Military Policy on Tattoos Relaxed to Attract More Recruits

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Military Tattoo Policy

Photo Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

The military’s policy on tattoos is serious and often a surprise to potential recruits. One of the most common reasons for laser tattoo removal is the military.

PHOENIX May 18, 2018

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, Delete – Tattoo Removal and Laser Salon has compiled the most current military policies regarding tattoos. The United States military policies concerning tattoos have evolved over the years and vary across military branches. In recent years, these policies have been relaxed to increase the number of eligible recruits.

Policies regarding the placement of tattoos varies among the branches. The strictest, the Marines do not allow sleeves. While the Army does not allow tattoos on:

  •     Your head
  •     Your face
  •     Your neck above the t-shirt line
  •     Inside your eyelids, mouth or ears
  •     Your wrists
  •     Your hands

If you are considering joining the military, and have tattoos, then you should become familiar with your respective branch’s policies. Many military senior leaders have made public statements saying that tattoos detract from uniformed services. The policies set in place are a means to increase the professionalism and standards of serving in the U.S. Military. Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond Chandler is quoted, ‘if you have a tattoo that draws attention to yourself, you have to ask the question, are you a person who is committed to the Army? Because the Army says you are apart of the same organization. We all generally look the same. And we do not want you to stand out from the rest of the Army. Yes, we want you to set yourself apart and do great things and so on, but that does not mean tattooing yourself or doing other extreme things that draw attention to you, the individual. You are part of something larger.’

One thing that hasn’t changed is soldiers and recruits are not allowed to have certain types of tattoos. Extremist, indecent, racist and sexist tattoos are not allowed. Below you can click any of the links to see an overview of the policies concerning tattoos. It is important to meet with a recruiter to get the most current policies and ask any questions you have regarding your tattoos.

The military also has policies in place regarding getting tattoos while on active duty. Meeting the appearance standards prior to joining the military is just as important as abiding by them during your service in the military. The military is concerned about banned tattoos before and after enlisting. If the military finds your tattoo inappropriate concerning their policy you will likely face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Furthermore, the military could require you to remove the tattoo if you want to remain on active duty.

Air Force:




The military’s policy on tattoos is serious and often a surprise to potential recruits. While it has evolved, military policy compliance is still one of the most common reasons for laser tattoo removal which is why all active, veteran, and potential service members receive 10% off treatments and services at Delete — Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon with a military ID. The physicians at Delete have used PicoWay laser tattoo removal for military purposes thousands of times. To address tattoos on the hands, neck and face, laser tattoo removal is often used to meet military regulations concerning tattoos.

About Delete: Voted Best Tattoo Removal of Phoenix and opened in 2010, Delete — Tattoo Removal and Laser Salon incorporates the latest in state-of-the-art laser technology and a trained team of certified medical physicians housed in a sleek comfortable environment. Delete provides both men and women a safe, convenient and affordable solution for tattoo removal. Offering fixed price packages based on tattoo size and design complexity, payment plans and financing options are available.

To learn more about our salon, call (602) 343-6355 or email us at info(at)deleteitnow(dot)com or visit and @DeleteTattoo.

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Maria Burns

Maria Burns

Maria is a Viral News Editor who graduated from the University Of California. She likes social media trends, being semi-healthy, Buffalo Wild Wings and vodka with lime. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to travel. She last went to Thailand to play with elephants and is planning a trip to Bali.
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