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Can You Have Neck Tattoos In The Air Force

Air Force To Review Its Tattoo Policy

Can I have Tattoos in The Air Force? / United States Air Force

Like its sister services, the Air Force is getting in line to update its tattoo policy in the next few months.

“The Air Force has recently formed a working group to review the tattoo policy,” Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Brooke Brzozowske told Air Force Times on Tuesday. “Depending on the working group’s findings, we anticipate any policy change proposals to be ready for Air Force leadership consideration in the fall of 2016.”

Brzozowske did not say specifically what senior leadership is looking to change, but that its been in discussion for some time.

The news comes just a week after the Navy overhauled its tattoo policy, allowing sailors to sport neck tattoos, sleeves and even markings behind their ears, the most lenient policy of any military service.

And airmen, like sailors, may be able to cheer on new reforms if the outcome is favorable.

The Air Force hasn’t updated its policy on tattoos since 2010, when there was a change to which changed how the chain of command could determineview, or even measure, a tattoo to be “excessive.” If airmen have excessive tattoos anything defined as covering 25 percent of an exposed body part or readily visible when wearing any uniform other than PT gear they also need to fill out a form for their commander to document that an excessive tattoo has been waived and the individual has been authorized to cover the tattoo with his or her uniform.

New In 202: Marine Corps Loosens Its Strict Tattoo Policy

Tattoo sleeves are back for Marines in 2022.

Sleeve tattoos were first banned in 2007 after the 2006 Sergeants Major Symposium found Marines of the times to have excessive tattoos.

In 2016 the tattoo policy was relaxed slightly, but sleeves were still banned and tattoos visible in physical training uniforms blocked Marines from serving on special duty assignments that come with extra pay and improved promotion ability.

Though the 2016 policy allowed an unlimited number of tattoos for enlisted Marines, as long as they were not sleeves, officers and officer candidates were limited to just four visible tattoos in their PT uniform.

The new policy does away with any rank distinction brining all Marines under the same policy.


In terms of size of placement Marines are only prohibited from tattoos on their face, head, neck and hands, with the exception of one ring-like tattoo.

Removing the ban on knee or elbow tattoos heralds the return of sleeves for Marines.

Chest and back tattoos must remain below the collarbone and seventh cervical vertebrae and must be fully covered by a a properly fitting crewneck T-shirt with no portion of the tattoo showing, according to the new policy.

Despite the change, Marines looking to join the Marine security guard program may want to think before getting tatted.

Both the 2016 policy and the current policy ban tattoos that are are drug-related, gang-related, extremist, obscene or indecent, sexist, or racist.

Why Is The Falcon The Academy Mascot

The falcon possesses characteristics that typify the U.S. Air Forcespeed, graceful flight, courage, alertness and noble carriage. Several prairie falcons, which are native to Colorado are housed at the Academy. Trained by cadet falconers, the prairie falcons perform demonstrations during half-time activities at football games. The Academys intercollegiate athletic teams are known as The Falcons.

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Space Force Tattoo Regulations

As of the writing of this article, we were unable to locate a tattoo policy for the U.S. Space Force, the sixth and newest branch of the military.

Even though we found guidance on Space Force uniforms and insignia, we advise you to speak with a recruiter and become familiar with the Air Force tattoo policy as the Space Force is situated within the Air Force.

Us Army Tattoo Ideas And Meanings

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Unlike the more cryptic and subdued tattoos popularized by Navy Sailors, Army Soldiers traditionally get tattoos that are bold, bloody, and rich with images of wartime battle.

For instance, you might see a soldier with a tattoo depicting a bomb dropping, or two soldiers fighting for their lives in a foxhole.

Tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets are the norm as are machine guns spitting bullets down a leg or an arm.

Here are a few of the more popularized Army tattoo designs

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

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.

Can You Have Tattoo In The Air Force

Tattoos, brands or piercings anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature that may bring discredit upon the Air Force, are prohibited both in and out of uniform. Tattoos, brands, and body markings are prohibited on the head, neck, face, tongue, lips, and scalp.

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Coast Guard Tattoo Policy

The coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of our Armed Forces The US Coast Guard is one of our countrys uniformed services.

And as such, they hold their personnel and service members to a high standard.

Like the other branches of military discussed in this article, the Coast Guard periodically reviews and updates their tattoo and branding policy to keep up with the times and our changing culture.

The Coast Guards latest tattoo policy was unveiled late 2016.

And according to Kurt B. Hinrichs /s/ Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Director of Reserve and Military Personnel, the changes to the policy are minimal but important.

The report released by Hinrichs explains that the policy update is to ensure our workforce presents a sharp, professional military appearance to the public while also allowing individual expression through authorized body art that is consistent with the Coast Guards core values.

It seems as though the Coast Guard is keeping in step with the trend thats being followed by all military branches.

That is, theyre loosening up to attract recruits from the largest recruiting pool possible, without sacrificing core values.

But these changes in their tattoo policy arent for new recruits only.

Rather, according to the report, All Coast Guard unit commanders, commanding officers, officers-in-charge, deputy/assistant commandants, and chiefs of headquarters staff elements shall comply with the provisions of this Instruction.

What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Navy

Tattoos in the Air Force (NEW!)

Now, you might want an exhaustive list of exactly what types of tattoos the Navy does not accept, but its not that easy.

While there are guidelines there arent any set-in-stone rules that cover every possible scenario.

Because lets face it, the diversity of tattoos are only limited to the imagination, so new cases pop up all the time that the Navy must deal with on the fly.

With this in mind, its the commanding officer who gets the last say.

USAToday goes on to quote Stevens saying:

There are just so many variables when you look at tattoo language and tattoo art that its just not reasonable to try and identify a set list of what is and what isnt acceptable. This is one of those areas where we trust this senior leadership, our triads, to be able to look at something in its context, using the chain of command and having discussions amongst themselves as to whether something is appropriate or not.

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What Kinds Of Tattoos Are Outright Banned

Per Marine Corps bulletin 1020 dates 29 October 2021:

Tattoos that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, or that are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service, are prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to, tattoos that are drug-related, gang-related, extremist, obscene or indecent, sexist, or racist.

You can read longer descriptions about type of banned content in MCBUL 1020.

What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Army

Well, the Cliff Notes version of the Armys tattoo policy goes something like this:

The wrist down and the neck up are off limits, with the exception of a single ring tattoo, otherwise its fair game.

While this might help to understand the policy in general terms, its actually a bit more nuanced than this.

Its true that there are no limits as to how many tattoos, and the size of those tattoos, a soldier can have on their arms, legs, chest, and torso.

You can be tatted up pretty good in the Army.

And while you cannot have any hand tattoos , you can have one ring tattoo per hand, located where you would naturally wear a ring.

Finally, permanent makeup such as eyebrows and eyeliner is allowed only on women, and must be applied conservatively and with modesty.

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Air Force Relaxes Tattoo Policy Allows Sleeves

The Air Force on Tuesday announced it will no longer limit the size of airmen’s body tattoos, in a significant shift that opens up the door to popular sleeve tattoos.

The policy change is slated to take effect Feb. 1.

The change in regulations will allow both arm and leg sleeves, Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for Air Force manpower, personnel and services, told in an exclusive interview Friday at the Pentagon.

“As a next step in this evolution, we are opening the aperture on certain medical accession criteria and tattoos while taking into account our needs for worldwide deployability and our commitment to the profession of arms,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a statement.

The service is axing its “25 percent rule,” which prohibits tattoos that cover more than a quarter of an exposed body part. That rule was added to the Air Force Guidance Memorandum, or AFI 36-2903, “Dress and Personal Appearance,” in 1998, then updated with a measuring tool in 2010, said Air Force spokesman Maj. Bryan Lewis.

Tattoos will now be allowed on the chest, back, arms and legs and will not be restricted to size, according to Grosso. “Size will not be a factor anymore,” she said.

Grosso added, “Old policy, current policy, anything that’s inappropriate, racist, sexist, inappropriate picture — those have never been acceptable and will still not be acceptable.”

Are There Opportunities To Hear About Cadet Life From Current Cadets

Can You Sign Up For Military With A Tattoo? Air Force ...

The Grassroots Program, established in 1969, was designed for cadets to spread information about the Academy during their Thanksgiving vacations. On a voluntary basis, cadets give presentations to high schools in their hometowns, provide materials to newspapers and arrange for interviews with TV and radio stations. This effort is still in progress and shows local high school students successful Academy cadets while they are still in the commissioning process. Additionally, our Discover USAFA campus admissions events include a guided tour by current cadets as well as a presentation given by recent graduates.

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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.

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!

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Military Tattoo Policy And Joining The Military

Another recurring line of questioning in future military personnel is the issue of tattoos. We live in an era that emphasizes the importance of expression that takes on the form of what previous generations considered mutilation. Whether or not that kind of accusation holds any weight is normally left up to the individual.

But for those joining the military, its a different story. Although there exists a long history between the military and tattoos, all U.S. military branches have standards about where, what, how much, and how many their members can have prior to

enlistment, and during service. These regulations ensure that all personnel maintain appearance standards for the given branch, much in the same way each branch maintains standards concerning uniforms and uniform appearance. In addition, as it applies to the content of the artwork, military regulation on tattoos is also in place to minimize the establishment of unnecessary divisions or senseless conflict between service members.

As is often the case, each branch has its own definition of what amount of ink is acceptable, as well as the content and location. During MEPS, recruits will be given a full physical to verify that he or she is fit for duty. During this time, you will be looked over by a military doctor, who will assess if your artwork violates any of the military tattoo policy.

According to Navy regulations, enlistment standards are based on four criteria,


Air Force Tattoo Regulations

What Is The Air Force Tattoo And Piercing Policy

What your tattoo means

The content of the airmans tattoo is still regulated, and no tattoos or brands that are racist, vulgar, anti-government, graphically violent, or affiliated with any gangs or outlaw organizations are allowed. If there is a question of whether a tattoo violates Air Force policy, the final decision is made by the soldiers commanding officer. If you think that your tattoo does not represent the US Air Force values find a location and book a time to speak with one of our laser specialists.

Unauthorized Tattoos and Brands

Tattoos or brands on the head, neck, face, scalp, and inside of the mouth are still prohibited under the new Air Force tattoo regulations for enlisted servicemen and officers.

Those in the Air Force are also not allowed to have any visible piercing while in uniform. This includes piercings of the ears, nose, tongue or any other body part that is not covered by or can be seen through clothing. The only exception is one small conservative earring per earlobe of gold, white pearl, or silver for women. The earring must fit tightly and not extend below the earlobe. If your tattoo is on the hands, neck or facefind a location and book a time to speak with one of our laser specialists.

Hand Tattoos

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What Is The Minimum Years In The Air Force

When you enlist in the Air Force, you incur an overall eight-year military service obligation with the option of a four- or six-year active-duty service commitment to the Air Force. Qualified individuals who enlist for four years active duty will incur an Inactive Ready Reserve obligation of four years.

Will The Air Force Pay To Remove Tattoos

The Department of Defense recently passed rules that stipulate the military will not cover expenses related to tattoo removal.

The only exception is if a commanding officer orders the removal, in which the soldier may potentially receive compensation if he or she is struggling to finance the operation.

Your best bet to get a tattoo removed the right way is laser surgery from a qualified laser tattoo removal treatment facility.

With that said, we have reviewed alternative Laser Pen Kit Removal options in the past, with limited success.

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Military Tattoo Regulations On Body Placement

Military tattoo regulations on tattoo body location are different for each branch of the military. The Navy has the most relaxed military tattoo regulations, while the Coast Guard is the most restrictive. When choosing where to serve, it is critical to understand the current military tattoo regulations for that branch. Tattoo regulations are continually evolving. If youre unsure about any tattoos you have, its best to talk to a recruiter for the branch of the military you want to join. Then youll know which tattoos you can keep an which tattoos you will need to remove.

Navy Tattoo Policy

The Navy just overhauled their regulation 2201 for tattoos in March of 2016. Sailors are now allowed to have multiple visible large tattoos on the arms and legs, they just cant be visible through your dress whites. Tattoos are now allowed on the hands. You can have one tattoo visible on the neck no larger than one inch in any direction. Tattoos on the head, face and scalp are prohibited. Navy Tattoo Regulations can be found here.

Army Tattoo Policy

Army tattoo regulations 670-1 for tattoos was last updated in April of 2015. If you have tattoos on your hands, wrist face, neck or head, youll need to have those tattoos removed to join the Army. Additionally, the Army will not accept you if you have tattoos inside your mouth, ears, or eyelids. Army Tattoo Regulations can be found here.

Air Force Tattoo Policy

Coast Guard Policy

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