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Can You Go To The Military With Tattoos

Army Eases Rules On Hand And Neck Tattoos

Tattoos Before Joining The Military – You’re Ruining Your Life..

The Army has eased its rules on hand and neck tattoos, the Ministry of Defence has said.

It says tattoos are now allowed on hands and the back of the neck, but not on the face or any neck areas that could be visible on passport photos.

Army regulations had limited tattoos to those that are covered by a shirt – ie below the collar and above the cuff.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said visible tattoos have no “adverse impact on operational effectiveness”.

“Tattoos have become more acceptable in society over the last decade and, in recent years, there has been an increasing number of personnel with tattoos on visible areas.”, the MoD said.

The US army relaxed its policy on hand and neck tattoos in 2006.

Off Duty On A Military Installation

Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part . Pierced earlobes on women are allowed but should not be extreme or excessive.

The type and style of earrings worn by women on a military installation should be conservative and within sensible limits.

What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Marines

Heres an easier way to remember this: Tattoos are OK under PT.

That is, under a properly fitting standard physical training uniform , a Marine can have unlimited tattoos of all shapes, sizes, colors, etc.

Of course, even under the PT, there are restrictions regarding content of tattoos, but well get to that in a bit.

Outside of the PT uniform , a Marine is permitted up to four tattoos and no more.

Also, these four tattoos must adhere by the following standards:

  • A tattoo, or group of tattoos, located anywhere on the lower arm is allowed only if it can be covered by the Marines hand with his or her fingers extended and joined with the thumb flush against the side of the hand. The measurement will be from the base of the palm to the tip of the fingers and from the outside of the thumb to the outside of the palm.
  • Band tattoos are permitted so long as the band does not exceed three inches or the width of the Marines four fingers extended and joined, whichever is greater. This goes for both Officers and enlisted Marines.
  • On the arms, no tattoos are permitted within two inches of the wrist-bone.
  • Also on arms, the tattoo cannot be located within two inches above or below the elbow.
  • And on knees, the same two-inch above/below rule applies.

While hand tattoos are prohibited in the Marines, a wedded Marine can get a pass.

They can have a single band tattoo of no more than 3/8 of an inch in width on one finger.

But this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

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Who Has The Final Say On Appropriateness

Commanders and first sergeants are the first line of authority for making this determination. Body piercing is relatively straightforwarddon’t display it while in uniform, while performing official duty in civilian attire or on a military installation at any time. Tattoos are a bit more subjective, but this policy provides commanders guidelines to make the calls.

Tattoos And The Military: The Dos And Donts If You Want To Join The Service

Tale of the Tat: U.S. Military Body Ink Picture

A lot of people have tattoos, and our reasons for getting them range from acknowledging meaningful, life-changing moments to a weekend bender in L.A., New York, or Miami that ends up at an ink shop. Its your body and you can put whatever you want wherever you want. Right? Well, that depends on your future plans. Pay attention to what comes next if you plan to join the military after high school or college or if youre already in the armed services.

This next line is tough for me to get out, but your mama was right: Think before you ink. Each of the armed services has different regulations that change on a continuing basis. If youre already in the service, your existing tattoos are grandfathered in, but the doesnt mean they cant hurt your chances at a promotion. Also, new tattoos have to meet the stricter requirements, which leads to my next point.

If you tend to make rash decisions after drinking, make sure at least one of your buddies has your back. You might want to pick someone big enough to deter you from making stupid things that involve a tattoo shop. Anything thats going to follow you to the grave deserves deliberate intention, so if you hanker for body art, plan it out and go to a reputable place that understands military regulations. Dont drink then ink.

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But Here Are Some General Guidelines To Follow:

If your tattoos are in any way offensive, racist, sexist, extremist, or discredit America, unpack your bags.

The Navy has a strict policy regarding the content of tattoos.

They do not allow tattoos that discriminate against religion or national origin.

And any tattoos that suggests gang affiliation or the use of illegal drugs are not allowed.

Likewise, tattoos that are deemed offensive might also not pass the sniff test.

You cannot have any tattoos on your head or scalp, and nothing on the actual ear itself.

As previously mentioned, a neck tattoo cannot exceed the height/width dimensions of one inch.

However, in some cases, a neck tattoo that exceeds the maximum 1-inch x 1-inch dimension might be considered by the Navy recruiting commander.

But this tattoo must be located on the back of the neck, and not be touching the hairline or reaching behind the ears.

Furthermore, body mutilation is not allowed in the Navy.

This includes everything up to and including the following:

  • Tongue forking
  • Gauged or enlarged holes in ears
  • Skin modification such as intentional scarring
  • Intentional burns to create designs on skin
  • Any sort of dental ornamentation such as gold front teeth

Finally, men are not permitted to wear body piercings.

However, women are allowed to wear one ball-studded earring in each ear.

Can I Join The Army With A Tattoo

One of the most common questions we get is Can I Join the Army if I have a Tattoo. This article answers that question and outlines what types of tattoos may keep you from joining the U.S. Army.

You will NEVER be allowed to enlist in the Regular Army, Army Reserves, or Army National Guard if you have any of the non-waivable disqualifying tattoos below. Depending on abundance of recruits, standards may be more strict than listed:

  • Tattoos located on the head, face, neck, wrists, hands, or fingers
  • Tattoos which are extreme, sexist, indecent, or racist
  • Having more than four tattoos located below the knee or between the elbow and wrist

As part of efforts to maintain the professional appearance of the force, the Army dialed back the number, size and placement of tattoos in the March regulation.

Previously authorized tattoos were grandfathered in, but Soldiers hoping to become an officer had to get an exception to the policy.

The updated regulation takes into account that previously authorized tattoos should not prevent a Soldier from becoming an officer, but that candidates are to be evaluated based on the whole Soldier concept, or all characteristics of a Soldier.

Here is the latest policy on tattoos from Army Regulation 670-1 :

33. Tattoo, Branding, and Body Mutilation PolicyNote: This paragraph is punitive with regard to Soldiers. Violation by Soldiers may result in adverse administrative action and/or charges under the provisions of the UCMJ.

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Questions About Tattoos And Tattoo Removal

It is common to have questions about your tattoos, or about the tattoo removal process. If you are not sure whether one of your tattoos will keep you from enlisting, be sure to talk with your recruiter and review the applicable regulations. If you have questions about laser tattoo removal, feel free to contact us. We are happy to sit down with you, assess your tattoos, and give you a realistic idea of the amount of time, cost, and the number of treatment sessions that it will take to remove them.

We are thrilled that you are considering making a career out of serving our great country. And we are here to do whatever we can to help make your dream a reality. Contact us today for a consultation, and lets get started!

Can You Have A Full Sleeve Tattoo In The Coast Guard

The Army’s Tattoo Policy

Yes, the Coast Guard does not place any restrictions on arm or leg tattoos, unlike the U.S. Marines.

Military personnel in the Coast Guard are allowed to sport both full and half-sleeve tattoos on the arms or legs.

Just make sure that the content of the tattoo sleeve does not violate any of the inappropriate/offensive issues listed under the Coast Guard tattoo policy.

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What Can You Do If Your Tattoo Doesnt Meet Military Standards

Laser tattoo removal is your best option for getting rid of unwanted ink that violates the military standard. While the military will not pay for your removal, many laser clinics offer military discounts. At MEDermis Laser Clinic were proud to offer 10% off individual treatments or an additional 10% off our discounted prepaid packages to all active military personnel.

  • Before and after 3 laser treatments with MEDermis
  • Before and after 5 laser treatments with MEDermis

What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Coast Guard

Location. Location. Location.

Similar to other branches of the military, the Coast Guard has very specific rules regarding the placement or location of tattoos.

No tattoos or brands are authorized anywhere on the head, scalp, face, and neck.

Otherwise, as far as location of tattoos go, your body is your canvas.

As for content of individual or groups of tattoos, the Coast Guard is particular about what they authorize and what is non-negotiable.

A Coast Guardsman cannot wear any tattoo that promotes:

  • Racism/discrimination
  • Violence
  • Sexual explicitness

You can read all about how the Coast Guard defines the above terms in their official memo announcing the new tattoo policy change.

But before we move on, the Coast Guard does offer guidance in the form of an image collage as to what type of tattoo designs are not authorized .

Coasties are also not authorized to have any body mutilations, also known as intentional alterations and / or modifications to a members body .

Body Piercings are also prohibited, with the exception of women who may have small studded earrings.

As described in the Coast Guards latest uniform regulations, no piercing shall be made through the ear, nose, tongue, chin, eyebrow, or any other body part that would be visible while in any uniform.

This prohibition applies to male and female members alike and is specifically intended to limit the less than military appearance associated with vacant holes in the face and other exposed areas of the body.

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More On The Armys Rules

The Army doesnât allow recruits or soldiers to cover disallowed tattoos with bandages or makeup.

Before soldiers decide to obtain a new tattoo, the regulations advise speaking with a unit leader to make sure the tattoo thatâs envisioned will abide by Army rules.

If a soldier is found to have a tattoo that breaks the rules, the commander is instructed to take several steps, beginning with counseling of the soldier about the tattoo rules. If a soldier with a disallowed tattoo or brand refuses to have it removed, then the commander is instructed to initiate administrative separation proceedings.

What Are The Disciplinary Actions For Having An Unauthorized Tattoo In The Air Force

The Meaning of the Military Tattoos: history of drawings, photo, sketches

According to the Air Force tattoo policy, service members who have or receive unauthorized tattoos, brands, or body markings are required to initiate removal or alteration.

Airmen may have the opportunity to receive tattoo removal at a medical treatment facility or must do so on their own accord.

Airmen that refuse to remove or alter unauthorized body art in a timely manner are subject to a variety of appropriate quality force actions.

It includes but not limited to reprimand, UIF, control roster, referral EPRs/OPRs, military justice action, ineligibility for schools and assignments, or administrative discharge.

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Can You Have Neck/face/hand Tattoos In The Coast Guard

In general, no, but some small tattoos are allowed on the hands.

Head, scalp, and face tattoos are not authorized in the Coast Guard, like every other military branch, and for good reason.

Meanwhile, hand tattoos were once prohibited yet under the new policy service members are authorized one hand and two finger tattoos per hand.

There are restrictions on the size of hand and finger tattoos in the Coast Guard.

Lastly, neck tattoos are not authorized in the uniformed branch.

Options For Recruits Looking For A Fresh Start

As mentioned, tattoo rules vary by military branch. No matter branch you hope to join, tattoos on the face, neck, and hands are highly regulated . Covering up a face, neck, or hand tattoo will usually not be an option. Most recruits with these tattoos or other tattoos such as sleeve tattoos, tattoos with sexist or extremist messages, and other tattoos that radically alter their personal appearance will benefit from visiting a tattoo removal clinic.

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Are Army Officers Allowed To Have Tattoos

Yes, officers of the Army can still have tattoos.

The Army tattoo policy for 2021 is different from previous regulations that held commanding officers to higher physical appearance standards compared to enlisted soldiers.

The new policy basically holds officers to the same rules as enlisted soldiers when it comes to tattoos.

Commanding officers are also responsible for determining if a soldier under their watch gets a new tattoo that is deemed offensive.

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Will The Coast Guard Pay To Remove Tattoos

The Department of Defense does not generally provide funding for tattoo removal.

If you are ordered by the military branch to remove a tattoo that violates its policy you may request financial support through a medical procedure, yet nothing is guaranteed.

However, there are several affordable tattoo removal options on the market.

Can You Have Tattoos In The Military

If youve ever considered joining a branch of the armed services you know that there are strict guidelines you must meet. From education to age requirements to fitness tests, there are various requirements for enlisting. However, one of the most common questions people have is if you can have tattoos in the military.

Every branch has its own rules, some more strict than others, which means if you already have some ink youll need to do some extra digging to see whats allowed. The armed forces of the United States are made up of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and the Coast Guard. Additionally, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are reserve components of their services and operate in part under state authority.

For this article, well be focusing exclusively on the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

  • Before and after 6 laser treatments with MEDermis
  • Before and after 7 laser treatments with MEDermis

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Air Force Tattoo Regulations

The Air Force is pretty lax when it comes to servicemembers with tattoos. Airmen have no restrictions as to the tattoo size.

The following tattoos are allowed:

  • Airmen are allowed a single ring tattoo on one finger, on one hand
  • Half or full sleeve tattoos
  • Feet tattoos

You will notice, the Air Force is currently the only branch that allows feet tattoos.

As far as tattoo donts in the Air Force, just like other branches, there cannot be any tattoos on your face, neck, head, lips, or eyelids.

Be sure to keep up with the latest on the Air Force tattoo policy as policies are always subject to change.

What Is Not Allowed

US Marine Corps Army Tattoo On Left Half Sleeve

Despite the fact that the armys tattoo policy has been slightly relaxed in order to provide room for new recruits, there are still certain rules guiding soldiers in getting a tattoo.

Although soldiers are permitted to have tattoos, below are some things that are not allowed by the army as far as getting tattoos is concerned.

It is important to note that the prohibition of certain types of tattoo is not without cause.

The army is an organization and it is important for the unity of the Force to be reflected in the appearance of the soldiers.

Even though the unique personality of each Soldier is respected, drawing unnecessary attention to oneself in the army is not tolerated.

This is because the soldiers despite being individuals are considered to be a part of something bigger and the interest of the army must be put ahead of personal preferences.

Its on this basis that the army has a policy guiding getting tattooed while in active service.

Certain types of tattoo are not allowed in the army. Below is a list of the types of tattoos that are not allowed.

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