Q: Greetings Sergeant! Can you tell me what the current Army policy is concerning tattoos. I have several tattoos, and I want to make sure that I’m qualified to enlist. Thanks for your time, and I appreciate what your doing here.
A: The Army’s Tattoo Policy was recently updated in November 2012. The new policy provides the following guidance on tattoos:
Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the Army
Service Uniform (ASU) collar are prohibited.
b. Existing tattoos or brands on the hands or neck below the ASU collar
that are NOT extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist, are allowed.
Initial entry determination will be made according to current guidance.
c. Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist are
prohibited, regardless of location on the body, as they are prejudicial
to good order and discipline within units. This includes body mutilation
and ornamentation. (Tongue splitting or forking, facial ornamentation
and gauging of the ear lobes)
d. Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or
symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.
Extremist philosophies, organizations, and activities are those which
advocate racial, gender or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate,
create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender,
ethnicity, religion, or national origin; or advocate violence or other
unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S.
Constitution, Federal, or State law.
e. Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to
modesty, decency, or propriety; shock the moral sense because of their
vulgar, filthy, or disgusting nature or tendency to incite lustful
thought; or tend reasonably to corrupt morals or incite libidinous
f. Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that
degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but that may not meet the
same definition of “indecent.”
g. Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that
degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national
Since, you currently have tattoos your Recruiter will be required to complete a Tattoo Screening Form. On this form you will list the location of the tattoo, and provide a detailed description. The Recruiter will make a determination. Anything questionable will be required to be forwarded through his/her chain of command. The Chain of Command will review UF 1241, and conduct a Tattoo Review, to determine your eligibility.