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.
Why Are Tattoos Prohibited On The Hands And Head
The National Guard follows the U.S. Army policy for tattoos, which has loosened its regulations and now allows body art on the legs, but limits tattoos from the head and hands.
The only exception is a single ring tattoo per hand.
The stance in the Army and National Guard is comparable to other branches of the military that consider these parts of the body unprofessional for tattoos.
Can You Get A Waiver For Tattoos In The National Guard
The National Guard will consider granting waivers for tattoos that would otherwise violate its tattoo policy, according to a memo released by the National Guard in 2019.
There are procedures that a member of the National Guard must take to apply for a waiver, which you can learn more about by speaking to an officer or ARC.
In general, the National Guard will much more likely approve tattoos that violate placement restrictions compared to content.
The National Guard, like other military branches, traditionally has a zero-tolerance policy on tattoos that are considered offensive.
Additionally, PS/GNPS applications with previously documented tattoos on the neck or hands can get grandfathered in under National Guard guidelines.
The National Guard leaves it up to a Recruiting and Retention Commander to make an initial determination on tattoos that may violate the tattoo policy.
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Does The Piercing Policy Apply To All Areas Of The Military Installation
It does, but it is also important to note the policy only addresses personal appearance issues while on the installation.
Although the Air Force encourages airmen to maintain an appropriate military image at all times, piercing practices off base, such as earring wear by males, are not intended to be addressed by this policy.
Your Simple Guide To Military Tattoo Policies For 2021
No military regulation has been more closely watchedand more frequently changedthan the dos and donts of tattoos. Last week, the Marine Corps revised its policy, allowing the sleeve tattoo and also permitting officers more than four tattoos visible in uniform. Both officers and enlisted can now tat themselves up as much as they want, as long as its not on the face or neck. And hands may sport only one finger ring tattoo. The reason for the change is simple: recruiting and retention. Nearly half of young adults have tattoos, and many have several. The new Marine Corps Bulletin 1020 emphasizes balance between decorum and practicality: The American people expect Marines to be disciplined, physically fit, and ready to accomplish any mission. They also expect Marines to represent the nation they are sworn to protect.
The new policy, the bulletin goes on to say, ensures that the Marine Corps maintains its ties to the society it represents and removes all barriers to entry for those members of society wishing to join its ranks.
With the new Marine Corps policy, the service branches regulations on tattoos are now nearly identical. If youre curious about these rulesand the slight variations among themheres an updated comprehensive guide:
All five major branches of service agree that there must be no tattoos on these body parts:
All other branches prohibit neck tattoos visible above a crew neck shirt.
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How Does The Usaf Define A Tattoo
The Air Force defines a tattoo as a picture, design, or marking made on the skin or other areas of the body by staining it with an indelible dye.
It can also include other methods of body altercation that are only detectable or visible under certain conditions .
Tattoos also include brands and body markings under USAF standards.
Brands are pictures, designs, or other markings burned into the skin or other areas of the body.
Meanwhile, body markings are pictures, designs, or other markings as a result of using means other than burning to permanently scar or mark the skin.
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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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.
Can You Have A Full Sleeve Tattoo In The National Guard
The National Guard follows the Armys stance in terms of full sleeve tattoos.
The U.S. Army recently changed its policy regarding tattoos on the arms.
You are allowed to have tattoos on the entire arm, but not past the wrist bone.
Therefore, a full sleeve tattoo is possible in the National Guard based on current standards.
The same is true of sleeve tattoos on the legs since the National Guard now allows body art on that section of the body.
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What About Tattoos After You Are Enlisted
Some recruits think they can enlist in the military and then get whatever tattoos they wish once they have completed training. This is false. Commanding officers are always reviewing their servicemembers, and people who get tattoos after joining are still subject to disciplinary action up to and including administrative separation.
While cosmetic tattoos are acceptable, they must mimic the natural appearance of the body. The most common illustration is getting an eyebrow tattoo in cases where you are losing your eyebrow hair for some reason. However, the cosmetic tattoo must mirror the natural color, shape, and size of the eyebrow.
Some people who get tattoos after they have enlisted find that the tattoos hurt their ability to proceed up through the ranks. When they are reviewed for promotion, they might find that their promotions are delayed until they visit a tattoo removal clinic.
Generally speaking, visits to a tattoo removal clinic will be on your own dimethe government will not pay for you to have a tattoo removed, nor will health insurance. Fortunately, we do offer special discounts for military recruits, active duty, and veterans its our way of saying, thank you for your service!
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
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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.
Tattoo Removal For The Military At Medermis Laser Clinic
While the military has become more accommodating and less strict on the subject of tattoos, its always best to do your research before getting inked and when looking to enlist. If youre still not sure about whether to keep or remove your tattoo, we recommend coming in for a free consultation at our Austin or San Antonio location! We can discuss your concerns, answer any questions, and walk you through the process and what to expect to determine if laser tattoo removal is the right choice for you.
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Are Army Officers Allowed To Have Tattoos
Yes, officers of the Army can still have tattoos.
The Army tattoo policy for 2021 is different from previous regulations that held commanding officers to higher physical appearance standards compared to enlisted soldiers.
The new policy basically holds officers to the same rules as enlisted soldiers when it comes to tattoos.
Commanding officers are also responsible for determining if a soldier under their watch gets a new tattoo that is deemed offensive.
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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Is There A Timeframe To Have A Tattoo Removed
There is not a set timeframe for removal. The commander determines the sense of urgency, depending on the nature of the tattoo. For instance, if airmen have inappropriate tattoos they would like to remove voluntarily, the commander can assist them in seeking medical support for the procedure.
The timing of tattoo removal, in this case, will be driven primarily by the availability of medical facilities staffed and equipped for tattoo removals.
Can I Join The Army With A Tattoo
One of the most common questions we get is Can I Join the Army if I have a Tattoo. This article answers that question and outlines what types of tattoos may keep you from joining the U.S. Army.
You will NEVER be allowed to enlist in the Regular Army, Army Reserves, or Army National Guard if you have any of the non-waivable disqualifying tattoos below. Depending on abundance of recruits, standards may be more strict than listed:
- Tattoos located on the head, face, neck, wrists, hands, or fingers
- Tattoos which are extreme, sexist, indecent, or racist
- Having more than four tattoos located below the knee or between the elbow and wrist
As part of efforts to maintain the professional appearance of the force, the Army dialed back the number, size and placement of tattoos in the March regulation.
Previously authorized tattoos were grandfathered in, but Soldiers hoping to become an officer had to get an exception to the policy.
The updated regulation takes into account that previously authorized tattoos should not prevent a Soldier from becoming an officer, but that candidates are to be evaluated based on the whole Soldier concept, or all characteristics of a Soldier.
Here is the latest policy on tattoos from Army Regulation 670-1 :
33. Tattoo, Branding, and Body Mutilation PolicyNote: This paragraph is punitive with regard to Soldiers. Violation by Soldiers may result in adverse administrative action and/or charges under the provisions of the UCMJ.
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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.
What Happens If A Soldier Disobeys The Army Tattoo Policy
As stated earlier in the article, any member of the army that defies the Army Tattoo Policy will be punished according to the law of the Army.
Heres a bit of what the disciplinary procedure entails for any soldier that defaults:
First, its important to note that soldiers are advised to talk with the head of their units before getting a new tattoo, this is to ensure that they dont get any tattoo that contradicts the tattoo policy of the army.
Secondly, soldiers who had a tattoo before being enlisted into the army will not be punished because chances are that the existing tattoos dont defy the armys policy in any way.
If however the soldier adds or edits the tattoo and changes it to anything that violates the policy, then he will be punished. Depending on the gravity of the offense, the punishment may just be a reprimand or a query.
But if the tattoo out rightly violates the army tattoo policy, the commander will first counsel the defaulting soldier of the existing tattoo rule.
If the military has zero tolerance for the tattoo that the soldier has, he will be ordered to have it removed.
The cost of removing or erasing the tattoo wont be paid by the military unlike other health bills, it will be paid for by the soldier from his pocket, and this on its own is a disciplinary action.
Most often, removal of the tattoo is mandatory if the tattoo is contrary to the army tattoo policy and if the soldier wishes to remain in active service in the army.
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Why Tattoos Are One Of The Most Time
It seems like, every so often, every branch of the military updates its tattoo policy. Its done for various reasons, but ultimately, its to keep an orderly and professional appearance. But ever since the first tattoo parlor opened its doors in 1846, tattoos have had a well-seated place in the hearts of many troops and veterans.
The art of body-marking and tattooing as a status symbol for warriors dates back well over five thousand years. Everyone from the Ancient Greeks to the Maori tribes of New Zealand marked their warriors as a sign of their strength. Even before tattoos were widespread among the U.S. military, Revolutionary War sailors tattooed personal identifiers on their skin to avoid being illegally conscripted by the British Navy.
And Teddy Roosevelt knew this guy would be perfect for the Rough Riders.
During the American Civil War, early tattoo artist Martin Hildebrant traveled the battlefields and decorated the troops with various, patriotic designs. Even Marine Corps legend, Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, was said to have an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tattooed across his chest
Seeing a tattoo on an older sailor means either they sailed through a very specific spot at a very specific time or they just really like purple dolphins.
At least civilian hipsters havent stolen the Pig and Rooster yet
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