emblem.

 Old- School Dogfighter

It is another popular air force tattoo that looks incredibly great when it comes to depicting warplanes that people used in the early 1990s. The tattoo basically portrays epic sleeve which are the aircrafts used in the ‘Throes of an Epic Dogfight’. The theme of this air force tattoo gives you nostalgia as it reminds the services of air force warriors for the nation.

Airman in Cockpit

The tattoo is more like a portrait and looks best if artists sketch it on the back. The tattoo depicts a complete image of an airman who is ready to attack. It uses monochromic ink and white and black rendering. Also, there’re comrades on either side of airmen. The tattoo is all about courage, bravery and having each other’s back in the air.

 Shark-Mouth Fighter

The nose art on the fighter jet became the talk of the town when some of the popular air force veterans ink their arms with this tattoo. The shark-mouth fighter is incredibly popular for its recognizable and unique nose art which was first drawn by a German fighter. Later, an American volunteer group copied it; the group was called the Flying Tigers.

Air Force Chest Tattoo

Many civilians wear this tattoo as it embodies a take-no-prisoners attitude but at the same time the aggression of an air force pilot. The tattoo has three fighter jets that seem to emerge from a large air force badge. It looks perfect on the chest due to its large size.

Tiny Air force Badge

Simple, monochromic air force badge inspires many people no matter where you draw it on your body.  It is an easy way to pay tribute to your air force services.

Nation Mascot

Nation Mascot is a popular tattoo among air force members that shows a bald eagle flying high with its wings spread on a flag.  The classic tattoo also includes an air force pendant that is a part of the uniforms. The eagle that is holding the pendant is underneath its right wing. Whether you draw this tattoo on the chest or upper arm, it looks fabulous.

Eagle with Freedom Tattoo

The tattoo has an inscription of a popular saying ‘Freedom is not free’ in the world of soldiers. The tattoo expresses the idea that independence doesn’t come overnight, and it takes lives and sacrifices every day. You will see the quote right next to fighter jet image.

Cloudy Skies

The cartoony and realistic versions of cloudy tattoos are both famous and exciting. The tattoo has an image of cloudy skies and a jet making its way through them, symbolizing the hardships and challenges of an airman in the air space. You can customize the tattoo graphics the way you want. The tattoo is usually done with black ink if you opt for its realistic version.  However, in the cartoony version, the jet is chomping its way through the bullets and flying creatures appear with loud and bright colors.

Death before Dishonor Tattoo

It is another interesting air force tattoo that represents the hard training and survival effort of soldiers and airmen. The tattoo sends this message through this powerful inscription that there is no honor in living a coward life.

Air force Badge with Parachute and Plane

The tattoo is great to remember the lost lives in the battles or wars. The tattoo has a large air force badge in the center with fighter jets and parachutes flying around.


Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, air force tattoos do not only look fantastic but are also a great way to show your love for the arm forces and their services.