Members of the Australian Navy are held to high standards, both in behaviour and personal appearance. Here’s how a tattoo might affect your ability to serve in the Navy.
What to Know About Having Tattoos in the Australian Defence Force — Navy
As with the other branches of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Navy maintains strict regulations regarding behaviour and appearance. You can read more about its policies here. Unfortunately, there’s very little information available on how Navy recruiters view tattoos.
According to the ADF, the current tattoo policies are under review. Until the new tattoo policies are released, Navy recruiters will treat tattoos on a case-by-case basis.
However, we can use past decisions on tattoo cases to gain some insight into how Australian Defence Recruiters may treat tattoos.
Tattoo Policy: Placement
If your tattoo is easily concealed on your body, such as your lower back or ankle, then your tattoo might not get as much attention as one that’s openly visible. In the past, the Australian Navy has turned down applicants who had tattoos on the hands, face, neck, scalp, or ears. One exception to this is an applicant who has a small ring tattoo in the same place where one might wear a wedding or engagement ring.
Tattoo Policy: Content
Every tattoo will be treated on a case-by-case basis when considering applications. However, tattoos that contain offensive or obscene content might eliminate your chances even if the tattoo isn’t easily seen. Examples of offensive or obscene content include but are not limited to: violence, nudity, gang-related images, and symbols of extremist values such as Nazi symbols.
Tattoo Policy: Permanent Makeup Tattoos
In the past, female applicants have been allowed to keep lip or eyebrow tattoos that look like permanent makeup. However, this is only the case if the eyebrow tattoos follow the natural arch of real eyebrows or the lip liner tattoo is flesh-coloured. Otherwise, those tattoos may not be acceptable.
One thing to keep in mind is that these are not up-to-date guidelines, as the ADF is currently reviewing its tattoo policies. If you have specific concerns or questions, you can check with a Defence Force Recruiter.