U.S. Army updates tattoo policy to allow some hand, ear and neck tattoos

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Posted at 4:33 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 16:33:44-04

The U.S. Army is updating its tattoo policy.

According to a memorandum issued Wednesday from the Secretary of the Army, effective immediately, Army policy surrounding tattoos now allows some tattoos on the hand, ear and neck.

The updated guidelines can be found below:


  • One visible tattoo on each hand (including the palm), not to exceed one inch in measurement in all directions.
  • An unlimited number of tattoos between the fingers as long as they are not visible when the fingers are closed; and one ring tattoo on each hand.


  • One tattoo on the back of the neck, not to exceed two inches in measurement in all directions.
    • Tattoos are still prohibited on the head and face (except for permanent makeup as provided in reference 1d, paragraph 3–2b(2)) of the memorandum and inside the eyelids, mouth and ears. Previously documented tattoos on the neck or hands, for which Soldiers have a tattoo validation memorandum, remain authorized.)


  • One tattoo behind each ear, not to exceed one inch in measurement in all directions, not to extend forward of the ear lobe.

Prohibitions on the type of tattoo or brand are still in effect. Exceptions to the policy will be submitted in accordance with reference 1d, paragraph 3-3.

Soldiers may still submit religious accommodation requests for a waiver to Army regulations using the procedures outlined in AR 600-20.

Click here to read the entire memorandum.