An argument could be made that sailors and tattoos go hand in hand.  The exact time when US sailors started getting tattoos is unknown, but for most what is now considered traditional or American traditional style of tattooing and art has been passed down for decades and comes from early sailors and the tattoos they collected while deployed.

Navy TattoosSadly, the modern day military isn’t as accepting of tattoos, especially visible tattoos while in uniform.  For this reason, we’ve offered discounted tattoo removal for those trying to enlist but can’t due to regulations, enlisted and vets, and will continue to do so.

On a very positive note, NavyTImes is reporting a new policy change for those trying to enlist and active duty sailors.

The new rules, taking effect April 30, 2016, will allow sailors to:

  • Have multiple or large tattoos below the elbow or knee, including the wrists and hands, effectively allowing sleeve tattoos that can be seen even while wearing short sleeve uniforms.
  • Have one tattoo on their neck, which includes behind the ear, and it may not exceed 1 inch in length or height in either or both directions.
  • Sailors with visible tattoos will now be eligible for recruiting duty or leading recruits at boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. These tough assignments often give sailors a leg up to make rank.

The article goes on to say the updated tattoo policy does not apply to Marines, even ones serving at Navy commands and tattoos that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.

This is extremely promising news for anyone who has been interested in joining the US Navy but had a small tattoo behind their ear prohibiting them from doing so.  While we’re thrilled at the less restrictive policy change with tattoos, we still remain positive that someone’s choice to decorate their body doesn’t prohibit their ability to represent America or do their job.  Hopefully the other branches will follow along, soon.

For more information please read the full article.