Tattoo: long sleeved blues?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by hadha, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. hadha

    hadha Member

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    Hello,

    I have a small (much less than 25%) tattoo on my inner right forearm. According to the regs, this is okay in short sleeves/rolled up sleeves given that it is less than 25%, but my active duty AF friend said I'd need to never roll up my sleeves or wear short sleeved blues because of the tattoo.

    I definitely don't mind wearing long sleeved blues/rolled down sleeves in AFROTC and active duty life. Getting a tattoo (that is within regs) was my decision and I will absolutely keep it covered if necessary. But I'm confused about my active duty friend said. Do certain bases just require visible tattoos, even ones within regs, to be cover? Or am I misreading the regs?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If I recall correctly, you will first have to submit a picture of the tatoo for your DoDMERB exam and they will determine if it is acceptable. Design and size. If the AF approves it than you can join without removing it.

    The second part of the regulation if I recall correctly is that it must be covered at all times when in uniform. Thus, you can be within regulations for the tattoo, but because of its location you must wear long sleeves because it is visible. Hence, what your friend is stating is correct. There are some that were grandfathered in because they were AD when the regulations changed, but they have been slowly changing The regulations to where they are now.
    ~ Had you placed it on your upper arm than you could wear short sleeves because it would not be visible.

    You might think it will be easy to we're long sleeves, but depending on where you are located and your career field it might not be as easy as you think. Maintenance, I.E. flight line at Del Rio in July is not going to be comfy in long sleeve, nor any job that takes you out of the building....CE or SP....in any state where the temperature hits 95 + during the summer.
    ~ You will see what I mean when you go to SFT in Maxwell .....it is not going to be fun.

    I am sure someone will chime in, but I am not sure how they will work this out for PT because it would show in your gear.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  3. hadha

    hadha Member

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    Thanks for the input, Pima! I had the same sort of ideas as well, but couldn't see anything in the regs to back up the long sleeves. Here's what the latest AFI 36-2903 says:

    [Excessive tattoos/brands/body markings
    will not be exposed or visible (includes visible through the uniform) while wearing any/all uniform combination(s) except the PTU. This includes any combination of short sleeve, long sleeve, open collar uniform, utility uniform sleeves rolled up or worn down, flight duty uniform, etc. This policy does not apply when wearing the PTU. “Excessive” is defined as any tattoos/brands/body markings that exceed ¼ (25%) of the exposed body part and are readily visible when wearing any/all uniform combinations(s).]

    The way I read the reg is, the only tattoos that are forbidden from being seen in uniform (other than face/neck/etc) are "excessive" tattoos, which they mark as exceeding 25% of the exposed body part. I think the reason for the line about the rule applying to any combination of uniform items was so all Airmen could follow the same UOD; in other words, if the UOD is short-sleeved blues, an Airman can't have full sleeves and just hide them under long sleeves -- their tattoos have to be acceptable in the specified UOD.

    I've also done a little internet research (which of course is not the most trustworthy source, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt), but some posters on AFEF stated they don't have problems with forearms tattoos and rolled up sleeves (http://www.afforums.com/index.php?threads/tattoo-in-uniform.18568/) and the Vance AFB webpage had a piece about making sure arm tattoos were under 25% so sleeves could be rolled up (http://www.vance.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123258312).

    As for PTUs and FT, tattoos visible in PTUs are fine (tons of people at my Det and at the AFB near me run around with them and don't have issues, as the reqs state PTUs are an exception to the rules), and at FT, sleeves have to be rolled down.

    Thanks for your help! I just want to make sure I have a firm understanding of the regs and that I don't deviate from standards.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The two links you posted are very old. One is @6 Years o!d and the Vanderberg one will be 4 years old.

    I don't really follow the tattoo issue much, because my DS does not have one and has no desire to get one, however it does become a hot topic on this site every year.

    If I recall the AF in the last 12-18 months did change their regulations to be now that tattoos cannot be visible while in uniform, but also the Commander at his discretion can override it. Hence, it maybe a base by base decision

    I won't swear by it, but that is sticking in my mind.

    Honestly if you are going to go rated you will never be rolling up your sleeves high enough to show the tat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  5. hadha

    hadha Member

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    Thanks, Pima! I really appreciate the input. I'll do a little more digging to see if the regs have been changed since January. I'm recalling now that someone I went to FT with has a tattoo on his inner forearm and didn't seem to take any heat in SS blues, so I'll go hunt him down and ask.

    I do hope to go rated, and my tattoo is small and on the upper part of my forearm, so I agree -- a flight suit would never be pulled up that high.

    Again, thank you, and hope you are enjoying the holidays!
     

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