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Physical Fitness

Under the current Department of the Air Force physical fitness standards, minimum components have been established for each category.  Cadets must achieve a score of 75 or greater to pass the fitness assessment.  (The new minimum values) can be found on the bottom of the chart and if one fails any of the 4 categories (1.5 mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, or body composition) this will result in an automatic failure, even if the total score is a 75 or greater.  Begin exercising now to ensure you meet the minimums and keep in mind that the higher your score, the more competitive you will be in the program.  Below is an excellent video that breaks down the PFA showing the proper form for each of the events.  Be sure to watch it carefully and take a practice PFA to get a baseline score to see what areas you might need improvement in. If you are not able to meet the minimums, your enrollment in the program will be jeopardized.

Department of the Air Force Regulations

The Department of the Air Force strictly follows regulations concerning appearance and behavior of Airmen and Air Professionals.  These regulations are in effect at all times while in uniform.  To ease your transition into the program, follow the guidelines below to ensure you are within regulations before arriving at Penn State.


The hair must be neat, clean, and well groomed in appearance. The hair above the ears and at the nape of the neck must be tapered. A block at the neckline is permitted with a tapered appearance. Hair may not touch the ears, eyebrows or collar (except that the closely tapered hair at the neck may touch the collar). The length and bulk of the hair may not interfere with properly worn headgear. Hair extending down the back of the neck (below the natural neckline, also referred to as grizzly man jack) is to remain shaved to maintain a sharp, tapered appearance.

Hair cannot exceed 1 1/4 inches in bulk/length on the top of the head or and exceed 1/4 inch on the sides.

Sideburns may not extend past the bottom of the ear orifice and may not be flared or pointed at the bottom and must terminate with a clean shaved horizontal line.  Trendy or unkempt styles are not allowed, and dying the hair any color that does not look like your natural color is not allowed.

The face must be clean shaved while in uniform and during the entirety of NCOP.

***Cleanly shaven heads, military high-and- tight, or flat top haircuts are authorized.  High and tights begin with a very short blade near the ears and progress to a slightly larger setting on top.


Styled to present a professional appearance. Allow the wear of conservative hairpins, combs, headbands, elastic bands and barrettes. Hair pins and bands must match hair color. Long hair will be secured with no loose end. Bangs, if worn, will not touch the eyebrows.

Braids, micro-braids and cornrows are authorized. However, must be solid color similar to the individual’s hair color; conservative and not present a faddish appearance.  Hair cannot extend below any side of an invisible line drawn parallel to the ground at the bottom edge of the shirt collar regardless of length. Length will not be excessive or include hair ornaments such as ribbons, beads, jeweled pins, or hair scrunchy.

Cosmetics are to be worn conservatively and in good taste. Fingernails are to be clean and not exceed ¼ inch in length. Fingernail polish must be one solid color and only colors that are conservative and complement skin tone.

Appearance in detachment and at ROTC activities when not in uniform:

While not in uniform, cadets are expected to dress professionally and be clean shaven.  No open toed shoes, ripped jeans, short shorts, or shirts that have words or pictures that are foul, offensive or in bad taste.  These items will not be tolerated and you will be asked to go home and change. Language will be professional as profanity and inappropriate conversation is unacceptable.


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Website last updated: 18 June 2020



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The Air Force Symbol is a registered trademark. Use of this logo by any non-Federal entity must receive permission from the Air Force Branding and Trademark Licensing Office at Non-Federal entities wishing to use the Air Force Symbol should reference the DoD Guide on the use of Government marks. The link to the guide can be found at Those with a valid CAC may download high-resolution versions of the Symbol from the Air Force Portal. The link to the graphics is located under the “Library and Resources” tab. Guidance on the proper use and display of the Symbol can be found in AFI35-114.

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