Behaviour & Appearance


In representing Australia both at home and overseas, ADF personnel are expected to abide by civilian and military laws and exhibit high standards of behaviour and appearance.

Orders and discipline

Once you join the ADF you are legally bound to follow all lawful commands. This means you may be required to live, work and if necessary fight, anywhere in Australia or overseas at short notice.

You'll work in a team-oriented environment requiring high levels of mutual trust and cooperation. Risk to life may be involved, so general discipline and adherence to commands are critical.


Respect for your colleagues

The ADF is committed to providing an environment free from harassment and discrimination, and one where diversity is respected.


Standards of appearance

Being well groomed and wearing your uniform with pride is all part of maintaining the noble and longstanding traditions of the Navy, Army and Air Force. It also promotes an important sense of trust and confidence amongst the Australian community.

ADF dress and grooming regulations reflect, in a general manner, current professional standards. However, not all fashions in clothing, accessories and appearance will be permissible for ADF personnel when on duty or in uniform. Equally, specific rules may be introduced for certain roles or in special areas to allow for operational, hygiene and safety requirements.


Tattoos and body piercings

The ADF has a strict policy regarding personal appearance. The acceptability of tattoos and body piercings will be assessed on a case by case basis by Defence Force Recruiting.

If you are considering getting either please contact us for guidance as this may affect your application. Find out more about our tattoo and piercings policy in the FAQs section of these web pages.


Illegal drugs and alcohol

The use of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden in the ADF and will attract disciplinary and administrative action, which may include dismissal. Likewise, the ADF has a duty of care to provide a safe working environment and is committed to minimising alcohol related harm.