Question about tattoos at the Citadel


Jul 22, 2017
I know the Citadel tattoo policy is basically that it can't be visible while wearing a duty uniform. I've been wanting to get one (3 1/2" x 3 1/2") on my upper arm somewhere between my triceps and my shoulder.

I am also currently filling out an application for the Citadel, so I certainly don't want to ruin my chances with something that could've been avoided

Would getting said tattoo be pushing my luck a bit? I mean, I doubt it would be visible, but I wouldn't know for sure unless I actually wore the uniform. I guess I'm just trying to ask how strict that policy is.

Any comments would be appreciated. I apologize for this being a not-so-important thread, just thought I'd ask.
This one is pretty straightforward, Pepsiman, and a good opportunity to demonstrate the kind of decision-making that’s expected of a cadet.

What’s more important to you: Getting accepted to the Citadel or getting a tattoo? Answer that question and act accordingly.
This is coming from a former Marine with my fair share of tattoos... wait. There is no rush. Wait until you get to where you want to go, know the rules inside and out and then wait some more. The reason I state this is, rules are one thing. If you desire to pursue a military career cultural norms for officers run deep. It is very rare to see officers with sleeves or even visible tattoos. Heck I push paper for a living now in Brooks Brothers suits daily and still ensure I fit within the ‘norms’ for someone being groomed for executive level leadership. Oh and I got fresh ink last weekend... so I am not one of the parents on here telling you no. I am saying wait.
If, after the above posts from NavyHoops and MidCakePa are not enough to convince you to wait, consider getting a tattoo on the torso instead. My house rule was no tattoos until they’ve graduated high school. I did not care whether they were 18 or not. One of my kids (on Marine scholarship to VMI), felt she had “waited” long enough and got a small-ish (3x4” I believe) flag tattoo on her rib cage.

She was wise enough to look up Marine regulations before she did so, and she made sure her “coveted” tattoo was actually a bit smaller than regulations. This tattoo will not show, even in PT gear.

She had an extra form to fill out with the Marines, but I do not think anyone at VMI ever saw it (besides roommates, of course). If it had been on her arm, it would have surely brought some unwanted attention.
EOD/SEAL mom as usual has great advice. I believe the Marine tattoo reg states no visible tats in PT gear. So, what does my son do? He gets his arm tats wearing a green t-shirt a couple sizes too big. If he ever got called on it, he would put on the big shirt and it would cover the tattoos. He's not about to enter college though. Wait, you have plenty of time to paint your dermis.
When I was a cadet many moons ago, you were not allowed to have a tattoo. There was one cadet form California that had one on his leg and he had to wear a white bandage on it to cover it up when he played for the soccer team. Basically, tattoos for officers was frowned upon at the time also it was an identifying mark.
My question to you is - do you want to get a tattoo because you really, really want one or are you just another pathetic sheep following the herd? Be a leader not a follower and don't jump on the bandwagon of stupid fads.
My question to you is - do you want to get a tattoo because you really, really want one or are you just another pathetic sheep following the herd? Be a leader not a follower and don't jump on the bandwagon of stupid fads.

Step off, Skippy.
I don't have a tattoo either, but I don't go around telling people that they're idiots for having them.

The coolest tattoo I ever saw was a tiny black baby seal (about 1-1/4" inches) balancing a red ball on his nose. :)
Not calling anyone an idiot and my point is well taken. "Keeping up with the Jones" is immature and lacking in sense; lead don't follow.
Let's keep comments on topic and avoid making personal attacks on people or just being rude. There is certainly no need to start, or continue, an argument over whether some third party is immature or not. Having tattoos does not make one immature. While comments on keeping up with the herd are well founded, one has no idea what the motives of posters here are. I hope this warning suffices.
SIL had Dad who did thirty in Marine Corps. Never had a Tattoo. He was more proud of the stripes on his uniform than the stupid ink that he could put on his arm.
I was proud of my uniform and I am fine with my ink. Last time I checked I have been a leader my entire life... from the basketball court, to the classroom, to being a Mid, a Marine and now in Corporate and civilian life. My ink doesn’t define my leadership ability. My ink doesn’t make me a follower. I don’t keep up with anyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on tattoos and that is fine, but I can say that there are a lot more out there than many think and probably surprise many who has them.

I say to young folks to wait. Because what they think is important today won’t necessarily seem so important over these next 4+ years as they are going to grow a lot and find out who they are. I say to wait to get to know what their future holds, because military regulations are one thing, but officer expectations and customs are another. Get to know them and let life unfold a bit before making permanent decisions.
My son has a big bunch of tats, my wife has several, and my daughter has two.

I only have one. I feel like a loser. A 59 year old immature loser.
I’ve made this comment before about how humans, in the pursuit of personal expression or adornment, have been inking, scarring, branding, piercing, enlarging, reducing, coloring, painting, clipping, filing and hanging shiny bits from various protuberances for thousands of years. I just can’t muster the energy to be upset about something that is often an “eye of the beholder” thing. I adhered to service regulations in support of a uniform appearance and expect others to do the same. Other than agreeing it’s best to hold off until every implication and consequence has been thought through, I don’t have too many thoughts on the subject.