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Can You Join The Military With Tattoos

Whats Wrong With Tattoos

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

For many people who are over 25, tattoos were seen as something that may make finding employment difficult if they were visible and especially if they were big. For careers such as teachers, law enforcement, and the military, tattoos were seen as something that would stop you from pursuing your dream job.

This is especially true when considering the way tattoos have been and still are used by members of gangs, racist groups, and other organized criminal institutes.

A recent study showed that people with tattoos are perceived as having more deviant lifestyle qualities by others, whether they are true or not more promiscuous, heavy drinkers, smokers, drug users, as well as character judgments like insecurity, less intelligent, and even less honest.

So, there is a stigma against those who have tattoos today and the same study suggested that those who have them are more likely to face employment discrimination.

Theres nothing wrong with having tattoos, usually. Some people will not probably still not feel comfortable when around those with face tattoos or what they consider to be extremist messages. But we cant change the way people think about others who like tattoos, especially not overnight.

You live in a world where you have no problem with 47% of people of your age sporting at least one tattoo and maybe you view them as actually being even more trustworthy, creative, and secure. Sadly, the world is still catching up to the change in societys views of tattoos.

What Air Force Tattoos Are Not Allowed

While the Air Force has one of the more lenient tattoo policies of all the military branches, they still have standards and restrictions that must be followed.

As far as size and location of unauthorized tattoos, Airmen cannot be inked up in the following locations:

  • The Neck
  • The Hands

Otherwise, its fair game for size and location.

Unlike the Marines, USAF Airmen can have tattoos that are much larger than their hand when covering it.

And if you think about it, that leaves A LOT of canvas to be tattooed.

See below for a visual of what the new Air Force tattoo policy entails, what they prohibit, and what they permit.

Now that youre clear on the size and locations of unauthorized tattoos, lets discuss the content of tattoos that are prohibited.

The following unauthorized body markings are not allowed anywhere on the body, even when covered up by PTs.

So keep this in mind when visiting a recruiter, because they will ask, and you must tell.

Here are the tattoos not allowed in the USAF:

  • Any markings that are obscene
  • Associated with gang activity
  • Ethnic or religious discriminatory tattoos

These tattoos will NOT fly, in more ways than one.

However, if you are unsure of a particular tattoo or tattoos, it doesnt hurt to visit an Air Force recruiter and get their opinion.

Sometimes they give waivers in certain cases.

Youd hate to blow your chances simply because you think your tattoo will automatically disqualify you.

Can You Join The Canadian Military With Tattoos

If you are 17, you can enlist if your parents give consent, however you need to fulfill all of the other requirements, such as school completion. Since today is veterans day , we thought wed take some time to explore the rich relationship between tattoos and the soldiers who wore them.

The Army Tattoo Policy Whats Allowed And Whats Not Cleverism

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Can You Have Neck/face/hand Tattoos In The Army

No, the Army does not allow tattoos on the face, neck, or hands.

The only exception is a small ring tattoo that can exist on each hand .

Face and neck tattoos are highly discouraged in the U.S. Army.

There are a few waivers that are granted each year by Army recruiters if the officer determines the tattoo is not too distracting.

Tattoos And Military Policy

Can You Join The Army With Tattoos 2019

The United States military policies concerning tattoos have evolved over the years and vary across military branches. In recent years, these policies have been relaxed to increase the number of eligible recruits. But one thing that hasnt changed is soldiers and recruits are not allowed to have certain types of tattoos. Extremist, indecent, racist and sexist tattoos are not allowed.

Policies regarding the placement of tattoos vary among the branches. The strictest, the Marines do not allow sleeves. While the Army does not allow tattoos on:

  • Your head
  • Your neck above the t-shirt line
  • Inside your eyelids, mouth or ears
  • Your wrists
  • Your hands

The military also has policies in place regarding getting tattoos while on active duty. Meeting the appearance standards prior to joining the military is just as important as abiding by them during your service in the military. The military is concerned about banned tattoos before and after enlisting. If the military finds your tattoo inappropriate concerning their policy you will likely face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Furthermore, the military could require you to remove the tattoo if you want to remain on active duty.

In any case, If you or someone you know has a tattoo they need to be removed for military purposes Delete Tattoo Removal in Phoenix & Chandler is able to help! Laser tattoo removal is one way to meet military regulations as they concern your tattoos!

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Will Military Pay For Tattoo Removal

Tattoo Removal Through Tricare

Scope: The Army allowed Soldiers to enter into the service with various visible tattoos at one point. Tricare will not pay for the tattoo removal procedure, as it is considered a cosmetic surgery.

The main takeaways regarding the Army Tattoo Policy are:

  • There is no limit to the number of tattoos you can have.
  • You can NOT have tattoos on your wrists / hands, neck, or face.
  • The only exception to this is a ring tattoo, one per hand.
  • Sexist, racist, extremist, and indecent tattoos are NOT allowed.

Final Words On Military Tattoos

If youve been following along, you should be a military tattoo policy pro by now. Weve covered the new and updated tattoo policies for each of the armed services the Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Youre also well aware that the overarching theme is this: the military is becoming less strict and more accommodating of tattoos at least in size and number of tattoos.

As far as the content of tattoos, each of the branches still have their non-negotiables that you must be aware of and abide by.

We hope this extensive, in-depth guide helps you on your way to serving our country.

As they say, knowledge is power and in this case, its half the battle! So go forth in confidence, knowing exactly what to expect from your desired service branch.

In the meantime, have a look at our other related posts, and keep an eye out for more in-depth guides and articles all about the military and how to join.

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What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Coast Guard

In the Coast Guard, you can have full sleeve and half-sleeve tattoos, full back and chest tattoos, and tattoos elsewhere on your body including your legs.

Members of the Coast Guard arent restricted at all when it comes to tattoo size or percentage of coverage.

However, any body branding cannot be larger than a 4-inch by 4-inch area.

The Guards old policy detailed that tattoos werent allowed to be visible at all above the v-neck undershirt, and they have since expanded to the crew neck t-shirt.

No tattoo can be visible above the Coast Guard crew neck t-shirt.

Hand tattoos are allowed with certain restrictions. You can have one single band ring tattoo on each hand.

You can also have a finger tattoo that can run the length between the first and second knuckle. On top of that you can also have 1 small hand tattoo, per hand, between the wrist and first knuckle , but it cannot extend one inch in any dimension.

The Coast Guard also allows Ultraviolet or black light tattoos.

The restrictions on these are exactly the same as for regular tattoos.

Cosmetic tattoos are also permitted.

Cosmetic tattooing is defined as a medical or surgical procedure conducted by a trained and licensed medical professional.

Some people get cosmetic tattoos to cover up scar tissue, or to otherwise make a medical issue less prominent in appearance.

The Coast Guard is perfectly fine with these types of tattoos.

Piercing While Not In Uniform


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 .

There is an exception women are authorized to wear one small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, silver pierced, or clip earring per earlobe and the earring worn in each earlobe must match. Earrings should fit tightly without extending below the earlobe. If the earring is a clip, the band can show.

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What Is The Military Excellent For

Some of the hottest benefits of becoming a member of the US military is the job coaching, instructional help, stable paycheck, health protection, and housing benefits.

Is there a weight limit to sign up for the military? Weight Requirements For instance, a recruit who is between 17 and twenty years, with a top of 60 inches, will have to not exceed 120lbs. for women and 139lbs for men. However, if you are in the military, your most weight prohibit is 116lbs for ladies and 132lbs for men.

Will The Army Pay To Remove Tattoos

The Army will not pay to remove existing tattoos prior to joining the military branch.

The only way you could get compensation for tattoo removal from the U.S. government is if the Army tattoo policy changed after you enlisted.

For example, if a commanding officer determined your tattoo violates its policy, you could request funding for the removal.

However, those circumstances happen infrequently in the U.S. Army.

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How Does The Nzdf Prevent Discrimination And Harassment

We are committed to ensuring that our workplaces are safe and free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying because we recognise the effects of personal-wellbeing on our operational effectiveness. We make an effort to recruit good people, and install a positive culture early in initial training. Robust support processes are in place to deal with any alleged incidents sensitively, appropriately, and quickly.

What Is A Return Of Service Obligation

Can You Join The Army With Tattoos On Your Neck

A Return Of Service Obligation is a contractual commitment by yourself to remain in the NZDF for a specified period of time. ROSOs are associated to courses or training that require a significant investment of funding or resources by the NZDF, for example our Pilot Course and Tertiary Scholarship Schemes. Prior to joining, you will be informed if the initial training and career pathway you intend to conduct has any associated ROSOs. The details of your ROSO will be stated on your Offer of Service.

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Coast Guard Tattoo Policy

The Coast Guard tattoo policy states that Coast Guard tattoos on the chest cannot be located more than one inch above the v-neck undershirt in the Tropical Blue uniform. Hand tattoos are limited to one ring tattoo per hand that cannot extend past the first knuckle. This means neck and large upper chest tattoos are not allowed under Coast Guard tattoo rules. Sleeves are permitted under Coast Guard tattoo policy.

Eagle Globe And Anchor

The eagle, globe, and anchor is by far the most common Marine tattoo.

The eagle perched atop a globe is the official emblem and insignia of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The eagle symbolizes America, and is part of the emblem that associates the Marine Corps to the United States. The eagle is typically depicted carrying a banner in its beak with the Corps Moto, Semper Fidelis.

The globe symbolizes the worldwide commitment and the responsibility of the Marines to serve in any climate.

Youll notice the anchor too, which represents the Marines ties with the Navy .

Who wouldnt want a shredded bulldog dressed out in uniform tattooed on their arm?

The bulldog is another go-to Marine tattoo that symbolizes brute force and unrelenting authority.

Notice the USMC scrolled out in big, bold letters. And for bonus points, check out that eagle-perched-on-globe tattooed on the bulldogs arm.

Yes, the tattoo has a tattoo.

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How Long Will I Serve

Enlistedpositions typically require an initial service commitment of four years, but positions involving longer-term training may involve five- or six-year obligations.

Officerpositions typically require an initial service commitment of three to five years, but positions involving longer-term training may involve longer service obligations.

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What Accommodation Options Does The Nzdf Offer


The NZDF offers very affordable barrack accommodation for NZDF members on most bases and camps. Regular Force members become eligible for a housing allowance after 3 years of service. Regular Force members also become eligible for service housing after three years of service or under exceptional circumstances.

What is service housing like?

The majority of NZDF service houses were built in the 1950s and are of wood construction. They have been maintained but are not as good as most modern homes of this century.

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Military Enlistment Tattoo Policies

  • Home
  • Military Enlistment Tattoo Policies
  • Recently, some branches of the United States government have released new protocols regarding tattoos of enlisted men and women. These new policies are making it difficult for people who have visible tattoos to join the military and ultimately risk their lives for our freedom. Although we here at Atlantic Laser Tattoo Removal do not approve of these new standards, we do feel it is our responsibility to inform you of them. Depending on which branch of the military you are enlisting with, your options may be different. Most branches are uniformly using the no hands, no head, or neck rule

    Here is a list of the different branches and their new policies. If you have any questions regarding these policies, please ask your recruiter for clarification.

    Can Navy Seals Have Tattoos

    As of March 2016,tattoos including full sleeves are acceptable. According to the Navy, only the head, face and scalp are off limits. The neck and behind the ear may have one tat but it should be restricted to one inch. … This means that full sleeves on the arms and legs and even tattoos on the hands are acceptable.

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    Popular And Acceptable Military Tattoos

    With a better understanding of what is and is not acceptable under the current Army tattoo policy, we can now look at more popular styles and trends in military tattoo design.

    Many of the brave men and women that serve in our nations armed forces choose designs highlighting their patriotism such as American flags and bald eagles. Other popular designs are more specific to a soldiers service and many choose to get dog tags or the insignia of their military branch inked on their bodies. Some soldiers even get different missions and operations that they participated in commemorated with tattoos.

    The weapons of war are definitive elements in every soldiers life. These tools of the trade are also often incorporated into military tattoos.

    The following galleries depict some of the popular styles of military tattoo:

    Future Of Armed Forces Tattoo Policy

    Can You Join The Canadian Military With Tattoos

    The acknowledgement by top Army officials regarding outdated tattoo policy is a good sign when it comes to remaining viable and maintaining acceptable recruitment numbers. Just like any organization, the United States Army must constantly adapt to changing attitudes. Sometimes this means reexamining different rules and regulations in light of wider societys current trends.

    As tattoos continue to gain popularity among the youth forming the pool from which the armed forces draws recruits, it is likely Army policy may need further updates. Given the growing popularity of face and neck tattoos there may a time in the future when officials have to further relax guidelines in order to find recruits, although for anyone interested in enlisting it is best to get tattoos conforming to current official guidelines.

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    Tattoos Brands And Piercings

    Airmen are subject to strict requirements and restrictions pertaining to body modifications. If you plan to get a tattoo or other body modifications, carefully consider placement, size and content before you proceed.

    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. This includes modifications that are obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination. Even if rectified, excessive scarring resulting from tattoo removal may also be disqualifying.

    Tattoos are not completely disqualifying, however. There are no size or area limitations for authorized tattoos on the chest , back, arms, and legs. Tattoos, brands, and body markings are prohibited on the head, neck, face, tongue, lips, and scalp. Hand tattoos are limited to one single-band ring tattoo, on one finger, on one hand.

    Us Army Tattoo Policy Prior To 2015

    In 2015 the US Army revised its existing policy regarding the number of tattoos a soldier can have on their arms and legs. Prior to this update in regulations soldiers were limited to four tattoos below the knee or elbow, with none exceeding the size of the palm of the hand.

    While the Armed Forces still prioritize higher standards of grooming and cleanliness, officials also realized the need to adapt to the changing world and evolving attitudes regarding tattoos. With nearly half of all millennials getting tattooed, something had to change.

    According to Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno, Society is changing its view of tattoos, and we have to change along with that. It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that.

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