FactsCan You Have Tattoos In The Navy

Can You Have Tattoos In The Navy


Can You Have Tattoos In The Army Reserve

Can Marines Get Tattoos| USMC

Recent Changes to National Guard Tattoo Policy As a result, the National Guard follows the Army tattoo policy in that it allows tattoos on any part of the body aside from the head, face, neck, and hands. There are no longer restrictions on the number of tattoos National Guard members can have on their bodies.

What Happens If A Soldier Is Caught With An Unauthorized Tattoo/refuses To Remove

According to the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia Manual 670-1, there are procedures for handling unauthorized tattoos.

If a soldier has any tattoo or brand that is prohibited under the Army tattoo policy , he or she will receive a written notice from a commander regarding the violation.

Once the soldier receives the notice he or she has 15 days to make a decision.

The Army traditionally provides three options: A) appeal the decision of the commander, B) have the tattoo professionally removed, or C) keep the tattoo.

Tattoo policy appeals are handled by a commander at the O-6 level for a final determination.

Military personnel that violates the Army tattoo policy are responsible for any costs related to the removal of the tattoo.

Soldiers that elect to keep tattoo in violation of the policy will begin administrative separation proceedings in order to terminate his or her service.

The U.S. Army like every branch of the military has fairly strict grooming standards.

Men and women service members are both required to follow stern haircut requirements.

Additionally, men are not permitted to have beards in the Army though tightly regulated mustaches are authorized.

Body piercings are not allowed for male service members, while females can sport piercing with several restrictions.

Learn what all is authorized and not authorized regarding Army grooming standards.

Military Rules On Tattoos

Any visible tattoos can stop people from being accepted into the military.

The Army relaxed their rules on tattoos in 2014 allowing them on the back of a hand or back of a neck.

Originally soldiers could only have them on the upper arm as they could be hidden by uniform.

However, tattoos that are obscene, ie those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs for example are a no-no.

In 2013-14, the Army rejected 336 applications because of offensive or inappropriately placed tattoos, a Freedom of Information request showed.

One in five Britons has a tattoo, according to research cited by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2012.

The change to policy is consistent with the Army’s relaxation of rules in 2014, where they found no evidence to suggest the new approach has had an adverse impact on operational effectiveness.

The main Royal Navy change is that tattoos on the neck are now acceptable providing they are not visible in a front-view passport photo while the subject is wearing an open-neck shirt.

Tattoos on the hands are acceptable, provided they are not below the knuckle or on the palm of the hand.

Navy chiefs stress most tattoos and piercings won’t prevent recruits joining the Royal Marines providing they are not visible on a front-view passport.

The tradition dates back more than 300 years when Captain Cook explored the Pacific and his crew copied the tattoos worn by natives as ‘souvenirs’.

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The Message Of The Tattoo

For safety reasons, the Army does not allow tattoos that are rude, obscene, or vulgar or which contain symbols or religious emblems that could represent a religious belief.

But the Army allows some tattoos that promote good citizenship. The Army allows tattoos on soldiers after theyve received the requisite counseling and after the paperwork is approved by their chain of command.

Army Regulation 670-1 states: If you have a tattoo and it so happens to be visible in an official way, such as visible in a photograph of your Drill Sergeants School class photo, then it must be reported to your commanding officer for approval prior to getting it done. If the tattoo is visible in a photo of your unit in your official ABU or other Army Uniform, then it must also be approved by your MRA.

If the commanding officer approves the tattoo, then you must go to a Military Arts Tattoo Studio to get ink or mechanical drawing of that design. If you are giving the tattoo artist an idea of what you want, be sure they can produce an accurate rendering. The Army requires that imprints of approved tattoos be submitted to the unit historian for permanent records.

A person who is 18 years of age or older and has been in the Armed Forces for less than five years can get a tattoo if he or she has consulted with his military chain of command and the Military Reviewing Authority and obtained written approval.

What Other Grooming Standards Does The Navy Have

Military Tattoos

Body art is not the only grooming standards that the U.S. Navy regulates.

The Navy also enforces rules regarding haircuts, facial hair , and body piercings.

The U.S. Navy currently prohibits men from having body piercings yet women are allowed to wear one ball-studded earring per ear.

Navy hair standards require men and women to keep it neat, clean, and well-groomed with specific requirements regarding length.

Certain hairstyles are not allowed, and you can find a full listing of permitted and prohibited hair styles in the link below.

The Navy requires sailors to have a clean-shaven face with the exception of tightly regulated mustaches and sideburns.

Beards are not permitted in the U.S. Navy.

Get more details about Navy grooming standards by clicking here.

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Will The Army Pay For Tattoo Removal

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!

Laser Removal For Tattoos That Violate Navy Policy

The Navy has updated guidelines on what is and isnt acceptable for enlisted personnel and officer tattoos, including restrictions on offensive tattoos and places on the body where tattoos are acceptable. But even if you have a tattoo that violates regulations, you have options. Contact a Removery tattoo removal expert to see how we can help we offer a 10% Discount to those who are actively enlisted and enlisting in the Navy.

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Air Force Tattoo Regulations

The Air Force is pretty lax when it comes to servicemembers with tattoos. Airmen have no restrictions as to the tattoo size.

The following tattoos are allowed:

  • Airmen are allowed a single ring tattoo on one finger, on one hand
  • Half or full sleeve tattoos
  • Feet tattoos

You will notice, the Air Force is currently the only branch that allows feet tattoos.

As far as tattoo donts in the Air Force, just like other branches, there cannot be any tattoos on your face, neck, head, lips, or eyelids.

Be sure to keep up with the latest on the Air Force tattoo policy as policies are always subject to change.

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The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday Tattoo

Tattoos in the Navy? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

This is a motto of the Navy Seals that has roots in their tough training program. The BUD/S, Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training program is a 30-week training program that is considered by many to be one of the toughest in the world. This motto shows how the training and work of these elite warriors will only get harder and tougher, but they choose to soldier through.

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Navy Expands Tattoo Options Command Ball Cap Wear

  • From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

An illustration depicting expanded U.S. Navy tattoo policies.


In response to feedback from the fleet and senior enlisted leadership, the Navy announced two changes to its uniform policy, March 31, in NAVADMIN 082/16.

1. The Navy is updating its tattoo policy and will authorize Sailors to:

  • Have one tattoo on their neck that does not exceed one inch in any direction.
  • Have visible tattoos below the elbow or knee — no longer restricting their size or amount.
  • Allow Sailors with sleeve tattoos to be assigned to Recruit Training Command and Recruiting Command positions — previously not allowed.

The Navy’s tattoo content restrictions will remain the same: no tattoo located anywhere on the body can be prejudicial to good order, discipline and morale, or be of a nature that brings discredit upon the naval service.

This policy update is being made in response to the increased popularity of tattoos for those currently serving and in the population from which the Navy draws its recruits. It is also meant to ensure the Navy does not miss opportunities to bring in talented young men and women who are willing to serve.

More information on these changes, which go into effect April 30, can be found in NAVADMIN 082/16.

The eight-point cover will remain the standard head gear worn with the NWU Type II and III during uniform inspections, special events and as determined by the unit commanding officer.

Can Navy Seal Officers Have Tattoos

As of March 2016, tattoos including full sleeves are acceptable. According to the Navy, only the head, face and scalp are off limits. The neck and behind the ear may have one tat but it should be restricted to one inch. Additionally, tattoos on the torso should not be visible through the white uniform shirt.

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United States Navy Tattoo Policy

If there was one branch of service that was synonymous with tattoos, I think it would be the Navy. The days of a Sailor pulling into some exotic far east port and having a few drinks, and then heading down to the local tattoo artist have been seriously hampered by the latest instructions. A Sailor can still get a tattoo, but he or she must consider a number of things before picking the location, size, and content. So before you get your next tattoo, keep reading!

The policies of tattooing, branding, and body art extend to those wishing to join the Navy. Below I have quoted a section of the Navy recruiting manual which discusses the topic .

What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Navy

Inked brigade: UK Army lifts ban on hand &  neck tattoos ...

Tattoos in the United States actually have origins in the Navy.

Sailors were some of the first to start getting body ink after touring Southeast Asia where the tradition was already common.

As a result, the U.S. Navy has observed looser rules and standards when it comes to tattoos compared to other military branches.

The Navy recently changed some of its grooming standards in 2016, including far fewer rules regarding tattoos.

The policy has also been updated in 2020 to allow a single tattoo on the neck .

Additionally, tattoos below the knee and elbow are now allowed regardless of the quantity or size.

Therefore, sailors are no longer regulated by a number of tattoos on the arms or legs, meaning service members can have full sleeves.

This is good news for Navy SEALs, as they tend to have an affinity to full sleeve tattoos.

Hand tattoos, including ring tattoos, are also permitted under the new guidelines of the U.S. Navy.

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Do You Have To Be In The Navy To Be A Seal

The SEALs an acronym for Sea, Air and Land forces are a small, elite military force created in 1962. They carry out covert but effective missions that bigger forces operating from battleships, tanks or jets cant accomplish. You dont have to be in the Navy already to join the SEALS, but you do have to be tough.

The Marine Corps May Soon Allow Sleeve Tattoos Among Other Ink Policy Changes

If a leaked email is true, the Marine Corps may soon allow sleeve tattoos, an unlimited number of tattoos for officers, and allow future recruiters and drill instructors to sport visible ink.

An email with some details of a potential new policy was posted to the unofficial USMC Reddit page on Tuesday morning and since has been deleted.

Many Marines have long wanted a more relaxed tattoo policy, but citing professionalism and heritage the Corps has continued to enforce the strictest ink policy in the Department of Defense.

We are currently evaluating the tattoo policy and we will publish an update shortly, Maj. Jim Stenger confirmed to Marine Corps Times in a phone call Tuesday morning.

Stenger said the email on Reddit likely came from a Marine leader giving a heads up on possible changes coming to Marine Corps policy. He insisted that no decisions on the tattoo policy are final.

Thats all predecisional and nothing in there has been decided upon by the decision-makers in the process of approving any changes, he said.


The email posted on Reddit appeared to be sent by a sergeant major, with the crest in the upper left corner appearing to belong to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

The email alleged that most restrictions on size, number and placement of tattoos will be gone and instead the Marine Corps will place a greater emphasis on the actual content of the tattoos.

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Will The Army Pay To Remove Tattoos

The Army will not pay to remove existing tattoos prior to joining the military branch.

The only way you could get compensation for tattoo removal from the U.S. government is if the Army tattoo policy changed after you enlisted.

For example, if a commanding officer determined your tattoo violates its policy, you could request funding for the removal.

However, those circumstances happen infrequently in the U.S. Army.

Adapting To The New Army Tattoo Policy For 2021

Can I have Tattoos in The Air Force? / United States Air Force

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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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 .

Coast Guard Tattoo Policy

The coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of our Armed Forces The US Coast Guard is one of our countrys uniformed services.

And as such, they hold their personnel and service members to a high standard.

Like the other branches of military discussed in this article, the Coast Guard periodically reviews and updates their tattoo and branding policy to keep up with the times and our changing culture.

The Coast Guards latest tattoo policy was unveiled late 2016.

And according to Kurt B. Hinrichs /s/ Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Director of Reserve and Military Personnel, the changes to the policy are minimal but important.

The report released by Hinrichs explains that the policy update is to ensure our workforce presents a sharp, professional military appearance to the public while also allowing individual expression through authorized body art that is consistent with the Coast Guards core values.

It seems as though the Coast Guard is keeping in step with the trend thats being followed by all military branches.

That is, theyre loosening up to attract recruits from the largest recruiting pool possible, without sacrificing core values.

But these changes in their tattoo policy arent for new recruits only.

Rather, according to the report, All Coast Guard unit commanders, commanding officers, officers-in-charge, deputy/assistant commandants, and chiefs of headquarters staff elements shall comply with the provisions of this Instruction.

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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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