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Military Tattoo Regulations

Many branches in the Military have new policies regarding tattoos when enlisting men and women into service. These policies are hard for those who have visible tattoos when wanting to join the military. Depending on the branch of military in which someone is enlisting in, their options and policies may be different. Most of the branches in the United States use the rule “no hands, no head, or neck rule”. This rule simply states that there can be no visible tattoos on the persons hand, head or neck. Read below where many people have came to ask the Military Experts about the different policies on military tattoos.

What are the military tattoo regulations for having a tattoo in the Army?

Tattoo Policies in the Army state that:

• Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited.
• Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, racist are prohibited, regardless of the location on the body.
• Extremist tattoos or brands are those that show or symbolize extreme philosophies, organizations or activities. Extremist philosophies, organizations and activities are those that relate to racial, gender or ethnic hatred.
• Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are gross offensive to modesty, decency; vulgar, filthy or disgusting nature.
• Sexist tattoos or brands are those that support an attitude that degrade or demeans a person based on their gender, but that may not meet the same definition of indecent.
• Racist tattoos or brands are those that resemble an attitude that degrades or demeans a person based on their race, ethnicity or national origin.

Decisions will by documented in writing and will include the description of the tattoo or brand and the location on the body. A copy of the decision will be provided to the soldier, unless directed differently by the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, and these decisions are final. If the tattoo or brand is found to violate this policy after the decision has been documented, the commanders must state their request for an exception to the policy or for discharge through the chain of command for approval.

Soldiers may not cover tattoos or brand in order to obey with the tattoo policies.

Can the Air Force reject someone for having a tattoo on their elbow?

The Air Force policy on tattoos is not as strict on soldiers as to where they can’t have them. The Air Force will look at two things one being the content. There are many tattoos that are visible and some are not. Discrimination against race, religion, gender is not to be accepted. Tattoos that are directed to be outside of the military of good order and discipline are also out of bounds. Second being if the tattoo covers more than ¼ of the visible body part when in uniform or above the collar bone can be considered excessive when visible in uniform.

After six days of boot camp what kind of discharge will someone receive if they lie about their tattoo?

After six days, they will most likely receive a separation with an entry level; this is a type of separation and is not considered a bad discharge. If the service wants they can try to separate them with a negative characterization, like other than honorable.

If recruiter stated that someone cannot get a tattoo because of the risk of infection are they still able to donate plasma?

Selling or donating plasma or blood is not classified as the same thing as getting a tattoo or piercing. With tattoos and piercings it does not use the same type of equipment as when someone is undergoing medical test or giving blood. So, this will fall into a different area of concern. With that being said, someone can donate or sell plasma.

In the Navy can they force someone to remove a tattoo, if other service members have a tattoo as well?

In the Navy the policy allows the Navy to separate administratively Sailors that have inappropriate tattoos. This is a general order under the Uniform Regulations. If the Sailor was separated, this separation could be classified as “other than honorable”, and this would remove any chance of receiving Veteran’s benefits and could cause problems with job searches in the future. It is legal for the Navy to request someone to remove their tattoo if it violates the Navy’s tattoo policy, and if the Sailor fails to do so the Navy can process an administrative separation. The Sailor can talk to the chain of command about any concerns they have, and depending on their acceptance or not, they will have to obey.

There are many military tattoo regulations, and these can be quite confusing from each branch in the United States. When needing more clarification ask an Expert to receive fast and affordable legal answers and insight relating to tattoos in the military.
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