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 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:
Otherwise, its fair game for size and location.
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.
Us Army Tattoo Ideas And Meanings
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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Laser Tattoo Removal Can Give You A Fresh Start
If you are considering enlisting in any branch of the armed forces, and you have tattoos that you think could pose a problem, laser tattoo removal could be just what you need. Using the latest technology, we can work on your tattoo safely, quickly, and effectively.
We understand that it is a bummer to have a prohibited tattoo and want to enlist in the military. Fortunately, with the advanced technology available today, even a tattoo doesnt have to be forever and there is still a chance for you to enlist!
Your recruiter might have mentioned that you can get a waiver for your tattoo. While waivers are possible in some circumstances, you do not want to hang your entire career on the hope that you will get one. Whats more, even if you do get a waiver, you cannot be sure that the offending tattoo will not sabotage your career by hindering future promotions.
Keep in mind that tattoo removal can take some time, and may require more than one treatment session. As such, you should be diligent to plan accordingly when it comes to scheduling your tattoo removal treatment. Dont wait until the week before you are supposed to visit the Military Entrance Processing Station . Rather, schedule your consultation as soon as you can, and we can help you get started on the road to establishing your military career.
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.
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Army Tattoo Policy In 202: What Tattoos Are Allowed
The United States Army has strict regulations for tattoos. Tattoos that are visible in the Army Combat Uniform or on a military dress blue uniform must be approved by Military Reviewing Authority .
Soldiers are prohibited from getting tattoos that are cowardly, personally degrading, prejudicial to good order, and discipline or service discrediting. The Army regulations for tattoos are outlined in Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.
Cosmetics: A Gray Area In Military Tattoo Policies
One type of tattoos that may confuse some people are cosmetics, like permanent eyeliner or eyebrows.
These are currently allowed in all branches. Just make sure they are natural-looking in color and shape to adhere to the regulations pertaining to face tattoos.
The team at Empire Resume hopes this information about tattoo policies in the military has been helpful. Were always here to help with your career planning needs and deliver results, guaranteed!
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Air Force Tattoo Policy
Update! Read our full article on the Air Force Tattoo Policy here.
The U.S. Air Force tattoo policy is next in our lineup. And the rules that Airmen must abide by might shock you.
Recently in 2016, following an AFI 33-360 required review, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James communicated a shift away from their previous appearance and uniform policy.
It had been since 2010 that such matters were discussed.
And, according to Air Force Times, Senior leaders at the Air Staff level were reviewing the policies with the intent to continue their efforts of expanding the pool of eligible applicants for service, while still supporting the Air Force mission.
Secretary Deborah Lee James echoed these sentiments, saying
As part of our effort to attract and retain as many qualified airmen as possible, we periodically review our accessions policies 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.
Alright, so how and where does this new policy deviate from the old policy?
Well dive into the details in just a moment.
But first, heres the lightning round that shows you the major changes that were officially announced and adopted February 1, 2017.
Who Has The Final Say On Appropriateness
Commanders and first sergeants are the first line of authority for making this determination. Body piercing is relatively straightforwarddon’t display it while in uniform, while performing official duty in civilian attire or on a military installation at any time. Tattoos are a bit more subjective, but this policy provides commanders guidelines to make the calls.
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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.
What Are The Differences In The Piercing Policy For Women And Men
The only difference is the wear of earrings. Males may not wear earrings on duty, whether in or out of uniform. They also cannot wear them off duty on base.
Females performing official duty in civilian attire are limited to the same wear criteria when in uniform: i.e., a single small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver pierced or clip earring per earlobe. The earrings must match and should fit tightly without extending below the earlobe.
Above Information Derived from AFI 36-2903 and the Air Force News Service
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What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Army
The U.S. Army prides itself on a clean and neat presentation.
However, the military branch has adapted to modern social norms where nearly half of all Millenials have at least one tattoo.
The Army revised its tattoo policy during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to open up a larger recruiting pool.
Tattoos and brands are defined by the U.S. Army as permanent markings that are difficult to reverse in terms of financial cost, discomfort, and effectiveness of removal techniques.
The Army tattoo policy no longer limits the number of tattoos on a solider.
Additionally, the size of tattoos is also not scrutinized near as much as previous generations.
As a result, members of the Army are allowed to have as many tattoos as they want on their chest, arms, torso, and legs.
It is an adaptation of a previous Army tattoo policy that limited the number of tattoos to four below the elbow and knee.
However, the skin below the wrist and from the neck up is still off-limits.
The only exception to the hand is a ring tattoo, with one being permitted per hand.
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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Can You Join The Military With Tattoos What Are The Rules
Tattoos have always been a part of the militarys culture. But, lately, the military has been cracking down on tattoos that are deemed inappropriate.
The military is now strictly enforcing tattoo rules in an effort to make its members more professional-looking. If youre thinking about joining the military and want to know if your tattoos will disqualify you, here are some things to consider.
Can you join the military with tattoos?
Yes, you can join the military with tattoos. Long answer: Yes, you can join the military with tattoos. Though its difficult to predict what your tattoo will look like in 10 years, yes, you may be disqualified for tattoos that violate the rules. That being said, if youre a good fit for a particular military branch or service and are willing to put in some elbow grease and time in the recruiting process, then joining with tattoos may be a possibility.
Before we get into specifics about how to join the military with tattoos, lets first talk about what kinds of tattooed people have been accepted into the armed forces.
What Are The Rules For Tattoos In The Military?
Are Navy Officers Allowed To Have Tattoos
Yes, the new Navy tattoo policy grants the same privileges to officers as enlisted personnel.
Therefore, Navy officers are allowed to have tattoos that extend below the elbow or knee, places on the body that were previously restricted prior to the updated policy.
Commanding officers also have discretion when it comes to allowing or prohibiting body art on other sailors that go against the Navy tattoo policy for 2021.
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Why And Where Else The Service Is Relaxing Restrictions
Even under the old policy, many recruits joined the service with tattoos that were technically not authorized they just needed to get a waiver during their enlistment process.
Easing tattoo restrictions are also a common way for military officials to access a broader recruiting pool. In 2006, the service drastically relaxed its tattoo policy in order to keep feeding more recruits into the training pipeline as the Iraq War moved into the surge era.
Theyve been controversial, too former Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III drew ire when he spearheaded an effort to restrict tattoos below the elbow and knee in 2014. The next SMA, Daniel Dailey, quickly rolled back that policy.
Instead, Sykes and senior officials responsible for accessions and manpower explained why now was the time to bring back neck, ear and hand tattoos.
Sykes argued that good order and discipline is not affected by tattoos.
People First is allowing personnel to continue to serve and to join our military without a prohibition on certain tattoos that are now acceptable in society, Sykes added.
Lin St. Clair, who oversees accessions as an assistant deputy secretary, explained that in fiscal 2020, the service processed more than 1,400 tattoo waiver requests for prospective soldiers, ultimately approving roughly 1,100.
Ultimately, added St. Clair, any moves made arent about lowering standards, as some contend.
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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.
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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.
What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Army
There are two things to consider when gauging if a tattoo is allowed/appropriate in the U.S. Army:
B) Message of the tattoo
As far as placement we recommend using the t-shirt test.
Put on a t-shirt and stand in front of a mirror.
The Army does not allow any visible tattoos that show above the t-shirt collar line.
The same rule applies to the neck, face, ears, and scalp .
Hand tattoos are prohibited in the Army aside from the allowance of one ring tattoo per hand.
Otherwise, you will want to avoid placing tattoos on or below the wrist.
Secondly, the Army will analyze the appearance of the tattoo and its message.
The U.S. Army prohibits any tattoos that are racist, derogatory, sexist, extremist, or indecent.
These types of tattoos are not allowed regardless of where you place them on the body .
The Army grants commanding officers the responsibility to determine what types of tattoos are appropriate and which ones may be deemed offensive.
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Can A Soldier Cover Up A Tattoo With Makeup Or Bandages
The Army does not allow soldiers to cover up a tattoo anywhere on the body with bandages or makeup.
It doesnt matter if the tattoo is hidden when in uniform or not.
However, permanent makeup is an exception.
The Army approves permanent makeup like tattoos that represent eyebrows or eyeliner as long as it follows the traditional rules for makeup .