Shmitty

Let me introduce myself......

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Hello, I am a tattoo artist in Oklahoma. I have been tattooing for 3 years and love every second of it. I currently work at Elite Skin Art in Lawton, Oklahoma and tattoo mostly military personnel from Ft Sill. The only down side to working there is that I have a 180 mile round trip to work. I love to travel around, and use the convention circuit as an awesome excuse to get to places. I am a family man, with a wife and two kids. I don't have much time for hobbies, but I love cars of all shapes and sizes, as well as motorcycles. I draw as much as I have time for. :cool:

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Well, all of the different branches have different criteria. Army is pretty lax on it. You only have to keep it under your uniform. Marines are pretty strict as well as the Air Force. The shop that I work at is a part of NATFMS, which means that we will not tattoo anyone who is in the armed services outside of that branches regs. I think its pretty cool, especially when the vast majority of the clientele are new in the Army.

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The shop that I work at is a part of NATFMS, which means that we will not tattoo anyone who is in the armed services outside of that branches regs. I think its pretty cool, especially when the vast majority of the clientele are new in the Army.

Hi Schmitty,

Welcome to LST. Can you tell us a little more about NATFMS and the tattoo regulations for the different military branches? I read the article that Jaycel had posted, but it was a little confusing. I don't know anything about this, and I'm sure I'm not the only one on here who's more than a little curious.

Thanks,

Dari

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Not a problem. NATFMS stands for National Alliance of Tattooists For Military Standards. It was started to basically help ward of the bad stigma associated with tattooers around military bases. One thing I can tell you is that if you work in a shop that relies on a base for the majority of your business, you want to stay in good graces with that base. The Commander of the base has the power to black-list (make off limits) any place that is deemed unacceptable. One way to keep your shop from being Black-listed is proving that you will not help recruits break the rules. Another way that you could find yourself Black-Listed is by price gouging people just because they are military (really crappy but it happens often). NATFMS also means that you will charge military personnel the same as you would anyone else. In short NATFMS is an insurance policy that helps tattoo shops that abide by military standards to keep from being lumped in with shops that will willingly break those rules.

Off the cuff I cannot recite the regs, but here is a quick overview. There are the universal no-no's, which apply to all branches. These include racial, sexist, and any other hate based tattoos. Others would include all gang tattoos. Some tattoo restrictions as far as placement are universal. The face, neck, head, and hands are all off limits to all military. Now, that said, all branches have waivers for recruits that have tattoos that are out of regulations. Some people may be admitted with tattoos on their necks, hands ect, if they are examined and determined to be acceptable. Next we have the branch specific rules.

Army- The army doesn't really have any extra regulations passed the standard regulations. You are allowed to be tattooed anywhere that doesn't show while basically wearing a full, long sleeved uniform.

Marines- The USMC is pretty strict on their regulations. You may have as many tattoos as you want, under basically boxer shorts and a t-shirt. Outside of that you are only allowed to have one tattoo, that must be able to be covered with your hand, on a body part. You cannot have another tattoo within a 5 inch radius.

Air Force- They have a trick little formula that basically means that you can not have more that 1/4 of a body part covered with tattoos.

Navy- Honestly I don't really deal with many Naval recruits so I am not sure off the top of my head what rules they have.

National Guard has the same rules as the army.

I know these are kind of incomplete but if you would like I can make a thread that has all of the regs as current as I can find. The regs change pretty regularly so it will have to be updated occasionally. Just let me know and i can get everything together.

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Wow, NATFMS sounds like a pretty cool organization. American tattoo history is all about the enlisted man, its great that it's partially designed to show them respect and keep them from getting ripped off. As far as this-

I know these are kind of incomplete but if you would like I can make a thread that has all of the regs as current as I can find. The regs change pretty regularly so it will have to be updated occasionally. Just let me know and i can get everything together.

It sounds as though this could be an awful lot of work for you, but it would be a great resource for other tattooers that aren't near bases, and I'm sure a lot of people would find the whole NATFMS pretty interesting. I can speak for the rest of us at LST that we'd love to have that thread if you were willing to put it together.

Personally, I only know one person in the marines. He more or less has a full bodysuit, but he's a sniper medic and has done multiple tours in Afghanistan and elsewhere, maybe they need him enough to let him do whatever he wants. (?)

By the way, we also have two kids. 180 miles round trip is crazy! Although, my husband will be waking up in Sweden to do some more tattooing in a few hours, so I get the traveling for a job that you love thing. Is where you and your family lives much nicer than closer to your shop?

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