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Can You Have Hand Tattoos In The Navy

What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Navy


The U.S. Navy, like the other branches of the military, operated for decades without changing tattoo policies.

However, as tattoos have become much more a social norm the U.S. Armed Forces has begun to relax its standards.

Regardless, there are still certain standards you need to follow in order to qualify for the Navy.

While neck tattoos were once not permitted, the ink needs to remain small and under one inch in diameter.

Secondly, tattoos are still not allowed on the head, face, ears, or scalp.

Since body art is such a diverse subject with an endless list of images one can ink to their body, it is difficult for the U.S. military to create a list of everything the organization does not allow.

Consequently, the Navy grants permission to a commanding officer to determine what is acceptable and what is not allowed.

The U.S. Navy has zero tolerance when it comes to body ink that is considered offensive, racist, sexist, extremist, or discredit America.

Tattoos may also not discriminate against national origin or religion, even if the ink is covered under a uniform.

Any body art that suggests gang affiliation or the use of illegal substances is also not permitted.

Lastly, body mutilation is not allowed in any regard in the U.S. Navy.

It includes tongue forking, skin modification , intentional burns to create designs on the skin, or any type of dental ornamentation.

Joining The Military Or Aspiring To Be Promoted Your Tattoos Could Have An Impact

Each US military branch has its own appearance policies and tattoo policy that dictates the type, size, and location of allowable tattoos. However, all military tattoo policies are consistent regarding the content of allowed tattoos. Tattoos in the military cannot feature vulgarity, nudity, graphic violence, or any sentiments that could be considered racist, elitist, or anti-government. If the content of a military tattoo is in question, the decision is made by the soldiers commanding officer.

National Guard Tattoo Policy

The US National Guard is an important branch of the United States Armed Forces. The National Guard and Air National Guard are reserve forces, which means that those that serve do so on a part-time basis while also holding civilian jobs. Removery often sees clients who plan to join the National Guard but have tattoos that violate their tattoo policy.

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Why Tattoos Are Not Allowed In Army

Reason behind Strict policy on Body Tattoo: Indian Defence Forces do not allow candidates with permanent body tattoo because they are likely to have hazardous skin diseases. Some of the serious blood-borne diseases, infections caused due to tattoos are a risk of HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, tetanus, allergies, etc.

Whats The Big Deal About Tattoos

Navy Tattoo Policy For 2021: What IS and ISN

Many recruits wonder why the armed forces even care about their tattoos. While someone joining the Air Force or Marine Corps might expect to be required to put forth a professional appearance, someone joining the Army or Navy might think thatgiven the traditionally more rugged lifestyle of people in these branchesa tattoo on the hand or neck would not pose a big deal.

The reality of the matter is that the military is a place of tradition and high, uniform standards. Individuality is not valued like in our general society. Moreover, there are a lot of qualified recruits who meet the existing standards so theres little incentive to lower existing standards / regulations.

Tattoos that glorify sexism, drugs, violence, or extremist or indecent tattoos could pose problems for recruits. While some branches of the military will allow certain types of sleeve tattoos, many would-be recruits will find themselves being told to get laser tattoo removal treatment for these tattoos before they can submit enlistment papers.

Military tattoo regulations do tend to change slightly over time. So, while the below information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, you may want to double-check with your recruiter or another U.S. Military publication for the latest tattoo regulations.

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More On The Army’s Rules

The Army doesn’t 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 that’s 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.

Where Can I Not Get Tattoos

The biggest problems for those with tattoos will be if they are showing intolerance or if the tattoos are in the areas which are still not acceptable. These will include tattoos they view as racist, sexist, or any other kind of prejudice against a group as well as tattoos that show gang and extremist symbolism .

If you have tattoos containing intolerant messages and do not plan to remove them, you will not be accepted into the Navy.

Only face and head tattoos will no longer be allowed. After the 2016 policy reform, there has been a great reform of what is acceptable for Navy servicemen and servicewomen. As long as there is nothing on your face or head, you will likely be able to enlist .

Regardless of the tattoo and where it is, it will need to be noted down on your service record. Failing to show all tattoos and have them noted or acquiring more tattoos while actively serving can cause problems for you.

Although youre at the mercy and discretion of your commanding officer, it is very possible that you will face disciplinary action for unauthorized tattoos or even involuntary discharge from service, which can have long term consequences on your life back in civilian society.

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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.

What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Coast Guard

Tattoos You Can Earn In The Navy

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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Military Rules On Tattoos

Any visible tattoos can stop people from being accepted into the military.

The Army relaxed their rules on tattoos in 2014 allowing them on the back of a hand or back of a neck.

Originally soldiers could only have them on the upper arm as they could be hidden by uniform.

However, tattoos that are obscene, ie those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs for example are a no-no.

In 2013-14, the Army rejected 336 applications because of offensive or inappropriately placed tattoos, a Freedom of Information request showed.

One in five Britons has a tattoo, according to research cited by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2012.

The change to policy is consistent with the Army’s relaxation of rules in 2014, where they found no evidence to suggest the new approach has had an adverse impact on operational effectiveness.

The main Royal Navy change is that tattoos on the neck are now acceptable providing they are not visible in a front-view passport photo while the subject is wearing an open-neck shirt.

Tattoos on the hands are acceptable, provided they are not below the knuckle or on the palm of the hand.

Navy chiefs stress most tattoos and piercings won’t prevent recruits joining the Royal Marines providing they are not visible on a front-view passport.

The tradition dates back more than 300 years when Captain Cook explored the Pacific and his crew copied the tattoos worn by natives as ‘souvenirs’.

Can You Get A Waiver For Tattoos In The Navy

Yes, you can receive permission for a tattoo that is otherwise not allowed under the terms of the Navy tattoo policy.

Though waivers are not handed out liberally, you may receive a pass for a neck tattoo that is larger than one inch in diameter.

In order to qualify for a neck tattoo waiver, the ink may not touch the hairline or reach behind the ears.

Additionally, the Navy may grant a waiver for cosmetic tattoos that were performed by a licensed medical professional.

Sometimes cosmetic tattoos are performed in order to correct certain medical conditions and therefore the Navy may grant a waiver.

Military waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis with no guarantees.

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You Can Not Have Tattoos On Your Wrists Hands Neck Or

. The new rules. There is no limit to the number of tattoos you can have. Tattoos are not allowed on the sleeves the legs and arms of the soldiers.

It is possible to have a half or full sleeve tattoo on the arms or legs in the Air Force. The military should better screen new recruits for gang affiliations and ban potential recruits who have gang tattoos on their bodies from enlisting in the military. You are allowed to have tattoos on the entire arm but not past the wrist bone.

Yes the new Navy tattoo policy grants the same privileges to officers as enlisted personnel. Military have their own policies regarding tattoos. The Army tattoo policy was updated and relaxed in 2015 but is still one of the most strict in the military.

All four branches of the US. Yes under the recent changes in 2017 the Air Force now allows tattoo sleeves. This article answers that question and outlines what types of tattoos may keep you from joining the US.

Commanders should contact their servicing AFOSI unit for additional information. Each service puts restrictions on where tattoos can be placed. Tattoos in the Navy.

Navy and Army the Marine Corps does NOT allow any tattoo anywhere on the body that is prejudicial to good order and discipline or any tattoos that are. When it comes to tattoos content however the military has elaborated on longstanding prohibitions. However in 2013 the Army.

The main takeaways regarding the Army Tattoo Policy are. Answer 1 of 8. On the visible part of the arm ie.

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

Ship Tattoos Designs, Ideas and Meaning

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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Us Army Tattoo Policy: What’s Not Allowed

The Army’s policy prohibits tattoos or brands that might be considered offensive, regardless of where they appear on the body. Specifically, the regulations forbid:

  • Extremist tattoos. According to the regulations, these are tattoos or brands “affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.” This would include tattoos that: feature philosophies, groups or activities that promote racial or gender intolerance encourage discrimination based on numerous factors, including race, gender and religion advocate violence or “other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, and Federal or State law.”
  • Indecent tattoos. These include tattoos or brands that are “grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.” The Army’s regulations do not provide examples of tattoos that would fall under these descriptions.
  • Sexist tattoos. These include tattoos and brands that “advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender,” according to the regulations.
  • Racist tattoos. Tattoos or brands that “advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin” are not allowed.

Can Officers In The Navy Have Tattoos

Asked by: Adaline Pfannerstill V

Are Navy officers allowed to have tattoos? Yes, the new Navy tattoo policy grants the same privileges to officers as enlisted personnel. Therefore, Navy officers are allowed to have tattoos that extend below the elbow or knee, places on the body that were previously restricted prior to the updated policy.

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What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Army

As far as placement or location goes, we recommend the t-shirt test.

Throw on a t-shirt and stand in front of the mirror. Now, you cannot have any tattoos showing above the t-shirt collar line or anywhere on the neck, ear, face, scalp, etc.

This restriction also includes any inner-mouth or eyelid tattoos .

You cannot have any tattoos on your hands either .

The hand is defined as any location below the wrist bone. With this in mind, its best not to have any ink on your wrists at all.

As far as content of the tattoos, the Army prohibits anything that is:

  • Racist
  • Extremist
  • Indecent

These types of tattoos cannot be located anywhere on your body. And believe us, theyll check.

Of course, the terms above can be interpreted in different ways, so its ultimately up to your Recruiting Commander to make the call.

Also, if you have tattoos and eventually want to become an Officer or Warrant Officer, dont worry, theres still hope of moving up in rank.

You see, Commanders make recommendations for soldiers based on many considerations so you likely wont be rejected on account of your tattoos alone.

Finally, if you have a tattoo that you think will disqualify you from the Army, its worth a shot to check with the recruiters anyway.

You might get a waiver for, say, a tiny tattoo on your hand or something small behind your ear.

So dont count yourself out!

Popeye The Sailor Man

Can Marines Get Tattoos| USMC

While Popeye is a Sailor Man, and therefore a card-carrying member of the good ol U.S. Navy, hes a go-to for Coast Guardsmen who are looking for a great tattoo.

Dont be too surprised if you come across loads of Popeye-themed tattoos on Coasties young and old.

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New Usaf Tattoo Policy

  • Removes the 25% rule a rule that stated Airmen could not have tattoos that were larger than 25% of their body
  • Eliminates size restrictions on tattoos located on arms, chest, back, and legs
  • Clearly defines the tattoo locations that are not permitted
  • Allows for only one single-band ring tattoo, located on only one finger and one hand

Rules About Tattoo Locations

Head: Tattoos on the head or neck, including in or around the mouth area, are prohibited.

Chest and Back: Tattoos on the chest or back must be below the collarbone and seventh cervical vertebrae . Tattoos on the chest or back must be covered by wearing a properly fitting crewneck t-shirt with no portion of the tattoo showing.

Lower Arms: Lower arm tattoos may extend down no further than a line around the circumference of the wrist measured at the wrist bone.

Hands/Fingers/Wrists: Tattoos are prohibited on the hands and fingers with the exception of a singleband tattoo of no more than 3/8 of an inch in width on one finger of each hand.

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