British/uk Army Tattoo Policy
In the British Army, there are some general guidelines for tattoos. If a tattoo is offensive or threatening in nature, it will be judged as unacceptable for the army. The policy also states that tattoos may not be displayed when in uniform and members must cover them up if they are displayed while out of uniform. There are also guidelines about types of tattoos that may not be accepted due to religious or cultural sensitivities, such as Japanese characters or images associated with gangs.
The British Army does have some rules regarding tattoos, which may affect your decision whether to get one. When you join the British Army, the soldiers have to provide you with a copy of their tattoo policy. It says that if your tattoo is offensive or threatening in nature, it will be judged as unacceptable for the army. The same goes for any tattoos that are religiously or culturally sensitive.
The policy also states that tattoos are not acceptable on men while they are serving in uniform and the soldier must cover them up if they are displayed while out of uniform. You should also ensure that your tattoo has no religious or cultural significance before bringing it to the attention of your commanding officer, who may object to its display.
If you have a tattoo that will restrict your movement, then youll probably have to try and hide it from your commanding officer, as it may prejudice their decision whether to allow you to go on operations or deploy to areas where the climate is hot.
Coast Guard Tattoo Ideas And Meanings
The USCGs official flag shows a seal of an eagle with the words Semper Paratus underneath it.
This is always a popular tattoo for Coast Guardsman. Similar to the Marines Semper Fi , Semper Paratus means Always Ready.
And thats exactly what the Coast Guard is all about.
Preparing men and women to be ready at a moments notice to govern and bring peace to the coast and sea.
Here are a few of these tattoos, and other common Coast Guard tattoos.
Tattoos And The Military: The Dos And Donts If You Want To Join The Service
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.
Read Also: Best Tattoo Places In Tucson
What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Navy
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.
Adapting To The New Army Tattoo Policy For 2021
The Army tattoo policy is a constant revolving door.
Therefore, soldiers with tattoos that were previously compliant to military policies yet have since been deemed inappropriate can get grandfathered in.
Regardless, it is impossible to have a tattoo on the face or head grandfathered because these locations on the body were never authorized in the military.
Army soldiers are inspected routinely for new body art as well as other regulations of its grooming standards.
Attempting to hide or cover up tattoos in violation of the policy is a bad idea and will inevitably end up with disciplinary action.
Before obtaining a tattoo it is recommended that soldiers , speak to a unit leader/recruiting coordinator to ensure the ink falls within acceptable standards.
Related Article:Can You Join The Military With A Felony?
Read Also: Fine Line Tattoo San Diego
Air Force Tattoo Ideas And Meanings
Turns out, the Air Force gives you wings!
In fact, I would venture to guess that 90% of all Air Force tattoos somehow incorporate the famous wings overlapping a central star.
Youll also see Airmen sporting USAF tattoos that symbolize a deep patriotic pride in their nation and flag.
Eagles abound, and of course, no USAF tattoo is complete without showcasing the very symbol of the branch the fighter jet itself.
Tips For Tattoos In The Civilian Workplace
The odds are that if a military service member or veteran lifts their sleeve, they will reveal an impressive number of tattoos. For many veterans, their tattoos represent time in service, the sacrifices they made, and honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. In some cases, tattoos cover physical battle scars. As written in VFW Magazine, Though for the modern veteran, tattoos from during and after their military service tell a story and can be used as a form of therapy or recognition.
In previous generations, tattoos were signs of defiance and rebellion. Non-tattoo wearers might have seen the tattoo wearer as somehow dangerous. In recent times, however, even the military branches have lessened the strict regulations of tattoos for service members: Army Regulation 670-1 has been updated frequently in the past few yearsmost recently no longer limiting the size or number of tattoos soldiers can have on their arms and legs. Air Force regulations allow tattoos if they are not excessive . As of April 2016, the Navys current regulations allowed sailors to sport one neck tattoo and full sleeves .
Similarly, the negative perceptions of tattoos have also eased with civilian employers as many of them have begun to accept and embrace tattoos in the workplace.
Also Check: How Expensive Is It To Get A Tattoo Removed
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.
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.
You May Like: Best Small Tattoos For Men
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Picosure Laser Tattoo Removal Machine For Sale
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
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.
More Must-Read Articles
You May Like: Custom Temporary Tattoos For Adults
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.
Now We Must Also Address Body Art Tattoos And Piercings
That same Pew research I referenced earlier? It found that 25 per cent of Millennials had a piercing somewhere other than an earlobe.
While courts are willing to allow employers to dictate dress codes so long as they are within reason and do not discriminate or sexualize employees, they are more reluctant to allow employers to regulate matters of appearance that are more permanent, such as tattoos, piercings, hair length, or facial hair. Put another way, courts are far more likely to enforce a no jeans rule than a no tattoos rule, since an employee can easily remove their jeans for work and then put them back on after their shift is done.
Two rulings shed light on how an arbitrator or the courts will deal with this issue.
In 2010 the Ontario Provincial Police implemented a policy that ordered officers to cover up visible tattoos after a high-ranking officer saw a constable on patrol with tattoo-covered arms and thought he was a criminal. The constable filed a grievance and in 2011, an arbitrator struck down the policy.
Its not just police either.
In 2009, a Quebec judge ruled that visible tattoos were allowed on the job. The judgement came after a daycare workers employer ordered her to cover up a dragon tattoo on her shoulder. The judge argued that a tattoo ban violated the workers right to freedom of expression.
Also Check: Best Ink To Tattoo With
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
Officers Support Norfolk Police Chiefs Decision To Allow Beards And Tattoos
By Joshua Skovlund | November 15, 2019
The Norfolk, Virginia Police Department has recently changed their policies to allow officers with tattoos and beards to serve in their ranks. Historically, these two physical attributes have been a barrier for applicants who were otherwise qualified for a career in law enforcement.
I dont think anyone who calls the police for help cares whether the responding officer has a beard or tattoo, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said in a press release about the policy change. Our appearance in uniform may have changed, but our professionalism, performance, and expectation from the community have not.
Boone agreed to change the policy after input from his staff. In an interview with local WAVY.com, he said I do know off the top of my head about 10 incidents where I have turned down people in the past for tattoos, and my staff was pushing me saying chief, this is all they have, and me in my old school thinking so to speak, I missed out.
Not only does the policy change allow the department to cast a wider net when hiring new officers, but will allow officers to feel more comfortable while on duty and assist them in connecting with the people they serve and protect. A recent Pew Research Center study said approximately 38 percent of people ages 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo.
Allow your officers the options, Bombardieri said. A beard and tattoos dont make an officer. Youre either a good officer or a bad officer.
Also Check: Can Laser Remove Tattoo Completely
Germany France & Slovakia
Each of these three countries practice specific laws that prohibit the display of any tattoos symbolizing or otherwise glorying Nazi culture. Exposing any such tattoo can lead to arrest and potential deportation.
The attitude towards tattoos in Germany, France, and Slovakia in general is totally accepting, but if you have anything that symbolizes or even looks like it supports the previous Nazi regime, youre going to find yourself in a lot of trouble.