Sign in to follow this  
Shmitty

United States Miltary Tattoo Regulations

Recommended Posts

So here is a rundown of the various tattoo regulations, in regards to the United States Armed Forces.

ARMY

AR 670-1: Para 1-8E:

e. Tattoo policy

(1) Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited.

(2) Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist are prohibited, regardless of location on the body,

as they are prejudicial to good order and discipline within units.

(a) Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations,

or activities. Extremist philosophies, organizations, and activities are those which advocate racial, gender or

ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnicity,

religion, or national origin; or advocate violence or other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S.

Constitution, Federal, or State law (see para 4–12, AR 600–20).

(b) Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, or propriety; shock the moral

sense because of their vulgar, filthy, or disgusting nature or tendency to incite lustful thought; or tend reasonably to

corrupt morals or incite libidinous thoughts.

© Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender,

but that may not meet the same definition of “indecent.”

(d) Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race,

ethnicity, or national origin.

(3) Counseling requirements.

AR 670–1 • 3 February 2005 5

(a) Commanders will ensure soldiers understand the tattoo policy.

(b) For soldiers who are not in compliance, commanders may not order the removal of a tattoo or brand. However,

the commander must counsel soldiers, and afford them the opportunity to seek medical advice about removal or

alteration of the tattoo or brand.

(4) If soldiers are not in compliance with the policy, and refuse to remove or alter the tattoos or brands, commanders

will:

(a) Ensure the soldier understands the policy.

(b) Ensure the soldier has been afforded the opportunity to seek medical advice about removal or alteration.

© Counsel the soldier in writing. The counseling form will state that the soldier’s refusal to remove extremist,

indecent, sexist, or racist tattoos or brands anywhere on the body, or refusal to remove any type of tattoo or brand

visible in the class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), will result in discharge.

(5) Existing tattoos or brands on the hands that are not extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist, but are visible in the

class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), are authorized.

(6) Finality of determination.

(a) Recruiting battalion commanders or recruiting battalion executive officers (0–5 or above) will make initial entry

determinations that tattoos or brands comply with this policy for Active Army and Army Reserve soldiers. This

authority will not be delegated further.

(b) Unit commanders or unit executive officers will make determinations for soldiers currently on active duty. This

authority will not be delegated further.

© Recruiting and retention managers (O–5 or above) will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands

comply with this policy for National Guard soldiers. This authority will not be delegated further.

(d) Professors of military science (O-5 or above) will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands comply

with this policy for ROTC cadets. This authority will not be delegated further.

(e) The Director of Admissions will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands comply with this policy

for the U.S. Military Academy cadets. This authority will not be delegated further.

(f) Determinations will be fully documented in writing and will include a description of existing tattoos or brands

and their location on the body. A copy of the determination will be provided to the soldier. Unless otherwise directed

by the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, these determinations are final. If a tattoo or brand is discovered to violate this

policy after an initial determination has been documented, commanders must submit requests for an exception to policy

or for discharge through the soldier’s chain of command to the MACOM for approval. Appeals to the MACOM

decision will be forwarded to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 for decision.

(7) Soldiers may not cover tattoos or brands in order to comply with the tattoo policy.

NAVY

Navy Uniform Regulations

Chapter 2 -- Grooming Standards

Section 2 -- Personal Appearance

Article 2201.7

7. TATTOOS/BODY ART/BRANDS. Four Criteria will be used to determine whether tattoos/body art/brands are permitted for Navy personnel: content, location, size and cosmetic.

a. Content. Tattoos/body art/brands located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited. For example, tattoos/body art/brands that are obscene, sexually explicit, and or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnic, or national origin are prohibited. In addition, tattoos/body art/brands that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.

b. Location. No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face, neck, or scalp. The neck area for purposes of this regulation is any portion visible when wearing a crew neck T-shirt or open collar uniform shirt. In addition, otherwise permissible tattoos/body art/brands on the torso area of the body shall not be visible through white uniform clothing.

c. Size. Individual tattoos/body art/brands exposed by wearing a short sleeve uniform shirt shall be no larger in size than the wearer’s hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger. Tattoos/body art/brands that exceed size criteria are waiverable provided they do not violate the content and/or location criteria.

d. Cosmetic. This regulation does not prohibit cosmetic tattooing to correct medical conditions requiring such treatment. For the purpose of this regulation, cosmetic tattooing refers to medical or surgical procedures conducted by licensed, qualified medical personnel.

AIR FORCE

Tattoos/Brands

(Unauthorized-

content)

Tattoos/brands anywhere on the body that are obscene or advocate sexual,

racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of

uniform. Tattoos/brands that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or

that are of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force are

prohibited in and out of uniform. Tattoos that are commonly associated

with gang affiliations are prohibited both in and out of uniform.

Unauthorized (content): Members who receive tattoos/brands not meeting

the standards after the implementation of this policy are required to initiate

tattoos/brands removal at their own expense upon notification by their

Commander. Initial Accessions must disclose any tattoos and must

complete removal of inappropriate tattoos prior to being accepted in the Air

Force. Members failing to remove or alter unauthorized tattoos in a timely

manner may be subject to disciplinary action or involuntary separation.

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 (UCMJ). (See

notes 2, 3, 4 and 5).

Tattoos/Brands

(Inappropriate-m

ilitary image)

Excessive tattoos/brands will not be exposed or visible (includes visible

through the uniform) while in uniform. Excessive is defined as any tattoo/

brands that exceed 1/4 of the exposed body part and those above the

collarbone and readily visible when wearing an open collar uniform.

Members should not be allowed to display excessive tattoos that would

detract from an appropriate professional image while in uniform.

Commanders should use these guidelines in determining appropriate

military image and acceptability of tattoos displayed by members in

uniform. Air Force members with tattoos not meeting an acceptable

military image should be required to (a) maintain complete coverage of the

tattoos using current uniform items (e.g. long-sleeved shirt/blouse, pants/

slacks, dark hosiery, PT running suit, etc.) or (b) remove tattoo(s).

Depending on the circumstances, commanders may seek Air Force medical

support for voluntary tattoo removal. PTDY is not authorized in this

situation and is at member’s expense. Members failing to remove, cover, or

alter excessive tattoos or who choose not to comply with acceptable

military standards may be subject to disciplinary action or involuntary

separation. 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

(UCMJ). (See notes 2, 4, 5 and 6).

Marines

MARADMIN 198/07

UNCLAS 191708Z MAR 07

CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)

AL MARADMIN(UC)

MARADMIN

MARADMIN 198/07

MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC//

SUBJ/ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES TO THE MARINE CORPS TATTOO POLICY//

REF/A/MSGID:DOC/CMC WASHINGTON DC MCUB/YMD:20030331//

POC/S. T. FOSTER/CAPT/-/-/TEL:COMM 703 784 9387/TEL:DSN 278 9387//

NARR/REF A MCO P1020.34G, MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS//

GENTEXT/-/1. PURPOSE. TO DETAIL REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS TO THE

TATTOO POLICY FOUND IN MCO P1020.34G, MARINE CORPS UNIFORM

REGULATIONS.

2. EFFECTIVE 1 APRIL 2007, PARAGRAPH 1004.1C OF MCO P1020.34G,

MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS, IS CANCELLED AND REPLACED WITH

THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH. "... MARINES ARE PROHIBITED FROM:

C. TATTOOS OR BRANDS ON THE HEAD AND NECK. SLEEVE TATTOOS ARE

LIKEWISE PROHIBITED. A SLEEVE TATTOO IS A VERY LARGE TATTOO, OR A

COLLECTION OF SMALLER TATTOOS, THAT COVERS OR ALMOST COVERS A

PERSON_S ENTIRE ARM OR LEG. HALF-SLEEVE OR QUARTER-SLEEVE TATTOOS

THAT ARE VISIBLE TO THE EYE WHEN WEARING STANDARD PT GEAR (T-SHIRT

AND SHORTS) ARE LIKEWISE PROHIBITED. A HALF-SLEEVE OR QUARTER-SLEEVE

TATTOO IS DEFINED AS A VERY LARGE TATTOO, OR A COLLECTION OF SMALLER

TATTOOS THAT COVERS, OR ALMOST COVERS, THE ENTIRE PORTION OF AN ARM

OR LEG ABOVE OR BELOW THE ELBOW OR KNEE.

TATTOOS OR BRANDS THAT ARE PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER, DISCIPLINE AND

MORALE, OR ARE OF A NATURE TO BRING DISCREDIT UPON THE MARINE CORPS ARE

ALSO PROHIBITED. PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER, DISCIPLINE AND MORALE, OR

ARE OF A NATURE TO BRING DISCREDIT UPON THE MARINE CORPS MAY INCLUDE,

BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, ANY TATTOO THAT IS SEXIST, RACIST, VULGAR,

ANTI-AMERICAN, ANTI-SOCIAL, GANG RELATED, OR EXTREMIST GROUP OR

ORGANIZATION RELATED."

3. THE FOLLOWING NEW SUPARAGRAPHS 1004.1C(1) AND 1004.1C(2) ARE ADDED.

"(1) MARINES WHO CURRENTLY HAVE A SLEEVE TATTOO(S) WILL BE

GRANDFATHERED.

THE MARINE'S COMMAND WILL INSERT A PHOTOGRAPH(S) OF THE RESPECTIVE

TATTOO(S) ALONG WITH A MEASUREMENT(S) OF THE SIZE IN INCHES AND OF THE

LOCATION(S) ON THE BODY AND THE DATE THE TATTOO(S) WAS DOCUMENTED, ON

THE

PAGE 11 OF THE MARINE'S SRB. THE MARINE WILL SIGN THE PAGE 11 ENTRY

VERIFYING THE INFORMATION IS CORRECT."

"(2) THE DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS IS

DESIGNATED

AS THE ADJUDICATING AUTHORITY FOR ANY TATTOO ISSUE INVOLVING RETENTION

OR

SPECIAL DUTY ASSIGNMENTS. REVIEW OF A QUESTIONABLE TATTOO(S) WILL BE

SUBMITTED TO DC M&RA (MM) VIA THE REENLISTMENT, EXTENSION, LATERAL MOVE

SYSTEM (RELMS). THE PACKAGE WILL INCLUDE A PHOTOGRAPH(S) OF THE

TATTOO(S),

MEASUREMENT(S) OF THE SIZE IN INCHES, DESCRIPTION OF THE LOCATION(S) AND

EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THE TATTOO(S) HAS BEEN DEEMED QUESTIONABLE BY

THE

COMMANDER."

4. COMMANDER'S ARE REQUIRED TO EDUCATE ALL THEIR MARINES ON THE NEW

POLICY

AND DOCUMENT ANY MARINE THAT REQUIRES GRANDFATHERING BY 1 JULY 2007.//

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been tattooing soldiers for 23 years.

The Army has really relaxed their standard in recent years-- with the need for more soldiers.

On the other hand, the Navy and Marines have really tightened up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I have heard that the Marine Corp, might have an update that allows them to have more tattoos. I'm not sure how reliable that is, but I've got my fingers crossed. The Army had also made some modifications, stating that they could have parts of the neck and hands tattooed, but that was reversed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this