Tattoo After Dodmerb?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by USNAmomAZ, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. USNAmomAZ

    USNAmomAZ Member

    Oct 26, 2013
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    My DD has been appointed to the Naval Academy. She wants to get a tattoo on her back shoulder to commemorate a personal event. She has thought long and hard about it and feels like it is the right decision. What steps are to be taken with DODMERB if any? I know there's the body modification form that came with her appointment, but do any extra steps need to be taken with DODMERB? thanks!
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Jul 26, 2008
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    I personally would NOT do it.

    Wait until she's in the academy and THEN when she can speak with the appropriate people and get the "up to the moment actual real rules" then she can go for it!

    USAFA '83
  3. bearhunter66

    bearhunter66 Member

    Jul 15, 2013
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    Absolutely agree with flieger83. Definitely not before I day...

    Another perspective: My father is a retired Marine officer. Tats were frowned upon for officers, regardless of what the regs allowed. One of my closest friends is a Battalion SarMaj and he is of the same mind. Both counseled my DS to resist the peer pressure. At 18, a tat is cool. At 25, it may very well be a mistake.

    There are "rules" but then there are the cultural norms. What the Academy allows may be very different than what the Navy expects. Suggest she speak with active duty Naval Officers and gain their perspective. There may also be differences between Surface, Subs, Aviation, etc...
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Jul 13, 2011
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    Agree with everyone on here. Wait! There is no need to get one before she goes. Wait until she gets to USNA, and better yet, until she graduates, then make the decision. I am a female USNA grad, who also happens to be covered in tattoos. Do not give them any reason to raise concerns before she arrives. I would also wait until she graduates. The military and USNA are only getting more stringent with their tattoo policies, wait until she is commissioned before doing anything. There are plenty of officers with tattoos, they tend to be much more conservative in nature and can definitely be covered in uniform. Most people will rarely know they have them.
  5. UndeadPoet

    UndeadPoet DS - AROTC/AFROTC Winner

    Aug 12, 2013
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    I'm not an expert here, but I would think that putting any additional "identifying marks" on her body may lock her out of certain MOS; e.g. MI, etc.
  6. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

    May 23, 2011
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    There will be a waiver process for each tattoo. USNA reserves the right to have it removed at the candidate's expense if it does not meet standards.

    Midshipmen may not obtain tattoos while at the Academy. It is a conduct offense, and usually results in the removal of the tattoo anyway.

    That said, many people here do have tattoos. It's not particularly difficult to get a waiver if you're willing to deal with the paperwork and if the tattoo obviously meets standards.

    But I would wait until graduation, unless it's really that important.
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    Off topic, but on topic. Our DD (not military) wanted a tat, and did get so, much to our chagrin. She did this at college when she was 19. It too was something important for her in an indiscreet place. On the arch of her foot...take a step in faith.

    She is now going to be 22, and will not openly state it, because it goes into the folks told you so file, but she is regretting it. For example, the 1st year she got it, she touched it up to keep it pretty. Now she finds it a pain in her arse to take time out of her day, and is letting it fade. She has to her dismay is now understaninding what we said to her that as you age that pretty 18 yr. old skin will look like Mom's 45 year old skin.

    I honestly do not think had she waited until 22, she probably would not have gotten the tat.

    I am not opposed to tats. I just think when someone says they are doing it for a life reason, they have yet to understand that not getting inked does not translate into they will forget that event if they don't get inked.

    I have many friends my age that regret their tat, and many that don't. The commonality I have found is those that did it at 18 are the ones that have the regret compared to those that waited until they were older.

    JMPO, but why not just wait? Like I said that life changing event will still be there in four years.
  8. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Dec 6, 2011
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    Give your DD a broader context for her (probably to this point) most outstanding achievement, of which she is justifiably proud. It may always rank high on the list of important milestones in her life, but it won't be the only one.

    It should be enough to get up every morning, put of the uniform and look in the mirror.

    Most important; listen to Pima.
  9. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

    Oct 7, 2013
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    I'm kind of old school here. I will take a less qualified applicant over someone with a known or visible tattoo for a job. Yes, I can't state that's the reason, but it is. To me, it's the lack of a long term thought process about ramifications that I can't get over. May seem petty, but I've hired and fired people for stranger reasons. lol
  10. MilitaryBound2018

    MilitaryBound2018 Member

    Oct 11, 2013
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    Although uncommon, there is a small risk of an allergic reaction, infection or antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA, staph, etc.
  11. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

    Jan 12, 2013
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    to get or not to get

    OP, thank you for this post!!!

    smiley face tat at 18 :smile: >>>>>>> at 45 :frown: when all the skin sags, and believe me it does!

    i know a lot of people that have them. some love them and some hate them and some have had them covered up or "removed." people get them for as many reasons that are varied as the tats themselves. i just want to share what we told our child when that topic was brought up.

    call me conservative but this is my "civilian" OPINION on tats...feel free to disagree with me.

    1) it brands you for life. most cant be fully "removed" and the ones that do requires more pain and expense. most need a bigger area to work on than the original tat. its hard to cover a big tat that says "my forever love, WILBUR with my only love, JOE." (no offense to those names.)

    2) they identify you and might put you in harms way esp in military jobs that involve intelligence/counter intelligence missions where anonymity is paramount. i think the spy with a life quote on her shoulders or barbed wire around her arm might be limited on what she can do or be assigned. or it might not. people remember you for things that are out of place or unique - a mole, a birthmark, a different eye color, and yes sometimes a tat.

    3) it might mean the difference between being hired or not. human resources/hiring managers are 40-45 years or older and mostly conservative, they are not your 18 year old buddies that share your "tats are no big deal" beliefs. first impressions are usually the only impressions that many job applicants get to give during job interviews. you usually will have one shot at that so why give those hiring you a reason to think twice?

    4) ask yourself this...if that life event is really that important, why do you need a tat to remind you of it? will you forget it if you werent reminded everyday? will that event even be relevant in 2,5, 10 years? do you want to be reminded of that then? a beautiful wall plaque with the same life quote would work well too (and you can change it if you get bored with it.) a chinese symbol for peace or joy or someone's famous words are meaningless if you dont live it or have it. read an inspirational book or the bible and stimulate your brain by memorizing it quotes or passages.

    5) people are superficial and judgemental about stereotypes. the world judges things/people on what they see first and what they know second. thats the world we live in and i dont think that will change ever. i know many good people with tats and not so good people without and we all know its whats inside that counts. people unfortunately choose friends, life partners and business associates on what they first see.

    6) tats are fads. and fads are here today and gone tomorrow. what is fashionable today will be a faux pas in a few months or a few years. why do something so permanent? shoes and clothes you can replace, but unblemished skin you can not.

    7) last but not least - how many people get skin infections or pigment reactions to tats? HIV, Hep B and C, MRSA et al? i know, what are the chances right? but why risk it too?

    Ahh, to quote George Bernard Shaw - "Youth is wasted on the young."
  12. platypus1618

    platypus1618 Member

    Jun 24, 2013
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    Reading the OP's actual, very specific question about DODMERB regulations, I had a feeling I knew how the posters here would respond... and y'all did not disappoint. Thanks to everyone who shared their personal judgment of the OP's DD's decision, I enjoyed reading them, and to the one, maybe two people who actually discussed pertinent regulations.
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    Dodmerb requires you to notify them if there is any change in your medical status, a Tatoo is considered a change so make sure you notify them once you get the Tatoo. It would be wise to get in touch with your contact at the Academy to make sure there is no regulation that prohibits you from getting a tattoo after you have received an appointment.

    Only advise, the same I gave my son, is place the Tatoo where it can't be seen when wearing your PT gear.

    As far as a Tatoo being a stigma, I wouldn't personally worry about it unless you plan of covering every part of your body that can't be seen in PT gear, Ive seen that, you don't want to go there. We visited our son at Flight School, went to the beach with a bunch of his classmates, you would have needed a calculator to count all the Tatoos, this includes the women, your daughter won't be the only one.
  14. RSR

    RSR Member

    Sep 2, 2011
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    My DS wanted to get a tat before R-Day, then after thinking about it did not want to go through the Dodmerb red tape (the other posts regarding this are correct you would have to notify them). In his Yuk year he went to his TAC told him he wanted to get one, showed him what it was and now it is done in a discreet area. Oh and the post about being a spy and it limiting your assignments was priceless, I can't wait to tell him that one. During this gray, cold time of year he has so little to laugh over!

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