Any visible body tattoos are, in essence, forbidden. The sole exception is one ring tattoo on each hand, where a normal ring would be. Tattoos on the legs must be two inches below or above the knee, and cosmetic army tattoos must be modest and only authorized on women. Men may not have any facial hair except for a mustache.
There are several thousand active-duty service members with tattoos. About 10 percent of all soldiers have tattoos. Tattooing rates are higher among certain ethnic groups: 17 percent of African Americans and 24 percent of Hispanics have tattoos. Women are less likely to get tattoos than men (7 percent vs. 12 percent), but they too can become decorated servicemembers. Approximately 6 percent of female soldiers have tattoos on their faces.
In general, tattoos are viewed as a negative influence upon entry into the military. They can affect your promotion prospects and ability to be assigned to certain jobs. However, there are exceptions: people with multiple tattoos may be granted waivers or exceptions. Discretion is important here; there has been some evidence that troops who have more elaborate tattoos perform better on training exercises.
It used to be that soldiers with tattoos were denied combat assignments but now the situation is more complex. In theory, anyone who shows up at the recruiting office with a tattoo could be turned away, but this doesn't happen very often.
(a) Although there are no restrictions on the size or style of tattoo, tattoos are only authorized on the body portions stated above. (b) Only minor benign tattoos that are not detrimental to good order and military discipline, such as religious symbols or names of loved ones, are permissible. Applications for larger or more elaborate tattoos must be approved by the Chief of Naval Operations or his/her designee.
In addition, naval regulations prohibit the wearing of clothing that displays the name or insignia of another nation. This rule is particularly important since many sailors from foreign countries may not understand how serious it is when a man says he belongs to some royal house or army group. It could lead them to believe that they can take liberties that would not be allowed if the man said he was with the U.S. Army.
Finally, tattoos are prohibited in military prisons. This is because tattoos are used by prisoners to identify themselves and other inmates. Without control over these groups, chaos would ensue where guards would have no way of keeping order.
Tattoos are common among sailors from around the world, especially those who want to look less mainstream. There are several ships operated by the Indian Navy that allow their sailors to get tattoos, provided that they meet the medical standards and have their applications approved by the CNO or his/her designate.
According to the army's recently issued tattoo regulation, which went into force on May 11, 2015, body inscriptions are only permissible on the forearms, and full-fledged tattoos are only permitted on tribal members.
The Navy's tattoo policy The Navy's tattoo policy, which was modified in 2016, is the most lax of the branches. Navy tattoos are permitted on any part of the body except the head, face, or scalp.
In terms of tattoos on the arms, hands, and legs, the Marine Corps tattoo policy specifies that "no tattoos are permissible on the arms within two inches of the wrist-bone." Tattoos on the arm are not permitted within two inches of the elbow, or above or below it. Tattoos on the legs are not permitted within two inches of the knee. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, a Marine may have a tattoo on his or her leg if it was given by a parent or legal guardian when the person was under 18. The Marine must get permission from his or her command chief before getting another tattoo after turning 18.
Tattoos can also be granted as medals of honor. These tattoos are placed on the chest over the heart. There is no limit to how many you can receive but they can only be awarded to active duty service members.
In conclusion, yes you can have leg tattoos in the Marines. However, like any other part of your body, they must comply with military standards. If you plan to apply for or receive a medal of honor for instance, your commander has the right to deny your application if he or she believes that tattoos pose a problem for you or the unit.
The United States Army has loosened its tattoo prohibitions in recent years, but troops and recruits are still not allowed to wear some types of tattoos and must follow rigorous guidelines about where tattoos can be put. The Army altered the rules in 2015 after recognizing that its tattoo restrictions were costing them recruits. Now, all a soldier needs to do to be accepted into the military with a tattoo is to apply with an approved employer and prove to a recruiter that they are willing to comply with strict rules regarding their appearance.
In fact, many soldiers enjoy being able to serve in the armed forces while wearing certain types of artwork on their bodies. Some choose to get traditional military tattoos, such as anchors or swords, while others prefer more colorful designs. Whether a person chooses to get a tattoo for aesthetic purposes or because they want to sign up for the best job in the world, it's important to understand what kinds of tattoos will keep you from joining the Army.
Here are the main categories of tattoos that would prevent you from becoming a soldier:
1. Political Tattoos
If you're asked by a recruiter whether you have any "political" tattoos, take this as a sign that your art may be holding you back from joining the Army. Political tattoos include anything related to drugs, alcohol, violence, or other controversial subjects or images.