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Thread: Can Officers have Tattoos

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    Default Can Officers have Tattoos

    I am considering crossing from the AF enlisted into the Army Reserve or Guard and I cannot find any determination about Tattoos on officers. I have tattoos on my right arm that are on the bicep and arm that remain unseen in my Air Force short sleeve blues, unless I salute. Can I become an officer in the Army? They are tasteful and non racist, however I understand an officers image must be flawless. Thank you for the information.

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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    You cant just "cross" over from AF to Army, you have to finish your time in the AF and go through the blue to green program, but thats for enlisted, then you could put in your OCS packet once in the Army.

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    Moderator Master Tanker's Avatar
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    AF Josh, I am not certain if there is a 'no take' rule on tatooed officers. I doubt it. But I can tell you for sure that it is better to have them removed if you make it to OCS because I remember that tatoos will definitely raise eyebrows sooner or later + they will be recorded on your medical records.

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    Thanks for the info. I talked to a friend that has gone through all phase of OCS and it appears they have relaxed the standards. Some of the OCS candidates had tattoos on forearms and had no problems. THanks again for the information.

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    Moderator Master Tanker's Avatar
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    AFJosh, my advice is not meant to please you it is meant to help your career after OCS. It is free for you but worth thousands of $.... get the tatoos removed. I know what I am saying, OK?

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    I know many officers with tats; including myself.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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    Senior Member Angriff's Avatar
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    Yeah..I've seen many tattoos on officers.
    TANKER - That dusty, crusty, grease-covered, dirty, sweaty, bright-eyed, fuzzie-faced,
    haircut-needing, beer-drinking, underrated, over-worked, underpaid,
    oversexed, little shit, who can take a tank and do more battlefield damage in
    ten minutes than a Grunt squad can do all day.

    If you ain't Armor, you ain't shit.

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    Member ThirdGen's Avatar
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    Yes they can, having a tattoo on my arm was not a problem for my OCS packet. It's just recorded in your medical file.

    *Edit* Woops, just realized this was from 2009...he's probably figured it out by now.
    O9S shipping to Ft. Benning in November!

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    I guess since this thread has been brought back from the dead, we might as well get it going. I am planning on going G2G in my career. I don't currently have any tattoos, but I would like at least one. Some of you guys said they don't matter, and one of you said no, not at all. Not having any, would you advise me against it, or is it going to affect my career at all?

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    Senior Member Live4PT's Avatar
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    I was told that since my current tattoo adhered to Army Reg's, to leave well enough alone until after basic training (as a fresh tattoo between MEPS and shipping to BCT...if you even have a wait, especially if infected, will keep you from shipping). If more are obtained, they should adhere to Army Regulation. Hopefully someone will add to this if the AR has since changed.

    See AR 670-1 as follows:

    AR 670-1: Para 1-8E:

    e. Tattoo policy
    (1) Tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited.

    (2) 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.
    (a) 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 (see para 4–12, AR 600–20).
    (b) 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 thoughts.
    (c) 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.”
    (d) Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race,
    ethnicity, or national origin.

    (3) Counseling requirements.
    AR 670–1 • 3 February 2005 5

    (a) Commanders will ensure soldiers understand the tattoo policy.
    (b) For soldiers who are not in compliance, commanders may not order the removal of a tattoo or brand. However,
    the commander must counsel soldiers, and afford them the opportunity to seek medical advice about removal or
    alteration of the tattoo or brand.

    (4) If soldiers are not in compliance with the policy, and refuse to remove or alter the tattoos or brands, commanders
    will:
    (a) Ensure the soldier understands the policy.
    (b) Ensure the soldier has been afforded the opportunity to seek medical advice about removal or alteration.
    (c) Counsel the soldier in writing. The counseling form will state that the soldier’s refusal to remove extremist,
    indecent, sexist, or racist tattoos or brands anywhere on the body, or refusal to remove any type of tattoo or brand
    visible in the class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), will result in discharge.

    (5) Existing tattoos or brands on the hands that are not extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist, but are visible in the
    class A uniform (worn with slacks/trousers), are authorized.

    (6) Finality of determination.
    (a) Recruiting battalion commanders or recruiting battalion executive officers (0–5 or above) will make initial entry
    determinations that tattoos or brands comply with this policy for Active Army and Army Reserve soldiers. This
    authority will not be delegated further.
    (b) Unit commanders or unit executive officers will make determinations for soldiers currently on active duty. This
    authority will not be delegated further.
    (c) Recruiting and retention managers (O–5 or above) will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands
    comply with this policy for National Guard soldiers. This authority will not be delegated further.
    (d) Professors of military science (O-5 or above) will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands comply
    with this policy for ROTC cadets. This authority will not be delegated further.
    (e) The Director of Admissions will make initial entry determinations that tattoos or brands comply with this policy
    for the U.S. Military Academy cadets. This authority will not be delegated further.
    (f) Determinations will be fully documented in writing and will include a description of existing tattoos or brands
    and their location on the body. A copy of the determination will be provided to the soldier. Unless otherwise directed
    by the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, these determinations are final. If a tattoo or brand is discovered to violate this
    policy after an initial determination has been documented, commanders must submit requests for an exception to policy
    or for discharge through the soldier’s chain of command to the MACOM for approval. Appeals to the MACOM
    decision will be forwarded to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 for decision.

    (7) Soldiers may not cover tattoos or brands in order to comply with the tattoo policy.
    ''It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism.''

    “I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity... If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.” ~ U.S. Navy SEALS

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