Serving in the Army can be a rewarding career and a noble way to give back to your country. But what if you have tattoos—are you still eligible? The Australian Defence Force is currently reviewing its tattoo policies, but here’s what we know so far.
The Army’s regulations on tattoos are included in its Behaviour and Appearance policies, which you can review in detail here. However, the details surrounding tattoos are vague and minimal. According to the ADF, the current policies are under review, and until new policies are released, tattoos will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
However, previous tattoo cases can give some insight into how Australian Defence Recruiters may view tattoos.
Tattoos that are easily concealed on the body may not be as much a cause for concern as highly visible tattoos. In the past, the Australian Army has been known for turning down applicants with tattoos on the face, neck, scalp, or ears, as well as tattoos that cover a large portion of their hands. However, a small ring tattoo in the same place where one would wear a wedding ring might be acceptable.
Keep in mind that these are not current guidelines, as the tattoo policies are being reviewed. You can check with a Defence Force Recruiter for specific questions and concerns.
While every tattoo will be treated on a case-by-case basis, the Australian Army isn’t known for allowing offensive or obscene tattoo content. Examples may include nudity, gang symbols, marks of extremist nature such as Nazi symbols, or violence. Tattoos that are offensive or obscene in nature may receive increased scrutiny even if the tattoo is not normally visible.
Female applicants have been able to have eyebrow tattoos and lip tattoos that resemble lip liner as long as those tattoos look natural. However, eyebrow tattoos that do not follow the natural arch or lip tattoos that are non-flesh-coloured may not be acceptable.