Can You Have Tattoos In The Military?

 military tattoo regulations

These days, tattoos are pretty commonplace. According to a recent Harris poll, almost a third of all Americans – and half of all millennials – have at least one tattoo. Once considered a sign of subversion, they’ve now gone mainstream. You’ll see them on everyone from bankers to bakers, from scientists to soccer moms.

But if you’re thinking of starting a career in the military, your tattoo could hold you back. Tattoo regulations in the military have changed in recent years, and vary from branch to branch. So before you enlist, it’s important to review the policies to ensure your tattoo is in compliance.

Tattoo regulations in the US military

There are certain universal restrictions that apply to all five branches of the military.

  • Head, face, and scalp tattoos are strictly prohibited.

  • Extremist tattoos are not allowed. This includes symbols or depictions of violent, discriminatory, or lawless philosophies or activities.

  • Any tattoos that are racist, sexist, or indecent are forbidden.

Aside from these general rules, there may also be branch-specific policies regarding the size, location, and content of tattoos.

  • The Army has recently loosened its tattoo regulations, so there are no longer restrictions on the number or size of tattoos. Hand tattoos are discouraged, but a single ring finger tattoo is allowed.

  • The Navy has the most lenient policies of all the branches, even allowing small tattoos on the neck or behind the ear. The only area that cannot be tattooed is the head.

  • The Marines have one of the most restrictive tattoo policies. Tattoos cannot be located on the head or neck; cannot be seen when wearing a crewneck shirt; must fall within 2 inches above the elbow or one inch below; and must fall at least 2 inches above or below the knee. An individual tattoo must also be no more than 3 inches wide.

  • Members of the Air Force cannot have any tattoos that are seen above the collarbone while wearing the uniform’s collared shirt. Like the Army, hand tattoos are not allowed, with the exception of a single ring finger.

  • The Coast Guard disallows its members from having tattoos that are visible one-inch above the V-neck undershirt beneath the uniform. They also maintain the same hand tattoo policy as the Air Force and the Army.

Don’t let a tattoo hold you back. Schedule your laser tattoo removal treatment now.

If you have a tattoo that violates US military regulations, Siti Med Spa can help you get in compliance. We use Enlighten, one of the most advanced laser systems available today. With its extremely short and high-powered pulses, Enlighten can remove your tattoo quickly and efficiently, putting you back in the running for enlistment or promotion within the military.

Siti Med Spa offers military discounts

At Siti Med Spa, we understand and care about the needs of our armed forces. In fact, Susan (Owner of Siti Medical Spa) and Antonio (Manager of Siti Medical Spa) are veterans of the armed forces! Susan served 22 years in the U.S. Army and Antonio was in the US Navy for 5 years prior to joining Siti Medical Spa. You can read our full bio’s here.

We’d be honored to help our members of the military, or those who plan on joining, a discount on laser tattoo removal. If you’re an active duty service member, present your military ID or badge to qualify for this savings offer. If you’re trying to enlist, bring a business card from your local recruiter.

Call us today at (619) 717-8484 and schedule your free consultation. Let Siti Med Spa make your tattoo a thing of the past, so you can have a brighter future.