so here it is from the rule books. Hope this helps those trying to enlist.
COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8J – VOLUME II
(4) Tattoos/body art/brands. Four criteria will be used to determine whether tattoos/body art/brands are permitted for Navy personnel: content, location, size and cosmetic.
(a) Content. Tattoos/body art/brands located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited. For example, tattoos/body art/brands that are obscene, sexually explicit, and/or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnic, or national origin are prohibited. In addition, tattoos/body art/brands that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.
(b) Location. No tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face, neck or scalp. The neck area for purposes of this regulation is any portion visible when wearing an open collar uniform shirt. Tattoos on the inner lip that are not visible with an open mouth are acceptable as long as they meet content criteria. In addition, otherwise permissible tattoos/body art/brands on the torso area of the body shall not be visible through white uniform clothing.
(c) Size. Individual tattoos/body art/brands exposed by wearing a short sleeve uniform shirt shall be no larger in size than the wearer’s hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger. Tattoos/body art/brands that exceed size criteria are waiverable provided they do not violate the content or location criteria.
(d) Cosmetic Tattoos. Cosmetic tattoos applied in good taste so that colors blend with natural skin tone and enhance natural features are acceptable. Exaggerated or faddish cosmetic styles are not authorized. Permanent lipstick colors shall be conservative and complement the individual.
(a) Navy Recruiting personnel shall conduct a screening for all tattoos/body art/branding. Use of the Tattoo Screening Certificate, NAVCRUIT 1130/104, is mandatory for any applicant with tattoos/body art/brands. The completed certificate shall be included as part of the applicant’s Enlisted Service Record and a copy also placed in the applicant’s residual file.
1. Photograph Documentation. Recruiters are permitted to photograph tattoos/body art/brands located below the knee and also located from the shoulder joint to the fingertips. Only personnel assigned positions at the Navy Liaison Office or NAVCRUITDIST headquarters in the following manner shall photograph applicants with tattoos/body art/brands located in other areas of the body:
a. Females shall be photographed in running shorts and sports bra or modest swimsuit top. Clothing shall not be manipulated in order to provide a better picture of the tattoo.
b. Males shall be photographed in running shorts. Clothing shall not be manipulated in order to provide a better picture.
c. All photographs shall be taken using a two person same sex rule in a location that provides for the applicant’s privacy. Photographs shall be taken in such a manner as to not include the applicant’s face in the photograph. In the event there is not a second same sex person in the Navy Liaison Office or NAVCRUITDIST headquarters, use of other service personnel is authorized.
d. Applicants with tattoos/body art/brands shall arrive at MEPS with the proper clothing prescribed above and briefed as to what photographs must be taken and by whom. They shall also read and sign the NAVCRUIT 1130/104 Tattoo Screening Certificate acknowledging the screening process.
e. Photographs of tattoos/body art/brands requiring a NAVCRUITDIST CO eligibility determination may be sent electronically together with the NAVCRUIT 1130/104, DD Form 2808, DD Form 2807, applicant handwritten statement, and NAVCRUIT 1133/103 completed in its entirety. The NAVCRUITDIST CO may request additional documentation when deemed necessary to assist in the eligibility determination.
f. Photographs of tattoos/body art/brands on the neck will be taken in such a manner as to include the applicant’s shoulders.
(b) NAVCRUITDIST COs shall conduct an interview (face-to-face or telephonic) with any applicant who possesses tattoos/body art/brands and denying enlistment to those whose tattoos/body art/brands are considered inappropriate for members of the naval service.
(8) Screening Standards. The following criteria will be used when evaluating applicants for tattoos/body art/brands.
(a) Content. Tattoos/body art/brands located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited and not waiverable.
(b) Location. Tattoos/body art/brands on the head, face or scalp are prohibited regardless of size or content. Tattoos on the inner lips or mouth that are visible with an open mouth are disqualifying. Tattoos/body art/brands on the neck area that extend above the collar line of a properly fitted open collar uniform shirt are also prohibited. Tattoos/body art/brands that exceed the top of a properly fitted crew neck T-shirt require approval by the NAVCRUITDIST CO only. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Note: Tattoos/body art/brands located on the torso, legs, or upper arm cannot be visible while wearing white uniform clothing. If visible, the NAVCRUITDIST CO or properly designated authority must make an enlistment eligibility determination.
(c) Size. Tattoos/body art/brands that are exposed when wearing a properly fitted crew neck T-shirt shall be no larger in size than the wearer’s hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger. Tattoos/body art/brands that exceed the size criteria may be submitted for a NAVCRUITDIST CO waiver provided they do not violate the content or location criteria. The NAVCRUITDIST CO may elect to send difficult or questionable cases to COMNAVCRUITCOM (N32) for review and eligibility determination.
(d) Cosmetic Tattoos. Applicants with cosmetic tattoos applied contrary to good taste are prohibited and not waiverable. Questionable cases may be referred to COMNAVCRUITCOM (N32) for review and eligibility determination.
(g) Removal/Alteration of Tattoos/Body Art/Brands. Disqualified applicants who later have any tattoo/body art/ brands professionally concealed or altered may request reconsideration for enlistment eligibility determination.
(h) The WCS shall ensure that applicants with tattoos/body art/brands are warned not to obtain any additional tattoos/body art/brands while awaiting accession and that failure to comply with this warning could result in their discharge. Future Sailors shall be screened for additional tattoos/body art/brands during the 30-day and seven day DEP recertification process and with results documented in R-TOOLS. The appropriate authority must screen new or modified tattoos/body art/brands identified during the recertification process.
(7) Post Accession Screening. Recruit Quality Assurance Team (RQAT) will screen all recruits for tattoos, body art, branding, self-mutilation, and dental ornamentation during recruit in-processing and at the Moment of Truth. RQAT shall ensure proper waiver documentation has been accomplished and will forward all questionable cases to COMNAVCRUITCOM (N32) for review and adjudication
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