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Old 10 February 2002, 06:27
Sanjuro Sanjuro is offline
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Tattoos in Special Forces

I hope this is not considered off topic.

I did a search on the board search engine but didn't come up with anything.

Real simple. Will a huge amount of tattoos disqualify you from SF if none of them are visible with a t shirt and shorts on? (talking full body tats.)

Just wonder if this will cause issues. Also they would just be asian or japanese style, nothing that could be interpreted as racist or gang related here in the U.S.

Sanjuro
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  #2  
Old 10 February 2002, 07:15
Doc
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This is what I've heard/seen.

I was told that you can not have a visible tattoo while wearing the Class A uniform.

I saw a student come in to the SFQC with a tattoo on his neck.

He should have been taken care of back in his unit prior to coming to us. He wasn't and on weekends he made trips to the clinic where they removed it, a little bit at a time with a laser.

I was told when you come to Bragg, part of the inprocessing at main post is a body inspection behind closed doors for the new folks. They will do the examination and determine if the tattoos are gang related.
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  #3  
Old 10 February 2002, 09:48
ODA 564 ODA 564 is offline
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Tattoos - here's a 1999 dated info paper from Aberdeen Proving Ground (http://www.goordnance.apg.army.mil/TattooPolicy.htm) and another, slightly conflicting one from ROTC Cadet Command (http://www.rotc.monroe.army.mil/help...o%20policy.htm). I found these by searching on Google (the search engine of choice!) using 'AR 670-1' as a search teram and then searching fro 'tattoos' in those results.

As far as SF goes. I didn't search within the google results for SF Command, but I could have...

This used to fall into one of three categories. One, there was a belief that tattoos identifying you as American disqualified you for operations in denied areas where you and your kit were to be 'sterile' (not identifiable as US in origin') as in MAC-SOG operations. This is still a valid point. There is ancedotal evidence that RT members would get a tattoo when they were at the point of wanting out, but not wanting to 'quit'... I can't say if its true.

Secondly, at one time tattoo parlors in NC were off limits, so a new tat was per se, evidence of being in an off limits establishment unless it was done in SC or whatever.

Recently, the racial murder of two black civilians by two white supremacist 82nd Airborne Division soldiers (Burmeister & his pal) caused the Army to do screenings of all applicable personnel for tattoos indicating membership in 'extremist' groups (i.e. so-called Christian Identity or other white supremacist groups). Special Forces received very close scrutiny. To my knowledge, non-applicable personnel were not checked for non-white hate group oriented tattoos, gang tattoos, etc.

To enable recently sensitized soldiers who had the tattoos associated with the target associations to rid themselves of the stigma, the dermatology clinic at Womack Army Hospital has a state-of-the-art laser tattoo removal capability. Soldiers can have tattoos deemed offensive to the chain-of-command, non-regulation or those the soldier has just gotten tired of, removed by laser. This is a sore point with some retirees, who can't get life-threatening cancerous lesions lasered off, but soldiers can get tats removed on a whim...

So, to recap, if they aren't visible while wearing your Class A uniform or indicitive of membership in an extremist organization, then its pretty much okay within the subjective limit of 'excessive'.
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Last edited by ODA 564; 10 February 2002 at 15:10.
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Old 10 February 2002, 12:14
UberCree UberCree is offline
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So would a tattoo on your neck that was visible and read, "__________CUT ON DOTTED LINE ___________" be inappropriate?
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  #5  
Old 11 February 2002, 19:00
dueterium dueterium is offline
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An excerpt of a conversation from my AIMC class, Fall 1986.

Six guys standing in a circle playing "hacky-sack" wishing the break will go on for more than 10 minutes so we can stay away from Conrad, our arch enemy instructor.

STUDENT #1 "Yeah I've always wanted a really cool tatoo.

STUDENT #2 " Hey man don't even think about it. I hear you'll never do anything "real-world" if you got one.

All other students shake there heads in agreement.

Student #1 "Really?"

STUDENT #2 "Yeah that's what I heard."


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  #6  
Old 14 February 2002, 03:03
Sanjuro Sanjuro is offline
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Do any of you personally know someone in the US SF that has a ton of tattoos? Just curious.

Sanjuro
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  #7  
Old 14 February 2002, 06:28
AMMOTECH AMMOTECH is offline
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No not personally,

Quote:
Originally posted by Sanjuro
Do any of you personally know someone in the US SF that has a ton of tattoos? Just curious.

Sanjuro

No, not personally but when I was stationed in Turkey (96-98) I would see quite a few at the pool and some of the had tats. One guy even had the Crest on his upper back. Cant' remember what side.
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  #8  
Old 15 February 2002, 17:05
RLK RLK is offline
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Didn't one of you guys tell me about one of your compadres having "Officer Country" and an arrow pointing down, tattoed over their crack? I also thought that NSN tats were common for troops as well?
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  #9  
Old 17 February 2002, 15:18
RifleMaster RifleMaster is offline
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Don't know much about current regs on tattoos. The above posts are probably accurate.

I know several RVN and MACV SOG veterans that have tattoos. They may have gotten them after their RVN tours. Early SOG ops were sterile. However, the enemy wasn't stupid. They soon had trail and potential LZ watchers out waiting and looking for the SOG Teams. In 1969, VC sappers and commandos even raided the CCN Headquarters compound in Da Nang! They knew who and where the SOG Teams were coming from. So, tattoos were not a big thing then.

Many ARVN Recondos had "Sat Cong" tattoos that included the skull and cross bones. If captured with one of these, they were dead. I believe all field advisors had prices on their heads. So, we knew if we were captured, we were dead. Most of the time, the VC mutilated our dead to mess with our minds.

Anyway, here is my MACV tattoo:



Carl

Have to edit my last statement! "Most of the time" is a stretch. We had two Advisors that were ambushed/assassinated and shot to pieces. These soldiers were specifically targeted while traveling in jeeps on supposedly secure access roads leading to camp.

Last edited by RifleMaster; 26 February 2002 at 00:09.
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Old 24 February 2002, 22:54
Nous Defions Nous Defions is offline
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I have plenty of tattoos...they never stopped me from participating in anything militarily related
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  #11  
Old 6 February 2005, 20:05
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Hello everyone, this is my first post, but i've been lurking on these forums for a good while now.

I was interested to see if anyone could expound upon this topic any furthur, as it pertains to me. I'm somewhat heavily tattooed with a full sleeve on my left arm. I just went to the MEPS and swore in this past Friday. After having filled out some paperwork relating to the tattoos and having them looked at, i was told i was good to go. So now i'm an 18x with a ship date of 0607.
I feel im a very good candidate, as i'll have a BS in marketing, scored a 98 on the ASVAB with a GT of 138, am athetically inclined, and highly motivated.

With that said, my concern is with how my tattoos may affect my success at SOPC and SFAS--is there any merit to this concern? Aside from some unwanted attention and using them as a means to try and test my fortitude, will the cadre use my tattoos against me to prevent my selection? Again, I feel like I'm what the Army is looking for in a Special Forces recruit and i want it more than anything, i'd just hate to get passed over on what i see as a small detail.

Thank you to anyone who reads this and a big thank you to anyone who responds. I made sure to read the "IMPORTANT" sticky post before posting, but if i made any kind of error, i apologize and please let me know. Thanks again.

Jon
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Old 6 February 2005, 20:53
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LRS Guy LRS Guy is offline
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Just an FYI on tats. There is a certain SF instructor at PHASE II who is covered in tats...just can't see them unless he takes his shirt off. NO HOMO JOKES.

He was my Ranger buddy back in the day Class 01-92. We used to BS about it. Said he would always wear a long sleeve dress shirt, pickup a girl and they would freak out when they saw his upper body was covered in tats.
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  #13  
Old 7 February 2005, 08:31
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There was a time that clearly identifying marks (including tattoos) could disqualify you from service in SF if you were applying (not if you were already there). Things change. Bottom line? Why take the chance?
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Old 12 February 2005, 22:46
mara mara is offline
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I thought they issued you your tats as part of the pipeline?

I've seen many, many SF types in my Group who have tats. It doesn't seem to have any impact on their careers. Depending on the tatoos, I imagine it could make things interesting at SERE, though.
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Old 12 February 2005, 23:02
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18C4V 18C4V is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mara
I thought they issued you your tats as part of the pipeline?

I've seen many, many SF types in my Group who have tats. It doesn't seem to have any impact on their careers. Depending on the tatoos, I imagine it could make things interesting at SERE, though.
That is so true. I went though the pipe line with a E-6 mechanic from 2/75 who had a 3/75 tatoo (scroll and eagle) on his back. It covered his whole back. He sure got it during inprocessing at RTL!!! He got kicked out of SERE during the RTL portion, but that's another story.
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Old 13 February 2005, 13:21
4CRanch 4CRanch is offline
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I wish I could remember the guys name but back when BG Toney was commander of Soccent, he had a SGM who had the full treatment. This guy was an old hand and had the entire Saigon tattoo deal all over his arms, wrists to shoulders. Im quite sure nothing was ever said to him....
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  #17  
Old 14 February 2005, 16:32
RipperTOW RipperTOW is offline
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I wouldn't press my luck and get any more, but as long as you've obtained a waiver for them I don't think it will be an issue with the SOPC or SFAS cadre. I'm here at student company with plenty of guys with full sleeves, and none of the cadre seem to do much more than make the occasional joke about it. Same goes for SOPC, SFAS, and PLDC/BNCOC. I don't know if there is an official policy against it, but I can say that in my class there are some dudes with full sleeves who didn't get any real grief for it.
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  #18  
Old 14 February 2005, 16:48
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Thanks for the responses, I'm glad it's not something to worry about. The last thing i need is something as inconsequential as tattoos holding me back.
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  #19  
Old 14 February 2005, 23:57
Bailaviborita Bailaviborita is offline
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Team sergeant got his whole back covered down South once. Nice piece of art- really impressed the ladies But that was the tamest thing he did on that trip...

I'd say tattoos wouldn't be the reason someone fails.
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  #20  
Old 3 March 2005, 04:54
optactical optactical is offline
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Tattoos are acceprable, as long as they do not violate 670-1, or bear any extremist connotations.

Try to stay away from getting anything with a military meaning, for obvious reasons, but the sky is the limit dude.

If they were illegal we would have to disband 1st Group :D
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