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Tattoos

James M.

EOU Future Pilot
Anybody know anything about tattoos and OCS? I have a full sleeve. Nothing gang related or racist. Just a quote, microphone, some roses, some skulls. Think I could still have a chance? Active duty Navy, GM1, EP evals, 7/7/7 56 3.0 GPA in Fire Science. Thanks.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
The definition on what is waiverable has been changed back and forth over the past several years, if you weren't AD I would say absolutely not, but since you are already in things may be different. I did see a female on AD who almost wasn't commissioned because she had a small tattoo on each hand.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
The hand was just an example, anything larger than the palm of your hand requires a waiver if it can be seen when wearing a t shirt
 

afwx

Booyahkah
I had to get a waiver. I do not have a full sleeve like you, but on my right arm I have more than the hand can cover exposed (in a short sleeve shirt). I have a half sleeve that extends about 1" below the elbow. My other arm just has a nautical star on the elbow.

I read in a forum the other day, in regards to officers w/ exposed tattoos, a sailor stationed down in Pearl has seen a countless number of Mustangs that look like they spent every night of their enlisted days in tattoo parlors. On the Navy OCS Forums, there is a thread about tattoos. One of the responses was that it wasn't a problem, the officer knew two other officers w/ full sleeves on both arms. I was however told not to expect to ever make it past 0-3E with exposed tattoos. Not sure if it was true or just someone hating because I know USAF and not USN, but in the USAF Os w/ tattoos is highly frowned upon. It would seem that in the USN it isn't..........who knows.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
There are some very intense threads on this subject from a year or so ago. A search should help you find them--LOTS of material. Standby for heavy seas on this subject. Opinions get very heated. There are a couple officer recruiters on the board here who might chime in as well.

I don't know the USN rules on this. Apparently it's cool with them for AD applicants. In the USMC you wouldn't get through the door. The services are very fickle with their policies on tattoos. Nowadays with the manning cuts, I suspect they'll start coming up with more and more excuses to reject people as time goes on. Good luck.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
.....One of the responses was that it wasn't a problem, the officer knew two other officers w/ full sleeves on both arms. I was however told not to expect to ever make it past 0-3E with exposed tattoos. Not sure if it was true or just someone hating because I know USAF and not USN, but in the USAF Os w/ tattoos is highly frowned upon. It would seem that in the USN it isn't..........who knows.
From my experience officers with visible tattoos in the Navy are not common, especially amongst non-LDO/CWO/Mustangs, I know plenty that have them but you can't see them when in khakis (short sleeves). Full sleeve? I haven't seen any officers with them, I would say it is rare. Will it affect your promotion chances? Not sure. As phrogdriver stated there are some pretty strong opinions about tattoos especially amongst some older officers so that may affect it but the only way a promotion board would know it would be to see it in your official photo, that is in short sleeve khakis.
 

BusyBee604

St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo!
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
Wish you luck on a waiver, but what I've read on AW over the past 2 years, a waiver is unlikely if the 'tat' is visible while wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Repeat, use search function on here.
BzB
 

afwx

Booyahkah
Wish you luck on a waiver, but what I've read on AW over the past 2 years, a waiver is unlikely if the 'tat' is visible while wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Repeat, use search function on here.
BzB
BusyBee,

I think they are fairly common now. I had to get a waiver for mine that show past the short sleeve. I was picked up in December and am heading to OCS in the summer. I do however have 9 years of active enlisted service so maybe that is the differentiator over someone straight out of college.


Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
 

John Gil

Well-Known Member
I have a half sleeve that needed a waver, goes just to top of my elbow, wasn't an issue whatsoever. They did want pictures of all my ink and included it with a waver; torso completely covered, both legs toes to kneecaps sleeved. All my stuff was approved by the command my NRD is at same day and I was told being prior service (DC2 USS Tarawa) it wouldn't be an issue. I'm waiting to hear back from the next SNA,SNFO,SWO board. If its an issue I'll be posting a tread about it I'm sure but I was assured by many people that it would not be. That being said, we know how the navy works so anything is possible .
 

USAF_WX2USN

Active Member
I also had to to submit pictures of my tattoos, as well as size dimensions, explainations, etc and it was approved right away from my NRD. MEPS also had to look at them and cleared me right away also.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I also had to to submit pictures of my tattoos, as well as size dimensions, explainations, etc and it was approved right away from my NRD. MEPS also had to look at them and cleared me right away also.
The pictures are supposed to also be submitted with the application, so if the board members don't like it, you don't get picked. The larger the tattoo the bigger chance it will get denied, several NRD's rec'd the "WTF" about a year ago because they were waivering stuff that was deemed a bit too excessive by people at NRC.
 

John Gil

Well-Known Member
The pictures are supposed to also be submitted with the application, so if the board members don't like it, you don't get picked. The larger the tattoo the bigger chance it will get denied, several NRD's rec'd the "WTF" about a year ago because they were waivering stuff that was deemed a bit too excessive by people at NRC.
I was told that as long as they couldn't be seen in uniform it would be a non issue. Is that not accurate? My legs and torso are covered.
 

USAF_WX2USN

Active Member
I was told that as long as they couldn't be seen in uniform it would be a non issue. Is that not accurate? My legs and torso are covered.

Your legs can be seen in PT gear and I was told that the tattoo issue was for tattoos that can be seen in PT gear (I'm also a women, so they can be seen in skirts as well). The reg is, which doesn't talk about legs, but me for they cared:

7. TATTOOS/BODY ART/BRANDS. Four Criteria will be used to determine whether tattoos/body art/brands are permitted for Navy personnel: content, location, size and cosmetic.

a. Content. Tattoos/body art/brands located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited. For example, tattoos/body art/brands that are obscene, sexually explicit, and or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnic, or national origin are prohibited. In addition, tattoos/body art/brands that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.

b. Location. No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face, neck, or scalp. The neck area for purposes of this regulation is any portion visible when wearing a crew neck T-shirt or open collar uniform shirt. In addition, otherwise permissible tattoos/body art/brands on the torso area of the body shall not be visible through white uniform clothing.

c. Size. Individual tattoos/body art/brands exposed by wearing a short sleeve uniform shirt shall be no larger in size than the wearer’s hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger. Tattoos/body art/brands that exceed size criteria are waiverable provided they do not violate the content and/or location criteria.

d. Cosmetic. This regulation does not prohibit cosmetic tattooing to correct medical conditions requiring such treatment. For the purpose of this regulation, cosmetic tattooing refers to medical or surgical procedures conducted by licensed, qualified medical personnel.
Four Criteria will be used to determine whether tattoos/body art/brands are permitted for Navy personnel: content, location, size and cosmetic.
 

John Gil

Well-Known Member
I have also seen this instruction many times, and was told by MEPS as well the the recruiting command that I do not violate this instruction as it does not say anything about legs. Also, my wavers were approved and from what my processor informed me this morning, my pictures do not go to board and my tattoo wavers have been deemed complete. I fully understand how long, with all this, I may still be deemed unfit because of tattoos I got while in the Navy. I like everyone else, am just playing the waiting game until the next board to get an official word.
 
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