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What Does the US Military Think of Tattoos?

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We live in an era where the importance of freedom of speech is emphasized to a great extent. When it comes to freedom of expression, the type of expression is unique to every individual and can take a range of methods and forms. Even forms that were once considered mutilation are now widely accepted and celebrated. When it comes to the United States Military, the relationship between the military personal and tattoos cannot be denied. However, there have always been standards across all U.S. military branches as to the tattoo’s content, location and size that personnel can get done on their body before the enlistment process. These regulations help maintain a standard appearance, in the same way that each military branch maintains its standards for a uniform. In order to enforce these regulations, the recruits receive a full physical check up to evaluate whether or not they’re fit for duty. In this physical examination, you will also be looked over by a military doctor who’ll assess the artwork you have on your body to determine if it violates any of the military’s policies on tattoos. Below you’ll find the tattoo policies of the US Navy, Army, and Marines. United States Navy In terms of the tattoo content, the US Navy doesn’t want their sailors covered in gang signs or swastikas. In short, if a tattoo has the potential to jeopardize the cohesion of the unit, incite anger or happens to be explicit in nature, the Navy doesn’t allow it. In terms ...Read More »

For the Record: The Coney Island of the West


Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: The Pike, often known as the “Coney Island of the West”, was a large amusement park located on the waterfront in Long Beach, California. It all started with a pier that was built in 1893 that grew into a major amusement area. It is unknown when or where the first tattooist set-up shop at the Pike, but it was probably in the corner of one of those small arcades that lined the, “Walk of a Thousand Lights…”Read More »

For the Record: Doc Webb (UDT)


Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Before Doc Webb came into the tattoo world he worked as a commercial artist for the Fox West Coast Theaters. He also worked in Seattle, Washington at local arcades making signs. While working at these arcades Doc Webb met tattooist Bob Kelton. As fate would have it before too long Doc Webb had a tattoo machine in his hands and he spent the next 40 plus years working as a tattooist. Doc Webb operated shops in Vallejo, California and in San Diego, California. In fact, he spent his entire tattoo career around the military and the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) flash sheet seen here is a classic example of Doc Webb’s tattooing style.Read More »