United States Coast Guard Tattoo Policies
Commandant2100 Second Street , S.W. Washington , DC 20593-0001
Subj: TATTOO, BODY MARKING, BODY PIERCING, AND MUTILATION POLICY
Ref: Uniform Regulations, COMDTINST M1020.6 Medical Manual, COMDTINST M6000.1
1. PURPOSE. This Instruction amends the Coast Guard’s Tattoo and Body Markings Policy to include both new accessions and current active duty/reserve members, and establishes new guidelines governing content, location, and amount of body coverage. Additionally, this policy reinforces the prohibition against other forms of intentional body mutilation.
3. DIRECTIVES AFFECTED. Tattoo and Body Markings Policy for Coast Guard Accessions, COMDTINST 1000.1, is cancelled. The following instructions will be amended to reflect this policy: Uniform Regulations, COMDTINST M1020.6 Coast Guard Recruiting Manual, COMDTINST M1100.2 and the Personnel Manual, COMDTINST M1000.6 .
b. Content. Tattoos or brands anywhere on the body that promote racism/discrimination, indecency, extremist or supremacist philosophies, lawlessness, violence, or sexually explicit material are prohibited.
Racist or discriminatory tattoos or brands are those that advocate the degradation of a person based on race, ethnicity, national origin, or gender
Tattoos or brands labeled violent or promoting lawlessness are those that depict extreme graphic violence, profanity, glorifications of drug culture, or markings that can reasonably be interpreted as anti-government in nature.
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 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.
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Options For Recruits Looking For A Fresh Start
As mentioned, tattoo rules vary by military branch. No matter branch you hope to join, tattoos on the face, neck, and hands are highly regulated . Covering up a face, neck, or hand tattoo will usually not be an option. Most recruits with these tattoos or other tattoos such as sleeve tattoos, tattoos with sexist or extremist messages, and other tattoos that radically alter their personal appearance will benefit from visiting a tattoo removal clinic.
Whats The Big Deal About Tattoos
Many recruits wonder why the armed forces even care about their tattoos. While someone joining the Air Force or Marine Corps might expect to be required to put forth a professional appearance, someone joining the Army or Navy might think thatgiven the traditionally more rugged lifestyle of people in these branchesa tattoo on the hand or neck would not pose a big deal.
The reality of the matter is that the military is a place of tradition and high, uniform standards. Individuality is not valued like in our general society. Moreover, there are a lot of qualified recruits who meet the existing standards so theres little incentive to lower existing standards / regulations.
Tattoos that glorify sexism, drugs, violence, or extremist or indecent tattoos could pose problems for recruits. While some branches of the military will allow certain types of sleeve tattoos, many would-be recruits will find themselves being told to get laser tattoo removal treatment for these tattoos before they can submit enlistment papers.
Military tattoo regulations do tend to change slightly over time. So, while the below information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, you may want to double-check with your recruiter or another U.S. Military publication for the latest tattoo regulations.
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Can You Join The Military With Epilepsy
For example, if you currently have epilepsy, you would not be able to join the Armed Forces, but if you had epilepsy as a child or had a single seizure more than 10 years ago, you may be able to join. Visit Armed Forces Careers for more information.
Are Army officers allowed to have tattoos? Yes, officers of the Army can still have tattoos. The Army tattoo policy for 2020 is different from previous regulations that held commanding officers to higher physical appearance standards compared to enlisted soldiers.
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.
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Can You Go Into The Military As An Officer With An Associate Degree
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No, the Army does not allow tattoos on the face, neck, or hands.
The History Of Naval Tattooing
When those serving in the military saw 17th-century French soldiers inked in the South Pacific, a flame was lit that still burns brightly today for those who wished to be inked to show their pride in their country.
Although the French stopped the practice for health reasons, the practice of tattooing caught on in the United States and remains popular to this day. For those currently serving in the Marines, they must obtain the proper paperwork and permits to get Marine tattoos.
However, the rules dont apply to civilians, although its important that you understand exactly what your ink represents before visiting a tattoo artist.
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Why Do So Many Military Have Tattoos
Remembrance is the theme common to most Soldiers’ service-related tattoos.
Whether they are getting tattoos to remember the good times or the bad, friends made or lost, inked Soldiers carry with them a permanent reminder of specific, often life-changing events in their lives..
A history of mental illness will be a disqualifier for enlistment. You will need a waiver.
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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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Can You Skip A Division In League
Division skipping happens when your mmr is much higher than your current rank, as people might already know. This is evident when you are gaining 25+ lp and losing much less. In order for you to skip division, for example, silver 5 to silver 3, you must go into s5 promos and come out winning with the mmr of a s3.
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 .
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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.
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.
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How Long Will I Be Away From Home
Sailors rotate between sea and shore duty. You may spend three years assigned to a ships command and then rotate to serve three more years at a shore command. You will not be at sea during your entire Navy career. During your sea tour, you may live off-base nearby, but must be available to travel with the ship for deployments or training.
A typical sea deployment on a Navy ship can last anywhere from six to nine months. Ships typically deploy once every 18-24 months. In preparation for deployment, Sailors should be prepared to go to sea for 10 to 14 days each month for training.
Popeye The Sailor Man
While Popeye is a Sailor Man, and therefore a card-carrying member of the good ol U.S. Navy, hes a go-to for Coast Guardsmen who are looking for a great tattoo.
Dont be too surprised if you come across loads of Popeye-themed tattoos on Coasties young and old.
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They generally don’t have tattoos. Some may of had tattoos earlier, such as some paratroopers prior to entering SF. Many have them removed. Tattoos identify various special forces is a movie ploy.
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Lying at MEPS
I had a misdemeanor, petty theft, and my Navy recruiter told me to lie. I was scared, and confused on why he wanted me to lie, though my offense wasn’t even disqualifying. My fine was not paid for when I signed, and I had no idea that it was illegal to be processed without fines being paid. I refuse to go into the USN with inaccurate papers. Is it too late to change my papers … what will happen afterward?
1. Need some clarification. Did you admit to the charge? If so and your fine just isn’t paid, go pay it. If you didn’t mention it, pay the fine and mention it when you ship.
Or you can pay your fine and divulge this to the recruiter. It may void your enlistment contract … and may require you to choose another rate. However, you don’t have to worry about when big brother will come knocking. And you will be in compliance. Peace of mind is everything.
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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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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.
United States Air Force Tattoo Policies
Table 2.5. regarding tattoos/brands/body piercing by active duty Air Force members USAFR members on active duty or inactive for training ANG members in Federal service, is a violation of Article 92, Uniform Code of Military Justice . Violations of these provisions can be prosecuted under Article 92 of the UCMJ, as well as any other applicable articles of the UCMJ, when appropriate. The Commander, Military Personnel Flight assigns an office within the Customer Support Section to be the Office of Primary Responsibility for this instruction.
1 Body Alteration or Modification
Prohibited, if it is intentional and results in a visible, physical effect that detracts from a professional military image. Failure to observe these mandatory provisions and prohibitions by active duty Air Force members, USAFR members on active duty or inactive duty for training and ANG members in Federal service is a violation of Article 92, Uniform Code of Military Justice . See note 1.
In Uniform: Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, eye brows, lips or any exposed body part . EXCEPTION : Women are authorized to wear earrings. Civilian Attire: Official Duty: Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the nose, tongue eye brows, lips or any exposed body part .
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