Thursday, March 29, 2007


Being married to the girl that I have, it’s given me a fine appreciation of the art. But even with being as accustomed to tattoos as I am. I’ve noticed the sharp increase of Marines getting sleeves just over the past two months. Not just the young Marines, Staff NCO’s too. There are actually a few Marines in my new unit that have more tattoos then my bride and believe me, that’s impressive! It seems like one out of 3 guys in my unit now has at least a quarter sleeve while the total percent of Marines who have tattoos is probably in the 90 percent range.

Today it finally hit home why so many Marines are coming home from war and pouring a sizable portion of the money they made into ink. A couple of months ago a rumor was going around that there was going to be a change in Marines Corps Tattoo policy stating any tattoo that is visible when wearing PT gear is forbidden and that the rule was going to kick in on April 1st. In reality? When I heard the rumor, I didn't think anything of it at the time.

Then last week, MARADMIN 198/07 came out announcing the uniform change was going to kick in 1 April and that Marines who had tattoos prior to April 1st will be grandfathered, to get a tattoo grandfathered, they needed to get a picture of the tattoo, date of the tattoo and have it documented in the page 11 of their service record and sign the page to make sure the information is correct. One the same day the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway released ALMAR 014/07 announcing his reasoning behind the changes.

I think part of the plan might have backfired, I’m sure the people who thought up these rules didn’t expect the wholesale rush towards the tattoo parlors prior to the ban date taking affect. Some of these guys probably weren’t planning on getting sleeves till someone told them that after this date they wouldn’t be able to. Strange seeing this story on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune this morning.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of it.

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