Tattoos and Piercings

Will my tattoos stop me joining?

If your tattoo is offensive, obscene or racist it will stop you joining. Small tattoos that aren't offensive in any way are not normally a problem, depending where they are on your body and how visible they are.

Here is our quick guide to the basic rules

  1. The general rule is if your tattoo is visible on a passport photo it will be deemed unacceptable.

  2. Tattoos that are offensive or obscene, ie those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs for example are a no-no.

  3. Tattoos on the hand and the back of the neck are now OK. Most soldiers, however, keep their saluting hand clean out of respect.

  4. Tattoos on the head and face are unacceptable. If you're not sure, pop along to your nearest Army Careers Centre and show them.

I have piercings, can I still join?

Some body piercings will stop you joining, or re-joining:

Piercings that change the way you look, like a 4mm flesh tunnel or larger ones

For health and safety reasons, you will need to take off all jewellery before any physical activity in the application process. Once you have joined the Army, you will be told the rules for wearing body jewellery when on and off duty.

If you're not sure whether your tattoos or piercings will be a problem, you can always pop into your local career centre and get it checked out by our team.

The Joining Process

Find out more about how to join.

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