US Coast Guard updates its tattoo policy for new recruits, current service members
New and current service members serving with the U.S. Coast Guard will soon be able to sport hand tattoos under a new tattoo policy.
According to the coast guard, the police now permits:
- Tattoos and/or brands may not be visible above the collar of the Coast Guard’s Operational Dress Uniform’s (ODU) crew neck T-shirt.
- One finger tattoo per hand is permitted. The tattoo must be between the first knuckle closest to the wrist (base of finger) and the second knuckle on the finger. One ring tattoo per hand remains authorized and will be considered as a finger tattoo. No tattoos are authorized on the thumbs.
- A single tattoo per hand no larger than one inch in any dimension, is authorized on the hand between the wrist and the first knuckle closest to the wrist (base of finger). No tattoos are authorized on the palms of hands.
- In total, one hand tattoo and one finger or ring tattoo are allowed per hand.
In a release, the Coast Guard says the new policy will "ensure the Coast Guard’s workforce presents a sharp and professional military appearance to the public while permitting body art that is consistent with the Coast Guard’s Core Values. Aligning the policy closer to current tattoo trends also allows the Coast Guard to increase the pool of otherwise-qualified potential applicants for service."
“I am pleased to see the Coast Guard’s new tattoo policy reinforces a professional appearance to the public while adopting some of the very same tattoo standards that are now acceptable among the public,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden. “The new tattoo policy will expand our recruiting candidate pool and provide those already serving in the Coast Guard with a few new options.”
The rules governing piercings and other body modifications have not been altered.