Can You Have Tattoos in the Navy

Having tattoos used to be a big no-no in the Navy, but times have changed. Now sailors can have tattoos as long as they follow the updated regulations. So, if you’re thinking of getting a tattoo and are curious about the Navy’s policies, read on for all you need to know.

Can You Have Tattoos in the Navy

Can You Have Tattoos in the Navy

Tattoos have been around for centuries, and their popularity has only grown in recent years. A 2018 study found that nearly one in three adults in the United States has at least one tattoo. While tattoos are a matter of personal preference, there are some workplaces where they are not allowed.

For example, many schools and hospitals have strict restrictions on visible tattoos. The military is another institution where tattoos can be cause for concern. The United States Navy had a complete ban on tattoos in the past. However, the policy was revised to allow sailors to have up to two visible tattoos below the elbow or knee. Tattoos on the face, head, neck, and hands are prohibited.

While the relaxed policy has generally been well-received, some members of the Navy feel that tattoo restrictions should be further loosened. Others believe that any tattoo violates the uniformity and professionalism essential to the military. Whatever your opinion on tattoos, there is no doubt that they have become a permanent part of American culture.

What Tattoos Are Allowed In The Navy?

The Navy has a strict set of rules when it comes to tattoos. Only certain types of tattoos are allowed, and even then, there are restrictions on where they can be located on the body. The most common type of tattoo allowed in the Navy is called a “4-2-4 tattoo.” This tattoo must be small and located on the hands, fingers, or wrists. It must also be a single color and have a limited number of characters.

In addition, the Navy also allows “traditional” tattoos, which are typically larger and located on the arms or legs. However, these tattoos must be “tasteful and in good taste” and cannot exceed two inches in width.

What Tattoos Are NOT Allowed In The Navy?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what types of tattoos are allowed in the Navy. Many people believe there is a complete ban on all body art, but this is not the case. The Navy does have some restrictions on tattoo placement and content, but these rules are relatively lenient. For example, visible tattoos are allowed as long as they are not offensive or vulgar.

What is the Navy tattoo policy

Additionally, tattoos on the neck, face, and hands are prohibited. The Navy also has specific guidelines for those who already have tattoos, and sailors with existing tattoos must ensure that they are adequately covered while in uniform.

The Navy’s restrictions on tattoos are primarily based on common sense and decency. As long as sailors exercise good judgment, they should be able to avoid any problems with their body art.


The Navy is changing its tattoo policy, but the changes won’t affect it until early 2022. So if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo and joining the Navy, now is the time to do it! The new policy allows for more tattoos and piercings and larger tattoos.

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