The purpose of the Coast Guard's policy and standards on Tattoos and Body Markings is to ensure our workforce presents a sharp, professional military appearance to the public, while allowing individual expression through authorized body art that is consistent with the Coast Guard's Core Values. As the Coast Guard increases the aperture to ensure we are able to recruit and retain the next generation of Coast Guardsman, this policy update strikes a balance between personal expression and maintaining our sharp military appearance.
With the update to the Tattoo, Body Marking, Body Piercing, and Mutilation Policy, Coast Guard Active Duty and Reserve members are authorized these additional tattoo locations:
- Chest tattoos shall not be visible above the Coast Guard crew neck t-shirt.
- One 1 inch tattoo on each hand (shall not exceed past the first knuckle closest to the wrist).
- One finger tattoo per hand within the length of the finger from the first to the second knuckle (additionally, one tattoo per hand in the form of a ring remains authorized on the wearer's finger (not thumb)).
Not authorized: tattoos that represent racism, discrimination, indecency, extremist/supremacist ideals, lawlessness, violence, or are sexually explicit.
Office of Military Personnel, Policy and Standards Division CG-1331, HQS-PolicyandStandards@uscg.mil