Armed Forces and arms with tattoos

All you have to do is look around your local mall and see today’s youth have embraced the idea of tattoos and facial body modifications and piercings. I can hardly turn around without seeing some one with tattoos up and down their arms or big discs in their ear lobes.

My grand pa had a tattoo when he served. So did my father. When I served I got a tattoo as well. It is what all us military sheep did. In fact I have six of ’em…most of which are below my elbows and knees. And now women are getting into the act too.

kristin morely tattoo

Kristen Morley, 19, Pleasant Hill, Ohio

The Army is about set to revise Army Regulation 670-1.

According to an article by ABC News incoming U.S. Army recruits are facing new, strict guidelines for any ink they want on their body, under new regulations limiting soldiers’ tattoos.

Stars and Stripes reports that the new regulations state that soldiers will not be allowed to have tattoos that show below the elbows and knees or above the neckline. The current policy states that tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited. Soldiers who currently have tattoos in the banned areas of the body will be grandfathered in.

The changes, which are expected in the next 30 to 60 days, only apply to the Army, and not yet other parts of the U.S. military. New changes to Army Regulation 670-1 are also expected to outline rules on grooming, hair styles, and body piercings.

So here is where this may get sticky… It says “…will not be allowed to have tattoos that show below the elbows and knees…” What happens when the uniform is short pants or short sleeve shirts like during physical fitess training or when sleeves are rolled up on the battle dress uniform?

I see why they are doing this. I get it. I just wonder if they are shooting themselves in the foot? It is times like these I ask myself “What would Popeye do?”

popeye tattoo


62 thoughts on “Armed Forces and arms with tattoos

  1. A sleeve tattoo, also referred to as a tattoo sleeve, is a collection of smaller tattoos or one large tattoo that forms a `sleeve’ on a person’s leg or arm. Tattoo sleeves are distinguished by size. The typical tattoo sleeve sizes include: full, half and quarter tattoo sleeves. A full tattoo sleeve covers the whole leg or arm. A half tattoo sleeve covers half of the leg or arm, usually from elbow to wrist or shoulder to elbow on the arm and knee to ankle or thigh to knee on the leg. Quarter tattoo sleeve cover a quarter of the leg or arm and are roughly a quarter of the leg or arm. Whichever way you take, tattoo sleeve designs can express your uniqueness through a theme, large -consistent piece of art. Before getting a tattoo sleeve, make sure you are comfortable with the permanence, cost, and off course, the time required to complete a tattoo sleeve.

    • Fair enough. I must say that I do indeed agree with in in that tattoos should not be a restriction in your job. There are still many places that make employees cover exposed tattoos. Can you believe it?
      I am working on my next tattoo with Cleen Rock One who was on Season 5 of Ink Master and is an artist in Las Vegas.
      Thanks Inkblood for stopping by and leaving your comment. Come back anytime.
      Troy recently posted…#877 The Coppertone Girl was pretty risque for her dayMy Profile

  2. Hey Troy, I like tattoo which I like to increase my fashion indeed. Hearing this news that according to an article by ABC News incoming U.S. Army recruits are facing new, strict guidelines for any ink they want on their body, under new regulations limiting soldiers’ tattoos really surprised & want to say that they have a good choice. Thanks.
    Dark circles under eyes recently posted…Best Natural Diuretics and Water PillsMy Profile

  3. Nice post….I liked it

    Tattoos are the part of creativity. From my point of view there should not be restriction on it. Its all depends on a person’s choice. I don’t think that tattoos have some relation with a particular type of profession.

    Even there are different types of military tattoos also, which completely depicts their profession and matches with their personality.

    Well i like tattoos and like this post. Thanks for sharing this post 🙂

    • There was a time when, if you were a sailor, you got a pinup girl on your forearm. Or if you were in the army you got an eagle like my father did.
      Thanks for stopping by Fred and for your comments
      Troy recently posted…WinZipMy Profile

  4. I understand that soldiers don’t look good with neck tattoos and hand tattoos, but below the elbows or knees does that matter there uniforms cover their arms. I don’t understand the guidelines being so hard.

    • Not necessarily. Notice the girl in the picture is wearing her undershirt. This is the authorized undershirt to be worn underneath the Battle Dress Uniform, the normal fatigues you are used to seeing. Sometimes at the leader’s discretion, soldiers are allowed to work (or whatever) in the undershirt as the uniform. Maybe it is a super hot day or such.
      Also, there is the physical training uniform which may consist of shorts and a tshirt.
      Finally, there are times when the troop is allowed to roll the BDU sleeves up to the elbow.
      I dunno. It is a sign of the times. More and more kids are getting tattoos BUT I understand most places a person has to be 18 to get a tattoo and generally you have to be 18 to go into the military so maybe they will get to the recruit before the tattoo artist does?
      Troy recently posted…The World Trade Center flag was stolen!My Profile

  5. My first tattoo, on the inside of my wrist, was a mistake. Young, and in love, I dived straight in with the classic blunder: the initials of my young love. When he cheated on me three weeks later, I stared sadly at my healing wrist for 12 more months, willing it to disappear, or act out some quasi-voodoo on its namesake. Six months later, I added a Japanese kanji, hoping to hide my tattoo.

  6. Hi, thanks for the story! Normally people get the same old tattoos everyday, picking them from a catalogue without knowing anything about meaning. What do you think about custom made tattoos? Thanks

  7. Why are they changing their policies? Does it affects the soldiers in the field if they have tattoos that show below the elbows and knees or above the neckline. I don’t think it would affect their performance at all. Pfft

  8. Oh Wow! I liked to inked the body tattoo. Making tattoo is just gives me wonderful feelings. Especially, It looks more pretty to draw butterfly or stars on neck. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. I’m a little late to the party Troy. lol. Thanks for sharing this article. I did hear about this. I have family and friends in the military and my friend was in the Army not to long ago and he has tattoos. He also has tattoos on the leg. So during PT they would show. He was grandfathered in. He told me about these rules. It it understandable. The military does have strict guidelines and they are trying to set a strict standard moving forward. Thanks again for sharing!
    New York Tattoo Show recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

    • No worries. Better late than never right? I am not sure how I feel about this. I mean one part of me thinks military members should be held to a higher standard than everyone else but let’s be realistic right? But when so many younger adults get tattoos and piercings are we as a nation willing or able to eliminate those folks from service? I dunno the answer. Perhaps we should move forward as the times do as well?
      Thanks for chiming in.
      Troy recently posted…Interesting stuff people buy on Amazon Part 6My Profile

  10. Thankfully, the military (at least the Marine Corps and Army) seem to finally be loosening restrictions of tattoos. I personally know of very professional people that would still be weeded out in the application process though. I think we will largely see this trend continue as tattoos become more mainstream with the younger generation. Thanks for the article.

    • Thanks for you comment. I agree. Many young people these days have tattoos. Where I live you must be 18. Suppose you get a tattoo when you turn 18 and then go to college and then join up with the service? Should you be rejected because you have a tattoo on your wrist. I think not. I mean I see the point of… No, I don’t really see a point. Should be no problem in my book.
      Thanks again for your comment.
      Troy recently posted…The World Trade Center flag was stolen!My Profile

  11. It was an amazing tattoo though. Your family is serving the nation and that is so proud full. You and your dad and even your grandpa, everyone has tattoo. Well, the tattoo look amazing. Just keep it up, the nation would be very proud of you.

  12. great article and great tattoo. My girl friend wanting to make a tattoo but I am always avoiding the tattoo topic. This time, I feel I should tell her, ‘go ahead’ !! hahahaha

  13. Hey, This looks so good!!!
    I seriously cannot wait to try this!
    I must say these tattoos are complementing well with the military clothes having camouflage patterns.
    Most of the camouflage clothes that military used were dark colours because they work under cover of darkness.

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