An illustration depicting expanded U.S. Navy tattoo policies. (U.S. Navy photo By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lorenzo John Burleson/Released)


In response to feedback from the fleet and senior enlisted leadership, the Navy announced two changes to its uniform policy, March 31, in NAVADMIN 082/16.

1. The Navy is updating its tattoo policy and will authorize Sailors to: 

  • Have one tattoo on their neck that does not exceed one inch in any direction.
  • Have visible tattoos below the elbow or knee -- no longer restricting their size or amount.
  • Allow Sailors with sleeve tattoos to be assigned to Recruit Training Command and Recruiting Command positions -- previously not allowed.

The Navy's tattoo content restrictions will remain the same: no tattoo located anywhere on the body can be prejudicial to good order, discipline and morale, or be of a nature that brings discredit upon the naval service.

This policy update is being made in response to the increased popularity of tattoos for those currently serving and in the population from which the Navy draws its recruits. It is also meant to ensure the Navy does not miss opportunities to bring in talented young men and women who are willing to serve.

More information on these changes, which go into effect April 30, can be found in NAVADMIN 082/16. 

2. NAVADMIN 082/16 also authorizes commands to immediately wear a coyote-brown command ball cap with the Navy Working Uniform Type II and III. The manner of wear, logos, lettering and overall descriptions can be found in Navy Regulations, Chapter 3, article 3501.8. 

The eight-point cover will remain the standard head gear worn with the NWU Type II and III during uniform inspections, special events and as determined by the unit commanding officer. 

Ball caps are considered organizational clothing and commands may use appropriated funds to buy them. Information on how commands may purchase these ball caps can be found in NAVADMIN 082/16, and can be found at www.npc.navy.mil

Complete information on Navy uniform policy and regulation can be found at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/uniforms/Pages/default2.aspx 

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/

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