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Tattooed Marines

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Tattooed Marines

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:16 am

Marines Banning Some Tattoos

Prohibit Large Markings Below The Elbow Or Knee

(AP) OCEANSIDE, Calif. Five tattooed skulls stretch from Marine Cpl. Jeremy Slaton's right elbow to his wrist, spelling out the word “Death.” He planned to add a tattoo spelling “Life” on his left arm, but that's on hold because of a Marine policy taking effect Sunday.

The Marines are banning any new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying such body art is harmful to the Corps' spit-and-polish image.

Slaton and other grunts are not pleased.

“I guess I'll get the other half later,” grumbled the 24-year-old leatherneck from Eden Prairie, Minn. “It's kind of messed up.”

For many Marines, getting a tattoo is a rite of passage. They commonly get their forearms inscribed to remember fallen comrades, combat tours or loved ones, and often ask for exotic designs that incorporate the Marine motto, Semper Fi, or “Always faithful.”

Dozens of Marines from Camp Pendleton, the West Coast's biggest Marine base, made last-minute trips to tattoo parlors in nearby Oceanside before the ban kicked in.

“This is something I love to do,” said Cpl. David Nadrchal, 20, of Pomona, who made an appointment to get an Iraqi flag and his deployment dates etched onto his lower leg. “The fact I can't put something on my body that I want — it's a big thing to tell me I can't do that.”

Nadrchal said he is unsure whether he will re-enlist: “There's all these little things. They are slowly chipping away at us.”

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway announced the policy change last week.

“Some Marines have taken the liberty of tattooing themselves to a point that is contrary to our professional demeanor and the high standards America has come to expect from us,” he said. “I believe tattoos of an excessive nature do not represent our traditional values.”

The ban is aimed primarily at “sleeve” tattoos, the large and often elaborate designs on the biceps and forearms of many Marines. Similar designs on the lower legs will be forbidden as well. So will very large tattoos on the upper arm, if they are visible when a Marine wears his workout T-shirt. Small, individual tattoos will still be allowed on the arms and legs. (The Marines already ban them on the hands.)

Marines already tattooed are exempt from the ban but cannot add to their designs; anyone caught with fresh ink in the wrong places could be barred from re-enlistment or face disciplinary action. Getting a prohibited tattoo could constitute a violation of a lawful order, punishable by up to two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Brian Donnelly said.

Unit commanders must photograph and document sleeve tattoos to ensure Marines do not add to their ink.

The Marines and the other branches of the military already ban tattoos that could be offensive or disruptive, such as images that are sexist, vulgar, gang-related or extremist.

The Army, which has been doing most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and is struggling to fill its ranks, actually relaxed its tattoo restrictions last year. Soldiers can now get ink on the back of their hands and the lower back of the neck.

The Navy last year decreed that tattoos visible while in short-sleeve uniform cannot be larger than the wearer's hand. The Air Force says tattoos should be covered up if they are bigger than one-quarter the size of the exposed body part.

Tattoo artist Jerry Layton at the Body Temple Tattoo Studio in Oceanside said he was booked up with Marines rushing to beat the deadline.

“These are guys that are dying in the war,” Layton said. “They can fight, but they can't get a tattoo? It's ridiculous.”


(© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )
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Postby deerayfan072 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:19 am

This is dumb. Its not like you can see there Tats when they are in uniform or even in there BDU's half the time.
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Re: Tattooed Marines

Postby Coppermine » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:19 am

Omaha Red Sox wrote:

“These are guys that are dying in the war,” Layton said. “They can fight, but they can't get a tattoo? It's ridiculous.”


That about sums it up. So, I guess having less tattoos means terrorists won't shoot at you. Whatever, this is getting ridiculous. How many hours and tax dollars were wasted thinking up, announcing and enforcing this policy?
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Postby knapplc » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:24 am

The armed forces are not always known for having the most logical thinking. :-[
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Postby deerayfan072 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:39 am

knapplc wrote:The armed forces are not always known for having the most logical thinking. :-[


come on Knapp, you cannot generalize like that
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Postby Snakes Gould » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:55 am

yeah silly policy. similar to the 18 year old who can run around with a bazooka but god forbid he take a sip of budweiser.
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Postby roninmedia » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:57 am

deerayfan072 wrote:
knapplc wrote:The armed forces are not always known for having the most logical thinking. :-[


come on Knapp, you cannot generalize like that


Well, military intelligence has entered our lexicon as an oxymoron.


I thought the Marines liked to be thought of the meanest, toughest SOBs fighting around. I guess they just want them to be on the battlefield and not walking around with them. Sorry, but large tattoos still give that impression to many people.
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Postby deerayfan072 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:58 am

roninmedia wrote:
deerayfan072 wrote:
knapplc wrote:The armed forces are not always known for having the most logical thinking. :-[


come on Knapp, you cannot generalize like that


Well, military intelligence has entered our lexicon as an oxymoron.


I thought the Marines liked to be thought of the meanest, toughest SOBs fighting around. I guess they just want them to be on the battlefield and not walking around with them. Sorry, but large tattoos still give that impression to many people.


not mine, maybe yours
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Postby Big Pimpin » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:00 am

How silly.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:02 am

I don't see how this is all that different from the NBA dress code that was put in place a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, most of the people here thought the dress code was a great idea. This is the Marines essentially doing the same thing. Anyway, I think both are utterly ridiculous.
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