The advent of numbing agents like lidocaine creams, ointments and sprays have made the tattoo procedure less painful resulting in about 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. But all those amongst these 45 million people who are eager to join the military in their coming years, will it be possible for them to join the military?
The tattoos are one of the major sources of regret who are unable to join the army. Anyone who is eager to join military must fully understand the rules of the military in their respective countries. The article shares opinion and rules of the military of few countries, so if you plan to join military and get a tattoo at the same time, do read the article thoroughly.
In 2015, India Army came up with a tattoo policy declaring Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (As declared by the government of India) are permitted to have permanent body tattoos on any part of the body, as per existing customs and traditions of the said tribe to which a candidate belongs. However, those who do not belong to any tribal community are only allowed to have tattoos on some specified locations such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, the side of the palm, and back and front of hands. Also, Offensive sexist and racist tattoos are not allowed at all.
- Tattoo between the area 1-2 and 3 is permitted, but tattoo at anywhere between 4, 5 and 6 is not permissible.
- Tattoos between the area 2 and 3 are permitted.
Great Britain Army
Taking into account the changing environment and current fashion, the British army lifted its ban on visible tattoos on the hands and neck in 2014. It was their attempt to stop running people away from the army and bring in new recruits. However, it will be a breach of Army rules if the tattoo shows sexual acts, violence or illegal drugs.
Ministry of Defense spokesperson said that “Tattoos have become more acceptable in society over the last decade, reducing the negative connotations that, in some quarters, have been associated with them.”
Following are the rules to be followed if you wish to join the British army and still want tattoos:
- Tattoo visible on a passport photo will be deemed unacceptable.
- Tattoos that are offensive or obscene, i.e. those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs, for example, are a no-no.
- Tattoos on the hand and the back of the neck are now OK.
- Tattoos on the head and face are unacceptable.
United States Army
- You must not have any lewd or offensive indelible tattoos visible on any exposed part of the body while wearing the prescribed duty uniform, to include the physical training uniform.
- Army policy prohibits any tattoos or brands on the face, head or neck above the class-A shirt collar.
- Tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist or racist are prohibited, regardless of location on the body.
The German ministry has come up with some rules on how soldiers should look. According to the latest policy on body modifications, tattoos must be covered up when in uniform, even if they appear on the hands or neck, which may make concealing them a bit difficult at times. However, "Pornographic" tattoos, ostentatious piercings and bushy beards have all been outlawed.
Tubular piercings in the mouth must be removed, and those in ears must be covered with "flesh- tone material". Magnetic implants are forbidden altogether.
Apart from scalp, ears, and neck, for army candidates in Australia, tattoos are even prohibited on your hands. Female candidates are permitted to have tattooed eyebrow forms (excluding eyeliner) providing they follow the natural arch line of eyebrows and are of a natural color that matches the color of the hair.
Female may also have lip tattooing to enhance the outline of the lips, provided it does not look unnatural. Apart from face and hands, tattoos are permitted on other parts of the body, unless the tattoo is considered offensive and undermines the dignity and authority of the Australian Defense Force.
If candidates have tattoos on their body because of some religious purpose, they are advised to seek approval from the appropriate Service authority prior to applicant appointment or enlistment.
Serving an army of the nation is responsibility and dream of many people. So if you dream to serve military of your nation, abide by the above-mentioned tattoo policies of your country so that you do not end up regretting your tattoo.