The U.S. Coast Guard announced changes this week to its Tattoo, Body Marking, Body Piercing, and Mutilation Standards.
Major changes include:
- Neck/Chest. The reference point for a tattoo or brand on the forward half of the neck or chest is the top collar edge of the standard crew neck t-shirt. No tattoo or brand may be visible above the top collar of a standard crew neck t-shirt. This also clarifies that the reference point for tattoos on the back of the neck is the top collar edge of the tropical blue shirt.
- Fingers. A tattoo on a single finger per hand between the first knuckle (closest to the wrist) and the fingertip, on the top or side of the finger, is authorized and may be visible at the position of attention. A ring tattoo must be between the first and second knuckle (closest to the writst) if it encircles the finger.
- Head/Face. One tattoo behind one ear that is no larger than one inch in any dimension is allowed. Eyebrow makeup in the form of micro blading is now allowed and shall blend naturally and match the member’s natural appearance.
- Branding. Size limits have been changed for new accessions. Previously, only one brand no larger than 4X4 inches was allowed. Applicants to the Coast Guard may now have multiple brands so long as they are located in the same approved areas for tattoos. Members currently serving in the Coast Guard may only obtain one brand if they do not have one and it is no larger than 4X4 inches and it is in the same approved areas for tattoos.