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Military tattoo regulations

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Recently I've had a bunch of army people telling me about new changes in their policy on tattoos.

Between what they have told me & some googling tells me that 670-1 will now prohibit any visible tattoos when wearing a uniform, which is different than a few years ago when they allowed neck & back of hand tattoos. Any new recruits will be barred, and people that are already grandfathered in will be prohibited from re-enlisting, unless they are removed. What I haven't been solid answer on yet is if the army will be paying for removal. Sleeves are also prohibited. That one is REALLY gonna screw me. I might not even be able to finish ones I have in progress, both on in-towners and clients that are currently deployed. Stuff I'm excited to do. Every shop in town is gonna take a huge blow because of this. Even besides how it affects me it sucks to see these people get screwed like that.

These are some notes from the Sergeant Major of the Army's Board of Directors meeting that took place 9-11 January 2012. They are not yet in effect but will be published and clarified in an upcoming update to AR 670-1.

Some of these are going to cause quite an uproar. I'm dying to hear comments on these!

*AR 670-1 update

-Many changes are coming to AR 670-1. This is just a summary of some of them. Do not begin to enforce until the regulation is complete and published!

-New revision of the regulation will define the following terms; eccentric, faddish, conservative, inconspicuous, unsightly, hair braids/plaits.

-AR 670-1 will be a punitive order in the future.

-Sideburns will not extend below the top of the ear.

-Soldier will be clean shaven on and off duty.

-Female and male hair grooming standards will become more restrictive and better defined.

-Females will be allowed to put their hair into a pony tail during PT.

-Males will be prohibited from wearing cosmetics to include nail polish, females may wear cosmetics conservatively, but can only wear nail polish in service, mess or dress uniforms.

-Females fingernail length will not exceed ¼ in, no fake nails, add-ons, or extensions will be authorized.

-Tattoos will not be visible above the neck line when the IPFU is worn. Tattoos will not extend below the wrist line and not on the hands. Sleeve tattoos will be prohibited (this one will be grandfathered).

-Soldiers will not walk while engaged in activities that require the hand salute. (eating, cell phone use, etc…)

-ACUs will not be commercially pressed; hand ironing of the ACU (UCP) only will be authorized.

-Bags worn over the shoulder will only be black or ACU without logos.

-The new regulation will specify civilian clothes standards both on and off duty and both on and off post.

-No visible body piercings on or off duty and on or off post, males will never wear earrings. Ear gauging will be unauthorized.

-No dental ornamentation will be authorized.

-Soldiers will be authorized to wear authorized ballistic eyewear in garrison.

-Officers will wear non-subdued rank on their headgear in garrison.

Upcoming changes to AR 670-1

This next thing is where is gets tricky; someone came in to see about getting a really well done jerry design of a topless geisha & dragon on his forearm covered up, much to his dismay. Because it makes naughty thoughts or something like that. Kid tells me that anything consided sexually explicit or creates 'impure thoughts'. I wish I could remember the phrasing he used. Thing is, who decides what is considered 'impure'? He was saying he wasnt even allowed to put a bikini on the geisha.

Do we have any army people here? If so, can you give me the specifics on this?

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What timing: a friend in Texas just IMed me to say that his buddy is joining the Navy and needs to get something covered up. Unfortunately, it's a Chris Trevino piece.

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fuck with funding being cut everywhere they're trying to find the smallest reasons. Like pt test. If you fuck up just a little bit they give you the boot. The shitty thing is that the next republican we get they're going to get more funding for military. This is the roller coaster I dealt with. I joined in 2000 and sign on bonus was shit. like 5 grand two years later the sign on bonus was almost 30,0000 full g.i. bill and benefits I've never heard of. Don't worry my friend. There will be another war soon and money will come flowing in like days of old. That's at least one constant hahaha sad isn't it?

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Not sure why they included the bit about "sleeve tattoos", if it's not visible in the formal uniform.

General rule here is no head and no hands (+ nothing "offensive", which could be manipulated), which seems fair enough.

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Not sure why they included the bit about "sleeve tattoos", if it's not visible in the formal uniform.

General rule here is no head and no hands (+ nothing "offensive", which could be manipulated), which seems fair enough.

Because they are regulating your appearance in or out of ACUs, on or off duty. which is legit. thats part of the deal.

Yes it would be fair enough if they had never changed the rules to begin with. It's ridiculous to say "hey we're gonna change the rules and let you get tattooed on these spots" and then 2 or 3 years later say "hey tough shit, we changed ourt minds, remove them or get out" some of these people have plans to serve the 20, and this is how they get done? not all that fair imo.

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Because they are regulating your appearance in or out of ACUs, on or off duty. which is legit. thats part of the deal.

Yes it would be fair enough if they had never changed the rules to begin with. It's ridiculous to say "hey we're gonna change the rules and let you get tattooed on these spots" and then 2 or 3 years later say "hey tough shit, we changed ourt minds, remove them or get out" some of these people have plans to serve the 20, and this is how they get done? not all that fair imo.

Yeah, I'm agreeing with you. By "here" I meant Australia, where the rule seems more fair than the changes that were in the OP.

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The ARMY owns you once you sign up. Not to be a dick, but if you don't like the changes, then you shouldn't have signed up in the first place. And, by "you" I don't mean you specifically, irezumi. I just mean "you" as in the general Military service population.

Although, that does suck being required to get rid of something awesome. I feel sorry for hogg's friend.

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Recently some young guy came in with a brown pride tattoo and needed it covered up for Army. Whoever he spoke to at the Army told him he couldn't get a big tattoo, he had to try to cover it with two smaller tattoos. It turned out okay he has a panther covering one word and an eagle covering the other. The only thing that looks odd to me is having the tattoos right next to each other. If you choose to only get 2 tattoos, usually you don't cram them in one spot. Would have been nice to do just a big panther.

Getting a Chris Trevino tattoo sounds like a much better idea than joining the Navy.

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Yea I have been dealing with this as well being next to Ft Bragg. I do tattoo quite a few officers of post and they are doing some checking on the fine details of this new reg. Like if we can finish existing work etc. Will post any answers I get.

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Back in 1973, when I was in the USMC. tattos were not an issue. Only because "arms" and "backs" were mostly the only part of the body that was tattoo'd. However, back then, not many people other than military, or bikers, had tattoos period. Not that were visible to the public anyway. But the major factor in these "new" regulations, is street-gangs. Its true. Gangs are now sending the young prospects off to bootcamp, and on to further assault training, for the soul purpose of them using that knowledge when they get back home and become a warrior in the gang. Its already a issue with law enforcement, and their lack of ability to get a grip on these individuals who in most cases have more power than the average cop. I have seen special documentaries on this subject over the past 2-3 yrs. It seems to be a real problem for the politicians and military brass. but in reality, its only a diversion, smoke screen, to keep the publics attention off of what is really going on. business as usual.

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Back in 1973, when I was in the USMC. tattos were not an issue. Only because "arms" and "backs" were mostly the only part of the body that was tattoo'd. However, back then, not many people other than military, or bikers, had tattoos period. Not that were visible to the public anyway. But the major factor in these "new" regulations, is street-gangs. Its true. Gangs are now sending the young prospects off to bootcamp, and on to further assault training, for the soul purpose of them using that knowledge when they get back home and become a warrior in the gang. Its already a issue with law enforcement, and their lack of ability to get a grip on these individuals who in most cases have more power than the average cop. I have seen special documentaries on this subject over the past 2-3 yrs. It seems to be a real problem for the politicians and military brass. but in reality, its only a diversion, smoke screen, to keep the publics attention off of what is really going on. business as usual.

Seriously? We don't have many gangs in Portland, but most gang members I come across are just kids, who sling dope, because they don't want a job where someone tells them what to do. I am not saying they aren't joining, but is it really to become some upper gang member, or do they just reach the point in there lives where they are either over the gang and have no education or marketable skills.

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Has anyone here actually been in the military in the last 5-10 years?

I'm active Navy at the moment, tattoo regulations seem to be there but depends on how it is enforced by your command. I believe you have to get a chit (written authorization) for every tattoo that you get from your CO (Commanding Officer), at least that's what Big Navy enforces. Now my last command wanted you to route a chit for every tattoo you got that would be showing in PT gear, which is pretty much arms and legs. My current command is a lot more lenient, I showed up with 2 tattoos that were visible and I'm currently rocking a leg sleeve and working on my right arm sleeve without putting in any paper work. Hope that helps.

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Has anyone here actually been in the military in the last 5-10 years?

I was in the Army a little over 10 years ago and I remember getting shit for my tattoos. I was at Fort Benning and had to go to one of the General's office and had to explain my tattoos and him saying to get my tattoos covered or blacked out. The rebel flag (not on me) had to have the stars colored in so it look like a blue x. Mine would of not been that easy to fix and i was told to get them fixed or get out. Nothing happened to me. This was also within 6 months after 9-11 and you got a 30,000 signing bonus. You may say the military owns you but they dont. I actually got in an arguement with my buddy (who got out of the marines about a year and half ago) with his Uncle that was an Drill SGT at Benning also and he never said anything about tattoos being a problem.

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@Dhopper @Tittleton

I was active duty Navy a couple years ago. At that point I didn't have anything crazy visible but I never knew anyone to actually receive any punishment or problem because of tattoos. I do know a fe people that got "Fuck You" tattooed on the back of their right forearm so officers could see it when they soluted. They wanted to get kicked out...

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I'm National Guard right now. I think the main bullshit part about the regs is how often they change them. When I was enlisting in 2010 the regulation was nothing that showed in the Class A/ASU uniform which is our dress uniform. So basically in a jacket and tie.

Then within months of me joining they LOOSENED the regulations to allow neck and back of hand tattoos.

Then last year they made the regs more strict again and are trying to stop people from re-enlisting even though those very same people were within the old regulations. I think that is the fucked up part that they will pass down a regulation, people will go out and get tattooed, then a year later come back and tell you that you can't re-enlist because they keep changing their minds. That is bullshit.

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you guys (the US) seem to have a shit time with tattoos in the forces.. the regs here in britain are fairly straight forward, none below any number one dress limits..eg neck/hand etc. you can do whatever you like on arms, chests, backs, once youre in that is, no one seems to care.

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My husband, Don, was in the army for 20 years. From 82-2002. He retired as an E-8 First Sergeant ( only one rank below E-9, the highest rank one can achieve as an enlisted man). By the early 90s he was fully sleeved, had his back, one side and numerous tattoos on his legs. He also began tattooing less than 1/2 way through his military career and worked both jobs, when able, till he retired from the service and only tattoos now. To my knowledge, he never had any issues and it didn't prevent him from rising in the ranks. I know that during the war in Iraq, the army relaxed it's standards to allow hand and neck tattoos, but has since reversed that. Much of our tattoo business is either army or air force- it hasn't changed much since I started tattooing, years ago.

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I got out in 2001 as an E-6 (SSG) after 9 years in, due to shot knees (Humans weren't meant to be pack animals BTW.)

Glad I did, the U.S. Army (or at least the 101st Airborne Division) was all over the place with what was and what wasn't cool visible below the elbows in dress uniform during that time period. Beside's, I was totally sick all of the bullshit at that point anyway...

I wouldn't trade that period of my life for anything though. It all happens for a reason I guess.

My last day in the U.S. Army was 03/03/01. Nine years to the day. I didn't plan it that way, it just happened! Got out at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

My only regret about my time spent in the U.S. Army is that I got to fire every small caliber weapon the army had in service at the time...Except one. The M-2 .50 cal machine gun....

Dammit! I never got to shoot Ma Deuce!

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