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  • Enlistment tattoo question

    I am about to begin the process with enlisting in the NG. However, I have a question regarding tattoos and MEPS. I have a bunch of tattoos- both arms, whole front torso, both feet, toes. My recruiter said it shouldn't be a problem. However, one tattoo I have and forgot to ask about is inside my lip and it reads "Thug"- college joke, really. Will this jam me up? I had planned on just not mentioning it at MEPS but I'm worried the dentist will see it at basic and say something to someone. What do ya'll think?

  • #2
    Re: Enlistment tattoo question

    No problem? I don't think so. Our Chief is coming out with a new policy and based on what you described; sounds disqualifying.

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    • #3
      Re: Enlistment tattoo question

      When is the policy going in place? I've heard about it but my recruiter didn't mention it.

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      • #4
        Re: Enlistment tattoo question

        IDK the date of the new policy; probably mid next year. What was your major in college? Art?

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        • #5
          Re: Enlistment tattoo question

          I studied finance undergrad and I have a management MS, also. I spent a lot of time in the tattoo shop between classes.

          I've wanted to serve for some time now and it would be a shame if my tattoos prevented me from doing so. I still have a good job in law enforcement, so it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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          • #6
            Re: Enlistment tattoo question

            Originally posted by ga12 View Post
            I studied finance undergrad and I have a management MS, also. I spent a lot of time in the tattoo shop between classes.

            I've wanted to serve for some time now and it would be a shame if my tattoos prevented me from doing so. I still have a good job in law enforcement, so it wouldn't be the end of the world.
            Honestly, is "thug" an official gang tattoo? It sounds like we're doing some interpretation on this. I would caution you, OP, to get clarification from your recruiter. Also, the location is hardly an area that would be obvious to anyone NOT looking in your mouth, so I wouldn't let yourself get too worried until your recruiter tells you to do so. Tell them soon, however, so that you don't look like you're trying to hide something. As to the tattoo policy mentioned above, it isn't in place yet, so until it is, you're in the clear, OP.

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            • #7
              Re: Enlistment tattoo question

              Originally posted by ga12 View Post
              I am about to begin the process with enlisting in the NG. However, I have a question regarding tattoos and MEPS. I have a bunch of tattoos- both arms, whole front torso, both feet, toes. My recruiter said it shouldn't be a problem. However, one tattoo I have and forgot to ask about is inside my lip and it reads "Thug"- college joke, really. Will this jam me up? I had planned on just not mentioning it at MEPS but I'm worried the dentist will see it at basic and say something to someone. What do ya'll think?
              Would you be DQ'd if you were missing a lip?

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              • #8
                Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                Just call your recruiter now and let them know you forgot to disclose your tattoo in your mouth. Better to let them know than to try to hide it at MEPS. It sounds like you have multiple tattoos, if they are not gang related or even borderline, it would help justify that your mouth tattoo was a college joke. Attempting to hide anything will suggest guilt.

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                • #9
                  Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                  The new tattoo policy coming out next year the word on the street is applying to new enlistees.

                  The old tattoo policy though is anything above the neck, right? Would inner lip be considered above the neck?

                  I'd talk to your recruiter when he gives you the MEPS medical brief.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                    Army Chief of staff just put out a article that touched on this very issue (amongst others). It doesn't sound as detrimental as it first did. They are finding out that tattoos are much more mainstream and are nervous about disqualifications for issues that are difficult to justify.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                      This definitely makes me nervous. I have a 10 year old tattoo on the inside of my lip that simply says 'sl y r' where it once said 'slayer' lol after a band (yes, young brains do young things). I guess my question is does this policy apply if you remove the tattoo via laser, or whatever method is the typical tattoo removal? I would be fine with removing the tattoo. Thanks everyone!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                        Originally posted by Motivator View Post
                        This definitely makes me nervous. I have a 10 year old tattoo on the inside of my lip that simply says 'sl y r' where it once said 'slayer' lol after a band (yes, young brains do young things). I guess my question is does this policy apply if you remove the tattoo via laser, or whatever method is the typical tattoo removal? I would be fine with removing the tattoo. Thanks everyone!
                        In over 19 years in the military have I had someone look inside my lip. I'm going to say you're safe.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Enlistment tattoo question

                          As far as having the lip tattoo, I agree with all those saying ask the recruiter, but doesn't sound like it'd be a big deal, so long as they know about it. They'll just have to document it at MEPS. As far as getting a tattoo removed, I don't envision any problems there; they will just document the scar. I had to get some tattoos altered before I went to MEPS and it all worked out fine. Tattoos are not really a big deal as long as they're not offensive, home made, etc. Also, just make sure they can't be seen when you're in uniform. Best of luck.

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