INFORMATION PAPER

20 July 2000

SUBJECT: Department of the Army Tattoo Policy

1) PURPOSE: To provide information on the Department of the Army Tattoo Policy.

2) FACTS:

A. The current Army tattoo policy contained in AR 670-1, prohibits the following types of tattoos:

(1) Those visible on neck, face or head;

(2) Those that are visible while wearing a class A uniform and detract from a soldierly appearance;

(3) Those tattoos that detract from good order and discipline.

a. Extremist - indicating an alliance with extremist organizations.

b. Indecent - to include those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, or propriety, shock the moral sense because they are vulgar, filthy, or disgusting, tend to incite lustful thought, or tend reasonably to corrupt or incite libidinous thoughts.

c. Large or excessive tattoos - (i.e., more than one limb).

B. Under most circumstances, small, inconspicuous, or inoffensive tattoos on areas of the body other than the neck, face, or head are not prohibited. Two conditions must be met for the prohibition of tattoos in class A uniform. First, the tattoo must be visible. Second, the tattoo must detract from a soldierly appearance. Visibility alone does not violate the policy.

C. Fort Campbell policy allows for health and welfare inspections as well as inspections at the welcome center for incoming soldiers. Upon encountering tattoos that are in violation of the policy, commanders should immediately contact their unit trial counsel.

D. Violation of the Army tattoo policy may result in involuntary separation for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, or for conduct deemed prejudicial to good order and discipline or morale. They may also receive a reclassification or bar to reenlistment action, as well as any other appropriate administrative or disciplinary action.

 

MAJ Campanella