Call 757-340-4663
  • Virginia Beach Clinic Hours:
    Monday-Friday • 9am-7pm
    Saturday: By appointment • Sunday: Closed

Tattoo removal and the militaryTattoos and Joining the Military

If you are considering joining the military and you have tattoos, there are some new guidelines that may hinder your enlistment.  Unfortunately, we are seeing more patients that are coming into our clinics that are being rejected by the military due to their tattoos.  Each branch of service has their own policies, but one thing is certain, they are all getting stricter.

As a general rule, there are a few basic guidelines that will disqualify a person with tattoos from joining the military and here is a summary.

Location of the Tattoo

Tattoos located on your face, neck, hands, or upper/middle chest.  These locations are the ones we treat the most but it’s not all that simple.  What defines “hands” for instance is different from one branch to the next.  Some branches disqualify tattoos that are located on the wrists if they are too close to the hands etc.  If your tattoos are on your chest, and they are near your neck and can be seen in a v-neck shirt, they can also be disqualifiers. 

Tattoo removal and the militaryTattoo Size

Larger tattoos can also hold you back from joining the military and this is by far the most complicated set of standards.  Some branches will not let you have any tattoo that is an “armband” or one that comes completely around an arm or leg.  Some branches will allow tattoos no bigger that the palm of your hand.  (That means the hand of the recruit, so if you have smaller hands you may get disqualified for a tattoo that someone else with a larger hand would not have).

Derogotary Tattoos

This standard, derogatory tattoos seems the most understood but is worth mentioning.  Any tattoo that has been deemed gang related, racist, vulgar, or sexist will be a disqualifier.  Although some tattoos that are not gang related like “stars” can be interpreted as gang tattoos even though the recruit is not in a gang. 

Tattoo removal and the militaryNumber of Tattoos

This is the most recent disqualifier that we have seen at our clinics.  This new rule has been hard to understand and interpret because how do you define one tattoo that is next to another?  What “size” is a single half-sleeve?  Is a full-sleeve one tattoo?  Another drawback to this rule is that it applies to any part of the body.  So for instance now leg tattoos can be disqualifiers when in the past they were not.  If you have more than 4 total tattoos, anywhere, you may be disqualified.

Atlantic Laser Tattoo Removal being featured on the front page of THE VIRGINIAN PILOT about military tattoo policies. 

We give 10% off for all clients hoping to join the ranks of our military.  Just bring in a business card from your recruiter and that’s it!  Give us a call at 757-340-4663 or fill out a free consultation online here.