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Marine Corps Updates Tattoo Policy
On Friday, October 29, the Marine Corps updated their tattoo policy allowing sleeves and removing rank-specific restrictions in the efforts to improve retention and recruitment.

Marines can now have an unlimited number of tattoos on almost every part of their body, except their fingers, neck and hands, however, a single ring-like tattoo is allowed. A panel that consisted of 30 different military specialties took into consideration current social trends and, according to the Marine Corps Times, believes the new policy upholds the traditions of the Corps.

“The tattoo policy over the years has attempted to balance the individual desires of Marines with the need to maintain the disciplined appearance expected of our profession,” according to the Marine Corps' Bulletin announcing the policy. “This Bulletin ensures that the Marine Corps maintains its ties to the society it represents and removes all barriers to entry for those members of society wishing to join its ranks.”

What’s Different?
In 2016, the Corps issued a policy that allowed enlisted Marines an unlimited number of tattoos, as long as they didn’t have a sleeve. However, officers - and officer candidates - were limited to only four tattoos that were visible in the physical training uniform.

Under the new policy, all Marines can have an unlimited number of tattoos on almost every part of their body, except their fingers, neck and hands. Sleeves, and any other lower arm tattoo, “may extend down no further than a line around the circumference of the wrist measured at the wrist bone,” according to the bulletin.

Chest and/or back tattoos “must be covered by wearing a properly fitting crewneck t-shirt with no portion of the tattoo showing.”

Under the old policy, some Marines had their careers cut short.

Although the Corps has finally opened its old school eyes, there are still restrictions based on the type of tattoos Marines have, and the Corp can still determine where a machine is stationed based on the ink they display.

To read the full bulletin in detail please click here.
Marine Corps Updates Tattoo Policy