AR 670-1 Army Tattoo Policy Explained: Regulations for Soldiers

The US Army enforces specific regulations regarding tattoos to uphold discipline and professionalism within its ranks, detailed in AR 670-1.

Army Tattoo Policy Overview

The US Army enforces specific regulations regarding tattoos to maintain discipline and professionalism within its ranks.

These standards are detailed in AR 670-1, governing the wear and appearance of Army uniforms and insignia, which includes the tattoo, branding, and body mutilation policy.

General Standards and Regulations

The Army Regulation 670-1 sets forth explicit standards for soldiers’ tattoos ensuring they uphold the Army’s values and image.

You are required to have tattoos that are neither offensive nor advocate extremism.

The Army Publishing Directorate outlines that tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the t-shirt collar are prohibited.

Specific Tattoo Locations and Restrictions

Tattoos on the hands, fingers, and wrists are limited to one ring tattoo per hand and must not exceed 1/4 inch in width.

The Army uniform policy restricts tattoos on the neck, ears, and inside the mouth altogether.

Tattoos on other parts of the body must not be visible through the Army service uniform. Bandages or makeup may not be used to cover up tattoos in violation of regulations.

Policy Amendments and Relevant Directives

Modifications to tattoo policies, like those indicated in Army Directive 2022-09, aim to adapt the Army’s approach to tattoos as societal norms evolve. Maj. Gen. Doug Stitt, G-1 spokesperson, has indicated these adjustments help the Army sustain a capable force, while retaining top talent that reflects the nation’s diversity.

Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion Considerations

The tattoo policy also addresses ethics, diversity, and inclusion, prohibiting tattoos that are sexist, racist, or derogatory. AR 600–20, the Army Command Policy, ensures that tattoos align with the Army’s commitment to maintaining an environment that respects individual beliefs while foreclosing any form of hateful expression.

Administrative Procedures and Enforcement

Administrative procedures for enforcing tattoo regulations involve regular annual inspections.

Violations of the tattoo policy may result in separation from the service.

However, waiver exceptions can be sought for tattoos that are not aligned with newly enacted restrictions.

Soldiers with non-conforming tattoos acquired prior to service may apply for waivers, as outlined in AR 601–210.

Frequently Asked Questions

The US Army has specific regulations concerning tattoos which are essential for both current service members and potential enlistees to understand.

What are the current regulations on tattoos for individuals wishing to enlist in the Army?

When you’re looking to enlist in the Army, your tattoos must comply with AR 670-1, which states tattoos or brands anywhere on the head, face, and neck above the class A uniform collar are prohibited.

Are tattoos on the hands permissible under the latest Army dress code standards?

Yes, you can have one ring tattoo on each hand, although it must not extend beyond where a ring naturally would sit on your fingers as per the current dress code standards outlined in AR 670-1.

How does DA PAM 670-1 address visible tattoos when in uniform?

DA PAM 670-1 provides guidance for the wear and appearance of military uniforms, stipulating that tattoos should not be visible on your wrists or hands while in uniform, with specific exceptions for one ring tattoo per hand.

What stipulations are in place for tattoos behind the ear in the Army?

You cannot have tattoos behind the ear; all tattoos above the neckline, including behind the ear, are prohibited according to AR 670-1, ensuring that uniformity and professionalism are maintained in uniform.

Can having certain tattoos disqualify you from Army service?

Yes, if you have tattoos that are deemed extremist, racist, sexist, or indecent, you may be disqualified from joining the Army, as these go against the values and standards of Military Service.

What updates to the tattoo policy are reflected in the 2023 National Guard regulations?

In 2023, the National Guard adherence to tattoo policy remains consistent with the active Army regulations, AR 670-1, which continues to permit tattoos on the arms and legs, provided they are not on the hands, face, or neck.