RNTM 01-044/18 – Naval Tattoo Policy

It’s here 2 years after the US Navy eased its tattoo policy, the Royal Navy and Royal marines have revised their policy on hand and neck tattoos for both potential recruits and serving personnel, whilst maintaining professional standards.

RNTM 01-044/18  states in recent years there has been an increasing number of Naval Service personnel with “ineligible” tattoos on visible areas, especially on hands. In 2014 the British Army relaxed their tattoo regulations considerably.

Unacceptable tattoos are now defined as being any tattoo which meets one or more of the criteria below; 

  1. Visible on a front view passport photograph taken whilst the subject is wearing an open necked polo style shirt with one button undone; that is on the face or throat area, on the front of the ear or forward of a line from the bottom of the ear to the collar bone.
  2. Irrespective of its size or position on the body, a tattoo will be obscene if it refers to or depicts an image of:
    1. a sexual act
    2. extreme pornographic behaviour
    3. violence of any kind
    4. drugs
    5. racism
    6. political views
    7. sexism
  3. Irrespective of its size or position on the body, a tattoo will be offensive if, by its nature it has the purpose or effect of violating another persons dignity or creating an adverse environment for others.
  4. Any tattoo which does not meet one or more of the criteria above but which, in the opinion of the individuals Commanding Officer or a recruitment officer, is nevertheless, by virtue of its size, position or nature, unacceptable and detrimental to the Service, for example a message or inappropriate image on the hand which would be seen when saluting.

So there you go, the RNTM details the revision in the tattoo policy for the Naval Service which comes into effect immediately.  Already there is an increasing amount of tattoo artist offering upto 20% on tattoos for Naval personnel showing proof if ID.

Dated: 19 July 2018


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