Can Navy Seals Have Tattoos?


Although tattoos are becoming more popular, they are not accepted everywhere as perceptions towards tattoos are still a bit negative. As a result, most of the workforce is not accepting of the culture of tattoos.

You may want to get into Navy seals with tattoos and be concerned and ask around- can navy seals have tattoos?

Yes, navy seals can have tattoos. There is no law announcing that a Navy seal cannot have tattoos. However, there are some limitations and restrictions regarding the placement and design of tattoos.

If you want to know more about rules and regulations, what kind of tattoos are allowed, and stay with this article for more information.

Can Navy Seals Have Tattoos?

Anyone can be a Navy seal having tattoos. There are no laws and regulations which say a person with tattoos cannot be a Navy seal. But there are some prohibitions about tattoo placement and what kind of tattoos are allowed in the Navy.

First of all, what are navy seals? Navy seals are the special branch or special ops soldiers who are specialized in the area of sea, air, and land training.

The U.S. Armed Forces have started to soften its rules since tattoos have grown to be much more of a societal norm (40% of Millennials have at least one tattoo).

All the branches of militaries have to have some kind of tattoo to symbolize their dedication, commitment, and even ranks. The Navy is the most lenient regarding tattoos, but still, there are some rules and regulations to follow.

Navy Tattoo Regulations

  • Placement of tattoo: Full-sleeve tattoos are generally accepted in navy seals as of march 2016. But, tattoos on the head, face, and scalps are strictly prohibited in the Navy.

There is a size restriction for tattoos behind the neck and ears- which is approximately 1 inch. Additionally, the tattoo done on the torso should not be seen through a navy uniform.

  • Content of the tattoo: Seals and all other naval troops must maintain a standard, just as all other military personnel. They must not have any tattoos on their body that reflect anything that might be offensive to the navy.

This indicates that it is prohibited to get any insensitive or offensive tattoos. Additionally forbidden tattoos are which have racial, religious, or gender-based distinctions.

The Navy also disqualifies those with tattoos that are sexually graphic or affiliated with gangs or other extreme organizations. It will also be unacceptable if you have a tattoo that promotes the use of drugs or the usage of drugs.

Tattoos Specific to the Navy Seals

Some of the branches of the U.S Military has certain kind of tattoos to identify their rank and bring unity among them. In the Navy seals. This is more common-

U.S. Navy Special Warfare Insignia

This is a typical tattoo that you will see on both active-duty Seals and retired Navy personnel.

This insignia identifies Navy Seals and indicates that they have successfully completed their training. The design is distinctive because it not only symbolizes the Navy (anchor), but also all the domains that the Seals guard, such as the air, land, and trident (water).

Additionally, certain components have more meanings. For instance, the positioning of the eagle’s head emphasizes its humility, while the cocked gun depicts its flexibility and readiness for the country.

The Only Easy Day was Yesterday

This is the Navy Seals’ slogan, which comes from its very demanding training regimen. The 30-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training curriculum is regarded by many as one of the most difficult in the whole world. This phrase demonstrates how these elite fighters’ training and labor will only become tougher and harsher, yet they decide to soldier through.


The frogman, a nickname for the Navy Seals, is another distinctive design. This is due to their training in scuba diving and tactical tasks underwater. These pictures may be of frogs with diving gear or of a humanoid shape that resembles a frog. The frogman tattoo can have a variety of variants.

What Tattoos Are Not Allowed In The Navy?

The Navy’s tattoo policy prohibits tattoos that indicate discrimination, indecency, racism, supremacism, or racism as well as ink with pictures that are sexually explicit or that encourage violence.

In other words, there should be no gang affiliations, Confederate flags, graphic violence, exposed nudity, or remarks glorifying drug use or the government.

Although formerly forbidden, neck tattoos are now acceptable as long as they are modest and less than an inch in diameter.

Second, tattoos are still prohibited from being placed on the scalp, face, ears, or head because one cannot cover them up using their uniform.

It is challenging for the U.S. military to compile a list of everything the organization does not permit because body art is such a wide topic with an infinite number of images one might tattoo on their body.

As a result, the Navy gives a commanding officer the authority to decide what kinds of tattoos are permitted and what are not. When it comes to body art that is deemed “offensive, racist, sexist, or extreme,” the U.S. Navy has zero tolerance.

Even if the tattoo is hidden by a uniform, tattoos may not discriminate based on national origin or religion. The use of any tattoo implies gang membership or drug usage is strictly banned.

Can You Have Chest Tattoos in The Navy?

Yes, you can have a tattoo on your chest even if you are in the Navy seals. Navy tattoos can be placed anywhere on your body except the face, head, and scalp.

The surprising fact is, the Navy is the only branch of the U.S military that can have tattoos on the hand. But a Navy seal cannot show his tattoo where it is restricted, so the best would be to cover up.


Will the Navy accept you with tattoos?

The legs, arms, neck, hands, and even the area behind the ears are now tattoo-free thanks to new laws. The scalp, face, and head are the only parts of the body that are forbidden. The body may also have tattoos, but they must not be seen when wearing white clothing.

Can you have tattoos in the FBI?

Yes, they are permitted. Now that I’ve said that, I would advise anyone considering getting a tattoo to be very careful about where they choose to get it done, just because the FBI Academy’s reputation is very significant. Therefore, choose your tattoo’s location wisely.

When did the Navy start allowing tattoos?

Tattoos are permitted by Air Force regulations (AFI 36-2903) as long as they are not excessive (defined as visible on more than 25% of the exposed body part when wearing uniform). A single neck tattoo and full sleeves (tattoos that cover the entire arm) were permitted under the Navy’s current rules as of April 2016.

What happens if you are caught with a prohibited tattoo after you’ve enlisted?

Disciplinary action could be taken against sailors who are found to have tattoos that contain forbidden information. In the worst-case scenarios, the disciplinary punishment may include an involuntary discharge. The U.S. Navy gives commanding officers the freedom to choose which tattoos fall within its permissible tattoos policy.
Most sailors are given the choice to remove or modify the tattoo in order to comply with current norms and regulations unless it is a severe situation.

Will the Navy pay to remove tattoos?

Sadly, the response is frequently negative. In the past, a soldier who had a tattoo that prohibited them from serving may get support from the branch of the military they were assigned to. 
However, a new regulation that mandates that active duty military members pay for their own tattoo removal was published by the Department of Defense in 2006. With the new Navy tattoo policy, there was optimism that the choice would be overturned.


Did you find the answers you were looking for?

Not all the branches of the military are as lenient as the Navy when it comes to tattoos. As the tattoo culture is becoming a norm day by day, the Navy has allowed tattooing to invite more young people here. If you have tattoos or want to get tattoos after getting into the Navy, you simply have no need to worry. Good luck!

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