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Marines will be allowed an unlimited amount of tattoos if covered by a proper fitting physical training uniform; however, any part of the tattoo that protrudes must be able to be covered by the individual Marine’s closed hand. As of June 1, 2016, Marine Corps Bulletin 1020 updated the tattoo policy with the intention of balancing the desires of individual Marines and the standards and professionalism the Marine Corps upholds. (U.S. Marine Corps photo illustration by Lance Cpl. Miranda Faughn/Released

Photo by Lance Cpl. Miranda Faughn

Right to bare arms: Marine Corps new tattoo policy

9 Jun 2016 | Lance Cpl. Miranda Faughn 10th Marine Regiment

CAMP LEJUENE, N.C. – After recent changes in the Army and the Navy tattoo policies, Marines have awaited modifications to the regulation currently in place for the Marine Corps.
As of June 1, 2016, Marine Corps Bulletin 1020 was updated to reflect new changes to the tattoo policy. The policy balances the desires of individual Marines and the standards and professionalism the Marine Corps upholds.
Marines will now be allowed a tattoo on one finger no more than 3/8 inches in width. The policy also permits an unlimited amount of tattoos if they are covered in a proper fitting physical training uniform.
Certain guidelines however, remain unchanged. Regardless of size or position on the body, tattoos cannot express sexism, vulgarity, nudity, racism, or anything that is offensive in nature.
Changes to the order intend to balance desires with professionalism, but also seek to more clearly define the regulations for Marines; clarifying questions about whether a tattoo is too large or in a prohibited spot on the body.
Marines will be required to document their tattoos within 120 days of the MCBUL’s release if their tattoos are not in compliance with the new policy and have not been previously documented.
“Marines should understand that violating any policy has consequences and leadership will hold Marines accountable,” said Sgt. Major Ronald L. Green, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in the ‘New Marine Corps Tattoo Regulations’ article on marines.mil, “As Marines we hold each other accountable, just as we are expected to protect one another.”
For more details and a copy of MCBUL 1020 visit www.marines.mil/tattoos.aspx

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