The Air Force is thinking outside of the box and is considering relaxing its fitness standards for some career fields or changing its tattoo policy in an effort to broaden its recruiting pool. Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the service’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, said USAF needs to “think deliberately about how we value uniformity.” Standards across the entire force “scares a lot of people,” she said during an AFA-sponsored, Air Force event Wednesday in Arlington, Va. “Do I care what a cyber warrior weighs?” Grosso asked, adding if someone who works on cyber networks needs to focus as much on their mile and a half time. Similarly, does the Air Force need to enforce standards related to tattoos the same way now? “Do I care that someone has a flower on their arm?” Grosso said. Still, the service must make sure it doesn’t stray too far from the requirements it has had for decades. “We’re certainly going to need some people who are brawny, and we’re also going to need some people for their intellect as well,” she said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.