Tattoo Policies




 
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January 10th, 2006  
DTop
 
 

Topic: Tattoo Policies


I've seen a few questions about the military's policy on tattoos. I thought I'd post the policies for reference.

U.S. Army Policy
Quote:
TATTOO POLICY

Must not have any lewd or offensive indelible marks or figures (tattoos) visible on any exposed part of the body while wearing the prescribed duty uniform, to include the physical training uniform. Photos will be submitted of all tattoos unless they are in a private area.
Army policy prohibits any tattoos or brands on the face, head or neck above the class-A shirt collar. Current policy for the hands only authorizes small innocuous tattoos or brands that are not prejudicial to the good order or discipline within Army units and do not detract from a professional military appearance.
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 the Army. (a) Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities; 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 or federal and 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 insight lustful thought; or tend reasonably to corrupt morals or incite libidinous thoughts. (c) 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.
SOURCE

While I'm at it, here is the USMC policy according to MCO P1020.34
Quote:
Tattoos or brands on the neck and head are prohibited. In other areas of the body, 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.
SOURCE

Here the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, article 2201.
Quote:
"(r) 2201. Personal Appearance. Because it is impossible to provide examples of every appropriate or unacceptable hairstyle or of "conservative" or "eccentric" grooming and personal appearance, the good judgment of leaders at all levels is key to enforcement of Navy grooming policy. Therefore, hair/grooming/personal appearance while in uniform shall present a neat, professional appearance.
7. Tattoos/body art/brands. No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face, neck, or scalp. tattoos/body art/brands elsewhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the Navy are prohibited.
For example, tattoos/body art/brands that are excessive, obscene, sexually explicit or advocate or symbolize sex, gender, racial, religious, ethnic or national origin discrimination are prohibited. In addition, tattoos/body art/brands that advocate or symbolize gang affiliation, supremacist or extremist groups, or drug use are prohibited.
Tattoos/body art/brands will not be visible through uniform clothing. Waivers may be requested for prior service and existing tattoos from the Chief of Naval Operations (N09BU).
8. Mutilation. Intentional body mutilation, piercing (insert link to 2201.6c), branding/intentional scarring that are excessive or eccentric are prohibited. Some examples are:
-- a split or forked tongue;
-- foreign objects inserted under the skin to create a design or pattern;
-- enlarged or stretched out holes in the ears (other than a normal piercing).
-- intentional scarring that appears on the neck, face, or scalp. waivers may be requested for prior service and existing body mutilation, piercing, branding/intentional scarring from the Chief of Naval Operations (N09BU).
9. Dental ornamentation. The use of gold, platinum or other veneers or caps for purposes of ornamentation are prohibited. teeth, whether natural, capped or veneer, will not be ornamented with designs, jewels, initials, etc. Waivers may be requested for prior service and existing dental ornamentation from the Chief of Naval Operations (N09BU)."
SOURCE

And the U.S. Air Force AFI 36-2903.
Quote:
TATTOOS
The following tattoos/brands are prohibited:
"Unauthorized" tattoos, which are:
    • Obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, or
    • Tattoos that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or bring discredit upon the Air Force
    • These tattoos are prohibited anywhere on the body, in or out of uniform, regardless of whether they can be covered by uniform items or not

    • "Inappropriate" tattoos, which are:
      • Tattoos above the collarbone (visible when wearing an open-collar uniform) and those that exceed one-fourth of the exposed body part while in uniform
    • Commanders will use these guidelines in determining whether a tattoo or brand negatively affects the member's military image
SOURCE
January 11th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
Since you brought this up I am hoping one of our New Zealand service members would comment. Does the New Zealand military allow for the traditional tattooing of the Maori?
January 11th, 2006  
Italian Guy
 
 
Yes nice question.
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January 13th, 2006  
FULLMETALJACKET
 
 
The USMC had the shortest.
January 13th, 2006  
DTop
 
 
Take it easy, that's is just a short excerpt
January 15th, 2006  
rb1651
 
I seem to recall that when I was in the Marine Corps, that if you were assigned to an MSG billet at an Embassy, you could not have tattoo that showed regardless of the uniform of the day.
January 16th, 2006  
headspace
 
 
The Uk military has slightly different rules for each of the three services:

Navy / Marine
Quote:
Applicants will be rejected if they have any tattoo, whether visible or not, which is obscene or offensive (eg racist, anti-religious, crude, overtly sexist or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos which are visible in "parade uniform", ie on the face, neck and ears are also not permitted. Discretion is exercised, however, over tattoos on the hands and fingers.
Army
Quote:
Any visible tattoo(s) excessive in size or number, offensive or obscene will be a bar to enlistment or re-enlistment. By definition, this refers to tattoos which are visible on individuals wearing parade uniform. This does not include shirt sleeve order and issue sports uniform. The visible area comprises face and neck.
RAF
Quote:
An applicant who has a tattoo which is obscene or offensive, or which is visible when in uniform, is ineligible for RAF service. For a tattoo on a female's leg to be acceptable it should be covered by a single small plaster.
I think the female leg thing is funny. How do they define a small plaster?

I also don't know how they deal with you once you are in. I know of several people with neck tattoos who are in the Army for example.
January 17th, 2006  
LeEnfield
 
 
Now Special Services frown on them, as a lot of there work can be covert and there is nothing sticks out more than a tattoo in many countries.
January 20th, 2006  
Ngati Tumatauenga
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Since you brought this up I am hoping one of our New Zealand service members would comment. Does the New Zealand military allow for the traditional tattooing of the Maori?
Many Maori and non-Maori get traditional style tattoos in the NZ Army. A number are gradually covering their entire bodies. If you mean the Moko which covers the face, i've yet to see one on a serving soldier. However in the current state of affairs with regard to Maoridom it would be extremely unlikely for a soldier to get into trouble by getting one. I'll look it up in the vol's when I go back to work next week.
January 21st, 2006  
acar
 
does any one here know the australian tatto policy?