U.S. Marine Corp. Tattoos in Afghanistan

Check out the whole set – HERE

Quite a few of the pictures show Marines who have tattoos all down their arms.    Judging by the Marine Corps. tattoo policy, June 1, 2010 is the cuttoff in order to be grandfathered in, because the most recent version of the policy strictly prohibits “sleeve” tattoos.

I wonder what happens if someone violates the policy?  My guess is they get booted out.

There is an interesting article over at usmc.mil regarding the new tattoo policy.  It appears that having tattoos is a bad personal choice when it comes to your career, if you are in the USMC.



Josh April 2, 2010 at 09:18 pm

I looked through those pictures without even bothering to read what this photo’s tattoo says. It’s an old Dire Straits song; it’s been awhile since I’ve heard it though. “Brothers in Arms.”


Matt April 2, 2010 at 09:25 pm

Hey Mike,
Just an observation… we haven’t hit June 10, 2010 so technically a Marine could still get sleeves and be grandfathered in if he wanted.



Admin (Mike) April 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm

lol damn, i’m already in 2011 apparently. Thanks I corrected it.


Jesse April 2, 2010 at 09:34 pm

Any tattoos you can’t cover with a t-shirt are going to be a career limiting move in just about any industry. Unless your a pro athlete, rock star, or tattoo artists.


Josh April 2, 2010 at 09:53 pm

I had been thinking the same thing. I realize that for most of these guys, the Marine Corps is a way of life, and that’s reflected in their tattoos. That being said, it definitely looks unprofessional to have them visible when in uniform. The whole idea of visible tattoos is pretty contrary to the concept of “uniform.”


Admin (Mike) April 2, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Yea I can definitely see why the USMC frowns upon it. It seems like one of those things where if you “give them an inch they will take a mile” … If they were to get too relaxed on rules like that, I imagine it would get out of hand.


Admin (Mike) April 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Yea definitely limiting in a lot of professional fields. There are plenty of jobs though where it wouldn’t matter (beyond the ones you listed).

The one thing about an office job is you could always get away with wearing a long sleeve shirt and no one would even know the difference. Whereas you wouldn’t have that luxury in the USMC.


Jim April 3, 2010 at 06:06 am

I’d agree you could cover it up, but if you’re wearing a light color, white especially, it’ll show through. I knew a guy with a tatoo on his back, but you could still see it through a dress shirt.

But you’re absolutely right, a tatoo will limit your professional choices. Same goes for long hair, excessive facial hair, etc. Regardless how great a person you are, it’s assumed you’re a dope-head.


SPC Fish April 3, 2010 at 02:58 am

i hate to put someone down but that M16 on the marine’s back lacks some major detail. its a good concept but id be pissed at the tattoo artist. i have an M16 tattooed on my arm and i made sure to bring in a few detailed photographs for the tattoo artist to work off of. and it turned out better than i expected. its a permament mark on your body, you could at least take the time to make sure it looks good.

heres mine. a bit dark in this pic but it looks more detailed in person


SPC Fish April 3, 2010 at 02:59 am

actually i may have been looking at that a little wrong. the dogtag chain threw me off a little bit


Admin (Mike) April 3, 2010 at 04:35 pm

I like yours and the guy in the picture in this post. They each have their own style.


Ted April 3, 2010 at 05:16 pm

The Army’s loosened the standard, we have a bunch of privates and Pfc’s with tattoos up their neck or on their hands. It really looks like crap. The funniest one I’ve seen was some fool with the WWE logo on the back of his neck.


Josh April 3, 2010 at 05:53 pm

You won’t be laughing when that guy’s a brigade SGM!

Seriously though, the military isn’t a magical cure for a lack of good sense. It’s probably good that he’s in the army; I’m sure he can benefit from the support and supervision. I think someone who thinks getting a WWE tattoo in a visible place (or even hidden for that matter) has demonstrated a substandard decision-making ability, and might not fare well in the adult world without the structure and opportunity to mature that the army will provide!


Admin (Mike) April 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I think there have been a fair number of pro wrestlers that have served. Maybe that guy was one? Maybe not though.. which would be pretty hilarious. hehe


Josh April 4, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I suppose it’s possible… pretty unlikely though. I’m just amazed sometimes at the things that people get permanently tattooed on themselves in a conspicuous place. The funniest though are the ones that are misspelled! Some of those just crack me up. I’m not sure there’s a better argument against getting a tattoo than those!


Admin (Mike) April 4, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Yea and one thing that is pretty ironic, is that getting a tattoo removed if you ever decide you don’t want it, is many times more expensive then what you actually paid for it in the first place.


mullins December 13, 2010 at 04:47 pm

let them say what they want. if you dont like it,… fuck em, thats what i say, regardless. theres guys here who like pokemon and shit and they’ll fight all day long and i think that shits fucking gay. but fuck em.. as long as they’ll stand next to me and fight for their paycheck im cool. i dont care, thats all OIF and OEF is; a paycheck, and homeboys.


Antibubba April 3, 2010 at 08:04 pm

So, when do we get a pictorial of tattoos on WOMEN Marines?


Admin (Mike) April 4, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Not soon enough!


Raph84 April 5, 2010 at 09:06 am

high speed, low drag, top secret, covert, (OPSEC?!?) sleeve good to go


Admin (Mike) April 5, 2010 at 08:02 pm

That’s pretty neat. I find it hard to believe that it wouldn’t be uncomfortably hot though.


mullins December 13, 2010 at 04:42 pm

maybe a person just wants to show how they feel. im in afghanistan and i got respect for the marines in the helmand prov. keep your heads up, i wish i was there with you. mullins- dirty 3rd


Josh December 13, 2010 at 05:59 pm

keep your heads up, i wish i was there with you.

You wouldn’t be up there for long if you think “keep your head up” is a good idea.

I, on the other hand, don’t want them to get their heads blown off. Keep your heads down Marines, and come home safe.


Admin (Mike) December 13, 2010 at 06:03 pm

hehe yea although i’m pretty sure he meant it figuratively (like the Tupac song by the same name), in this case the connotations are interesting.


Josh December 13, 2010 at 07:08 pm

Well, “keep your head down” is a very common military idiom. As I was thinking about it, it reminded me of the movie Jeremiah Johnson where the old guy tells Jeremiah, “Watch yer topknot.” Meaning his head.


Josh December 13, 2010 at 07:14 pm

Of course, “keep your head up” is like “keep your chin up.” Or “keep your head held high.” And those have to do with keeping your confidence up. I don’t think that’s really what Marines need to worry about.


Chance Fiebing October 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

I disagree with most of you, and here is why:
The Marine Corps is an elite branch, their image is that of fierce, ravaged Marines(not soldiers) and i think tattoos only strengthen that image. And alot of the tattoos that the Marines have are in respect or in memory of other Marines who have died.


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