Are Tattoos Allowed In The Us Military
Are Tattoos Allowed In The Us Military. The content of allowed tattoos has not changed. The idea of tattooing allegedly entered british popular culture because of the navy, who discovered the art on their worldwide travels.
Some recruits think they can enlist in the military and then get whatever tattoos they wish once they have completed training. > > click to read more < < also, is it disrespectful to get a military tattoo? Does tattoo is allowed in army?
The army bans having a tattoo on the head, neck, and face. Do tattoos disqualify you military?
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, tattooing was primarily. Military tattoos have a long and colourful history.
Discipline in regards to appearance is already being felt in the ranks and especially new recruits. Although some people get tattoos with no problems in their service, there are still issues related to serving in the military with tattoos.
In us army, tattoos are not allowed at all. The only exception to the hand is a ring tattoo, with one being permitted per hand.
These tattoos are not permitted, regardless of where they are placed on the body. Captain cook brought back drawings of polynesian islander’s inked skin, known in samoan as tatau and believed it to ward off evil spirits.
Depending on abundance of recruits. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, tattooing was primarily.
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.
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.
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Examples Of Army Offensive Tattoos
Here are the main types of tattoos the U.S. Army analyzes and may prohibit you from enlisting in the military:
- Sexist Tattoos: Soldiers are not allowed to have body art that advocates a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender.
- Racist Tattoos: Soldiers are not allowed to have body ink that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
- Extremist Tattoos: The Army determines extremist tattoos as body art affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities. The Army has zero-tolerance toward organizations that promote racial or gender intolerance.
- Indecent Tattoos: The Army clarifies that indecent tattoos are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism. The definition of indecent tattoos in the Army is fairly loose. It might include body art like a character flipping the bird or using the restroom on another object.
Lastly, branding tattoos are not authorized in the U.S. Army.
Military personnel are prohibited from having tattoos, including brands on the head, face, and neck.
There are several commonly asked questions regarding the Army tattoo policy:
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.
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Neck Tattoos May Be Ok For Space Force Recruits But Not Air Force
May 16, 2022
In space, no one can see your neck.
Such is how one Facebook commenter summed up a puzzling recruiting memo from the Department of the Air Force dated May 13. The memo was shared on the popular Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco and outlines allowing future recruits for the Space Force, the newest independent military branch, to have 1-inch neck tattoos. But it forbids neck tattoos for Air Force recruits.
The updated policy would also allow recruits in both branches to have tattoos on their hands, provided the tattoos cover no more than 25% of their hand. Recruiters and commanders would be expected to review tattoos to make sure they are the appropriate size and do not violate any content restrictions.
The memo may have been released prematurely, however. The new guidance does not appear anywhere on either the Space Force or Air Force website, and a Space Force spokesperson would only tell Coffee or Die Magazine that the branch expects to publish updated grooming and uniform guidance in the next several weeks.
The Air Force did not respond to Coffee or Dies request for comment. An April 12 update to the Air Forces official manual for dress and appearance, DAFI36-2903, does include language similar to that in the memo allowing for recruiting waivers for hand tattoos for exceptionally qualified applicants in critical specialties. Neck tattoos are not mentioned in the manual.
Got all that?
An Updated Approach To Tattoo Policy
Under new guidelines enacted during Iraq and Afghan combat in 2015, the seemingly arbitrary number of four tattoos on the arms and legs was replaced with a more detail oriented approach. Under the new policy, the number of tattoos isnt specified instead limits are focused on where the ink can be located and its subject matter.
The following graphic shows where tattoos are and are not accepted in the US Army in 2020.
On the visible part of the arm tattoos must be one inch below the elbow and tattoos cannot extend onto the wrist or hands. For upper arm pieces, tattoos must start two inches above the elbow.
Tattoos on the legs must be either two inches above or two inches below the knee, leaving the areas of skin on the knee untouched. As long as these placement rules are followed no number limit for tattoos is specified.
Tattoos on the back and torso are less restricted regarding size and placement as long as they dont pass the shirt collar and extend onto the neck.
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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.
What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Navy
As of April 2018, sailors can sport a single neck tattoo , as long as it isnt bigger than 1-inch in diameter.
Additionally, tattoos below the knee and elbow, no matter the size and quantity, are perfectly fine.
This means full sleeves are allowed. Hand and ring tattoos are permitted as well.
This new policy isnt much different from one released in 2016.
The only major difference is the addition of the small neck tattoo.
Before that, however, the Navys policy on tattoos hadnt been changed in over a decade.
One relatively new amendment to the Navys tattoo policy is that they now allow sailors with sleeve tattoos to attain rank of Recruit Training command and other Recruiting command positions.
So dont be too surprised if you see a full-sleeved, tattoo-loving sailor show up to your high school or college.
As far as cosmetic tattoos go, the Navy does allow cosmetic tattoos to correct certain medical conditions.
But this is on a case-by-case basis.
All in all, compared to the Marines, the Navy is incredibly generous regarding their tattoo policy.
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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.
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:
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!
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Us Army Tattoo Policy: Whats Not Allowed
The Armyâs 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 âaffiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.â 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 âother unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, and Federal or State law.â
- Indecent tattoos. These include tattoos or brands that are âgrossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.â The Armyâs regulations do not provide examples of tattoos that would fall under these descriptions.
- Sexist tattoos. These include tattoos and brands that âadvocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender,â according to the regulations.
- Racist tattoos. Tattoos or brands that âadvocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national originâ are not allowed.
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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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.
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Hand Ear And Neck Tattoos Now Ok For Soldiers Amid Recruiting Crunch
The military is struggling to find recruits right now, and the Army is no exception. With three months remaining in fiscal 2022, the service has only attained 40% of its enlisted recruiting goal, according to Army G-1 spokesperson Maj. Angel Tomko.
And thats part of why Army Secretary Christine Wormuth issued a new policy authorizing troops to have small tattoos on their hands, ears and necks, Army officials explained Thursday morning.
Wormuth signed a directive Wednesday that expanded the services acceptable tattoo policy. The changes will be incorporated in the next update to AR 670-1, the Armys appearance regulation.
The following tattoos are now authorized, according to the directive:
- One visible tattoo on each hand less than one inch in measurement. This tattoo cannot be on the fingers, though one ring tattoo per hand is okay, as are an unlimited number of tattoos between the fingers, as long as they are not visible when the fingers are closed.
- One tattoo on the back of a soldiers neck, less than two inches in measurement.
- One tattoo behind each ear, no larger than one inch in measurement and not extending beyond the ear lobe.
Sgt. Maj. Ashleigh Sykes, who oversees uniform and appearance policy for the services personnel directorate, cautioned that some ink still isnt okay.
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Tattoo Content Thats Prohibited
As far as the content of prohibited tattoos, here are guidelines to be aware of.
Similar to the U.S. Navy and Army, the Marine Corps does NOT allow any tattoo that is prejudicial to good order and discipline or any tattoos that are drug related, gang-related, extremist, obscene or indecent, sexist, or racist.
Also, its worth noting a recent development that was communicated by Marine Corps Service Recruiter Staff Sgt. Justin Eckersley in a social post titled Tattoo Leniency Alert!
He wrote that the Marine Forces Reserve will allow prior service Marines who have out of regulation tattoos to join the reserves in certain circumstances.
According to Eckersley, one of the caveats is that the tattoos cannot be egregious or racist or located on the face, hands, etc. And this lenient tattoo policy waiver isnt for everyone.
Rather, its specifically designed for the Marines who have left the service and have at least 12 months remaining in the Individual Ready Reserves and an actual billet at the reserve unit.
In the end, this leniency allows the Corps to bring back quality Marines who would have otherwise been disqualified from consideration.
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.
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