Next week a new policy will come into effect, which will ban any U.S. Marines from getting tattoos.
The Marines are banning any new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying large tattoos are ruining the image and professional deportment of the Marines along with the traditional values and the high standards America expects.
This policy has not come as good news for many Marines like Cpl. Jeremy Slaton who wear five skulls tattoo from right elbow to his wrist, spelling out the word “Death’ and had planned to add a tattoo spelling “Life” on his left arm, but that’s on hold because of this policy which taking effect on Sunday, April 1st.
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.”
After learning about the policy many Marines have flocked into tattoo parlors to ink themselves before the Marines Tattoo Policy come into effect. However, this will not give them a narrow escape, if someone is caught with any new tattoo they may face a dishonorable discharge or up to 2 years in prison. On this tattoo artist, Jerry Layton at the Body Temple Tattoo Studio in Oceanside, who was booked up with Marines rushing to beat the deadline, said, ‘These are guys that are dying in the war. They can fight, but they can’t get a tattoo? It’s ridiculous.’
US Marines are not first to do so as some branches of the military have already banned offensive or disruptive tattoos.