Tattoo

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by MaxPower94, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. MaxPower94

    MaxPower94 New Member

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    Ok I've read plenty of threads now to know the general consensus around here shuns tattoos. Several of these threads never got the posters main question answered though. The member just backed down from the idea under a barrage of criticism. What I want to know is I have completed my application, but not yet received an SLE. Can I get a tattoo at this point that falls within the rules set in AR 670-1 or would getting a tattoo at this point somehow disqualify me for admissions?
     
  2. Storm

    Storm Member

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    I think that unless it's in the memory of a family member of friend, it's not something to really even consider. Even then, there are other ways to remember. But ultimately, I have no clue as to what it is you want it for.

    My bottom line, like I've said to other posters, is to just err on the side of caution. Besides, there's plenty of time to get inked up once you're out of the Academy, right?
     
  3. 845something

    845something Member

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    Don't get any tattoos, piercings, or elective surgery before coming in.

    Tattoos and piercings = you may end up with a DoDMERB disqualification or remedial request.

    From AR40-501 (medical): "Tattoos (709.9) that are otherwise prohibited under AR 670–1 do not meet the standard." Further it requires under identifying marks that "Only scars or marks of purely identifying significance or those that interfere with function are recorded here. Tattoos that are obscene or so extensive as to be unsightly will be described fully". It gives you an idea - whatever you get will get documented and someone will have to review prior to clearing you from medical.

    On top of that, what's to say that AR670-1 isn't changed. Standards are increasing as the Army downsizes, so what passes today, may not when it comes time for you to come in.

    Don't get any tattoos, piercings, or elective surgery before coming in.
     
  4. FutureMidMom

    FutureMidMom Member

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    DS has no tattoos but his cousin self-inked a cross on his hand when he was much younger at a bible camp. He had it removed because his recruiter mentioned it was visible and needed to go. Now, to enlist, he is having to get many character references, submit photos of the former ink job, etc. The recruiter told him that between their first meeting a few months ago and this week, the standards for tattoos had changed. If this is an issue for those currently trying to enlist, you can only imagine the issue for officers (even if not visible). Follow the advice above. You could wind up with a nasty infection which would certainly pose problems. There is no good reason to get a tattoo, especially after all the hard work to receive an appointment. Standards in the military can and do change over night (trust me after 23 years in a military family, I think I've seen it all) and when forces are being reduced anything can be used to DQ someone. Trust us, you will thank us on your commissioning day.
     
  5. ArmyStrong7

    ArmyStrong7 Member

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    To be safe, I would say wait till after you get accepted to West Point to get a tattoo. There are plenty of people at the Academy with tattoos and plenty of people who get tattoos while they are at the academy. When I went to prep there were others who already had tattoos and the cadre just wanted a list of people who had them. Then after CCBT, through out the year people decided that they wanted tattoos and got them, whether they were big or small. One of my friends got a huge cross on his back and then got a Tough Mudder tat after he did the course. Another one of my friends got a half sleeve and one of my other friends got something written on her side. There were a significant amount of people who got all different kinds of tats. I'm not sure how it affected them once they got into the academy, but some of them are still getting tattoos. One guy even had fire tatted around his legs, but he was prior service so he may have gotten them after his basic or something. I don't have any, but if they are disqualifying and you really want to attend a service and you really want a tat then I would say to wait till after you get an appointment...but if you really want to be safe then take the first guy's advice and wait till after the academy lol.
     
  6. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

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    I know many will find this answer a tad on the harsh side, but, in my opinion, to even think of getting a tattoo during the admissions process and before entering any of the academies makes me wonder about the individuals qualifications to lead. If a tattoo is THAT important that one would risk an academy education and all it means, I suggest the person may not be in the proper frame of mind for leadership.

    Yes, I said it was a tad harsh, and I am not saying that folks with tattoos cannot be leaders. I am talking about the thought process of even considering such during the admissions process. So, please do not confuse what I am trying to say. Lots a great grads and leaders are sporting tattoos these days as it is "in". One day it will again be "out", but until that time, think long and hard about what your priorities are in this process. If your number one priority is not "getting in" and doing anything it takes to achieve that goal then, for me...I would say think again.

    Is the tattoo more important or is admission to the academy of your choice? Could it derail your chances? If even a slight "yes" can be answered...think again about your priorities.
     
  7. MaxPower94

    MaxPower94 New Member

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    Well what I'm hearing is that you all still discourage it but there is in fact no rule or regulation against me getting a tattoo at this time. Also this tattoo is to commemorate a friend of mine who died in a motorcycle accident. I'm not getting it because I think it will be cool.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    There is no other way to commemorate your friend? It has to be this tattoo? I understand commemorating a friend, but I would think there would be more than one way to do it. Of course, ultimately, the final decision is up to you but I doubt your friend would want you to risk perhaps an appointment. Do you?
     
  9. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    While I think some of the other people in this thread are being a bit over the top about this, it is something that you have to think about. (*Note - everything I say from here on is based on what I've read/looked up, and should be taken at face value)

    1. Call your FFR/MALO/DODMERB - make absolutely certain, preferably in writing, that the tattoo will not cost you your appointment. I do not know if you will need a waiver or not if you get the tattoo now, but I do know it will add a lot of paperwork for you throughout your Army career.

    2. If you decide to get the tattoo, make sure you don't put it anywhere noticeable with a t-shirt and shorts on. Going into a post-war Army, certain people may not think your tattoo looks professional and could hold it against you as you look to advance.

    3. Make sure you go somewhere reputable. While getting a tatto may or may not disqualify you, getting some kind of disease from a dirty needle or infection definitely will.

    It's you decision. You're an adult now. Check with your FFR, weigh your options, and then make a decision. No one here knows your exact situation or can give you a perfect answer.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If I am correct since the poster has yet to attend SLE, that means they are @17, a jr in hs currently. I have always believed you must be 18 to get a tat unless you have a parent with you.

    If this is the case, this all moot. You are a minor, you need parental permission. Yes, I know you can get it around that, but think about why it is 18.
     
  11. MaxPower94

    MaxPower94 New Member

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    Sorry I'm new to the board and these acronyms. I meant BFE not SLE. I'm 18 turning 19 in July.
     
  12. AbigailPR2017

    AbigailPR2017 Member

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    Let's clear this up

    First of all, there is nothing wrong with tattoos!

    And to answer the question: I am a 3Q'd candidate for the top three academies. I have a tattoo, multiple piercings, and had elective surgery two weeks ago.

    My tattoo is a "Paloma" or in English, a dove. It's on my ribs. It's the size of my hand and is in black and white.

    My piercings are all on my ears: double lobes on each ear, and a tragus piercing on my left.

    I have had knee surgery and I had an elective surgery two weeks ago.

    These things are NOT disqualifiers as long as 1) your tattoo is not obscene or gang related. So do NOT tattoo "West Side" up the length of your arm. 2) your piercings are 100% removable. NO DERMAL PIERCINGS ALLOWED. You also cannot wear them in uniform or while on post, unless you are female, then you can wear ONE set of earrings in your lobes, and they have to be round and a certain size. 3) You MUST report your surgery to DoDMERB. They will need remedials to ensure that you have reached a full recovery by the time you go to BCT. CLEARLY you shouldn't go get plastic surgery done (unless it's medically necessary, such as a rhinoplasty to fix deviated septum). The point of DoDMERB physicals is to make sure cadets are healthy. If something comes up, such as biliary diskinisia, that makes you sick all the time and the Dr recommends you have your gallbladder taken out, you should do it. Health is first. That is considered an elective surgery. If you don't do it though and you get accepted to a service academy, when you come down with gallstones because your gallbaldder is malfunctioning, they're going to kick you out, and you will be PERMANENTLY disqualified, even from enlisting.

    During my physical, I was asked if I had tats or piercings. I showed the Dr all of them and he wrote them down. They asked for pictures of my tat, and said nothing of the piercings. I had to send in remedials for both surgeries.

    Hope this shed some light on the situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  13. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    I agree and don't think this advice was too harsh. Maturity and leadership a marked by setting goals and working towards them. That includes minimizing risks rather than trying to skirt by. I'd much rather have my DS/DD led by an officer who minimized risk rather than ignoring it.

    i'll remind you - this is the military and you are expected to follow regulations and orders. Don't communicate you will act insubordinate given the chance before asking for a path to commission. If getting a tattoo is more important to you than serving, maybe you aren't yet ready.

    I appreciate the desire to honor your friend. May I suggest a wristband instead?
     
  14. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Here we go again.
    The rules about tattoos are listed in a post above.

    Now the reality:

    YOU ARE NO LONGER IN A LIBERAL CIVILIAN SOCIETY. YOU ARE IN A CONSERVATIVE MILITARY SOCIETY WITH DIFFERENT THINKING AND STANDARDS

    THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE IN THE MILITARY IN HAVING TATTOOS

    MANY PEOPLE (WHETHER YOU ARGEE OR NOT DOES NOT MATTER) DISAPPROVE OF TATTOOS ON OFFICERS. THESE FEELING CAN MAKE SOME DIFFERENCE IN YOUR CAREER

    WHEN I RETIRED AND WAS A SENIOR VP IN A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONICS COMPANY, WE WERE TOLD TO NOT HIRE ANYONE IN AN EXECUTIVE POSITION WITH A VISIBLE TATTOO.

    YOU CAN DEBATE IT ALL YOU WANT, TALK ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG, WHAT IS IN THE REGULATIONS, CHANGING ATTITUDES IN OUR SOCIETY, YOUR SPECIAL REASONS FOR THE TATTOO, ETC ETC BUT REALITY IS REALITY. MY ADVICE IS TO FIND ANOTHER WAY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF AND ID YOURSELF TO OTHERS
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  15. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Nick has a great post.

    Understand, if you get a tattoo and you are accepted, on R-Day, you will have to strip down enough for an officer or NCO (same sex as you) to inspect the tattoo to ensure it meets the Army standards.

    Not passing judgement (even though I completely agree with Big Nick) just letting you know that you might be standing naked in Thayer hall on R-Day with someone with a clip board staring up as your tattoo.

    (then again, the rest of the day pretty much sucks, whats one more thing:thumb:)
     
  16. MaxPower94

    MaxPower94 New Member

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    I've made up my mind and I'm getting one. Thank you everyone for the advice it was all closely considered. Also goarmybeatnavy you made me lol, with 3 years of wrestling I'm not shy about standing around naked.
     
  17. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Good luck!

    Just from my turret; in 36 years on this earth (that is a lot or a little depending on your vantage point, but it is twice your 18 years) I have never, ever, ever heard someone say, "I sure wish I would have gotten a tattoo." During that time, I have heard many (probably > 50% of those I know who have tattoos) say, "I sure wish I wouldn't have gotten that (those) tattoo (s)."

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. High School/teen age friends who pass have the double tragedy of being young and as well as being close to you. Over time, your shock of loss will dissipate into the warm memories of your times together. I hope your tattoo helps enable those memories.

    Please don't let our advice against tattoos make us seem like we don't understand. We do, as many a service member will wear a silver or black bracelet in memory of a friend or colleague who gave it all their unit and the nation.

    Good luck on your quest for an academy and thanks for your interest in serving the nation!
     
  18. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Huh

    I wish I was young again, and knows everything.



    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  19. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Tug Boat,
    Some young people will not listen. The vast majority of people I have met who get tattoos regret their decision. However, people must make their own decisions and suffer the possible consequences.

    People wanting to go to WP do not seem to realize that the military society is very different from the civilian society where they live.

    There are many ways to express your individuality, loyalty, personality, grief, etc. I would suggest setting yourself apart by your hard work, integrity, dedication etc.
     
  20. icarus

    icarus Member

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    One of the most lucrative and in-demand specialty in the medical field is tattoo removal. Not covered by insurance-so, all cash and at your expense. It'd be sad to report on I-day, only to be turned away because the person in charge of checking you off at the academy disagrees with what you thought was an allowable tattoo. You can always get it later if it is what you really want but it's a free country and free will is what we've been blessed with so tattoo away if you must.
     

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