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Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

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  • Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

    Here's a little about me to give some context to my question. With 9 years in service for pay overall, I spent 3 years in the Guard as an Infantryman, deployed to Kosovo (spent about 2 of those 3 years on AD between the deployment and training). Then I switched to RA, reclassed and spent 6 years in an MI MOS, including mostly leadership time and deployment in Iraq. I ETSed over a year ago, and am just finishing up an Afghanistan deployment as a contractor.

    I have been giving very serious consideration to re-entering the guard, but in order to make the most out of the experience, and to take full advantage of the retirement later in life, I would very much like to do so through the state OCS program. I currently live in PA, but am planning a move to MD soon, so either would be viable. I am not worried about getting into any specific officer branch, in fact I'd rather go back to combat arms, but will take whatever I get regardless. I know I meet all the requirements: I have enough college credits, my health and PT are excellent, and I see no other obstacles to my joining this program.

    My concern is that I picked up several tattoos when I was on Active Duty, two of which are on the forearms, and would be visible in Class B's, which as I remember it was a No Go for officers. At least one of them has a lot of personal meaning and sentimental value, so removal is not an option. Does anyone have any info on the current policies? If this is still the case, is there a waiver, or some sort of consideration for prior-enlisted folk like myself that just want to get more out of their career? It would be a shame to deny a very well qualified candidate (in my opinion), for something so trivial.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by MI_INF; August 28th, 2012, 08:56 AM.

  • #2
    Prior Active Duty NCO interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question

    I posted this in the general requirement section before I saw this officer-specific one. I thought I might streamline the answers by asking the experts here. Admins, feel free to delete or move as you see fit.

    ---

    Here's a little about me to give some context to my question. With 9 years in service for pay overall, I spent 3 years in the Guard as an Infantryman, deployed to Kosovo (spent about 2 of those 3 years on AD between the deployment and training). Then I switched to RA, reclassed and spent 6 years in an MI MOS, including mostly leadership time and deployment in Iraq. I had passed the board been recommended for E-6, but the cutoff scores for my MOS never dropped from max in the year before I got out. I ETSed over a year ago, and am just finishing up an Afghanistan deployment as a contractor.

    I have been giving very serious consideration to re-entering the guard, but in order to make the most out of the experience, and to take full advantage of the retirement later in life, I would very much like to do so through the state OCS program. I currently live in PA, but am planning a move to MD soon, so either state's program would be viable. I am not worried about getting into any specific officer branch, in fact I'd rather go back to combat arms, but will take whatever I get regardless. I know I meet all the requirements: I have enough college credits, my health and PT are excellent, and I see no other obstacles to my joining this program. I have operated with a TS for years, and actually just had it renewed by my current employer, so that's not an issue. The way I see it, it should be as easy as a quick trip to the MEPS, maybe a PT test with the recruiter at some point, and then straight into drilling, depending on timing and training cycles.

    My concern is that I picked up several tattoos when I was on Active Duty, two of which are on the forearms, and would be visible in Class B's, which as I remember it was a No Go for officers. At least one of them has a lot of personal meaning and sentimental value, so removal is not an option. Does anyone have any info on the current policies? If this is still the case, is there a waiver or some sort of consideration for prior-enlisted folk like myself that just want to get more out of their career? It would be a shame to deny a very well qualified candidate (in my opinion), for something so trivial.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    ---

    In addition to this, if anyone has any insight into the process or advice they'd like to share, please feel free.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Prior Active Duty NCO interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question

      Officers not having tatoos is an unwritten rule. As long as you meet the current tatoo policy, you should have no problems.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

        It's my understanding that as long as they are not on your head/face, neck, or hands, are not extremist, sexist, racist, etc, you should be fine. Refer to AR 670-1, page 5, for more details on the Army tattoo policy.

        Do you have a recruiter you're working with? Be sure to check with them on the age requirements/TIS for Prior Service.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

          Thanks for the replies. I did look at AR 670-1, and you are both correct. Nothing in there that is officer-specific. So I have been operating under that misconception for 10 years.

          I have not started working with a specific recruiter yet; just some general information from whoever answers the "Ask a recruiter" function on this website.

          As far as the age question goes, I am 28 (joined up right at the end of high school), so the upper age limit it not an issue. I have under 10 years total service, so service remaining before retirement should not be a problem, either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

            Originally posted by MI_INF View Post
            Thanks for the replies. I did look at AR 670-1, and you are both correct. Nothing in there that is officer-specific. So I have been operating under that misconception for 10 years.

            I have not started working with a specific recruiter yet; just some general information from whoever answers the "Ask a recruiter" function on this website.

            As far as the age question goes, I am 28 (joined up right at the end of high school), so the upper age limit it not an issue. I have under 10 years total service, so service remaining before retirement should not be a problem, either.
            Sounds like you're in a good position then! When you're ready to connect to a recruiter, you can do so online through the Pre-Qualification form. Once you've completed both sections, a recruiter should contact you within 10 business days: Pre-Qual Online. Let them know you're interested in the Officer route.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

              Originally posted by RyCass View Post
              Sounds like you're in a good position then! When you're ready to connect to a recruiter, you can do so online through the Pre-Qualification form. Once you've completed both sections, a recruiter should contact you within 10 business days: Pre-Qual Online. Let them know you're interested in the Officer route.

              Good luck!
              Thanks! I've actually already done this, sometime last month. As far as everything I discussed with the respondant, I am good to go. Unfortunately, there's not much more I can do from here. In about 60 days when I return home from my contractor position in Afghanistan I can seek out a local recruiter to discuss the 09S program. Really this tattoo question was the only thing I was worried about, and I am relieved to find out that worry was unfounded. I can't wait to finish up my time here and get started on the process.

              Here's one more question for you all, in the mean time, which is more of a logistics thing. I will be taking advantage of the 60/90-credit cutoff policy. I will have my degree finished well before my commission date, so there is no worry for the longterm there.

              My question is: How does the process go for assembling transcripts? Including my current program of study, I have college credits from 4 accredited institutions (one of them being the Defense Language Institute), but American Military University (my current school) did quite an extensive transfer credit evaluation and my academic record with them shows it all in one place. Will the recruiter/USAREC/MEPS be able to work from this to establish my academic standing, or will I have to provide transcripts from each institution seperately?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Prior service enlisted, interested in NG OCS -- Tattoo policy question:

                Originally posted by MI_INF View Post
                Thanks! I've actually already done this, sometime last month. As far as everything I discussed with the respondant, I am good to go. Unfortunately, there's not much more I can do from here. In about 60 days when I return home from my contractor position in Afghanistan I can seek out a local recruiter to discuss the 09S program. Really this tattoo question was the only thing I was worried about, and I am relieved to find out that worry was unfounded. I can't wait to finish up my time here and get started on the process.

                Here's one more question for you all, in the mean time, which is more of a logistics thing. I will be taking advantage of the 60/90-credit cutoff policy. I will have my degree finished well before my commission date, so there is no worry for the longterm there.

                My question is: How does the process go for assembling transcripts? Including my current program of study, I have college credits from 4 accredited institutions (one of them being the Defense Language Institute), but American Military University (my current school) did quite an extensive transfer credit evaluation and my academic record with them shows it all in one place. Will the recruiter/USAREC/MEPS be able to work from this to establish my academic standing, or will I have to provide transcripts from each institution seperately?
                Until you get your degree from one institute, you'll need to supply original transcripts from each school for the credits that you've earned. As always, I recommend double checking with your recruiter when you get a chance to speak to one.

                Good luck and stay safe out there!

                Comment

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