New rules have been handed down by the top brass at the US Marine Corps, to set rules and standards around the wave of body art apparently worn these days on parade grounds. But have they thrown the baby out with the bathwater and accidentally banned Scalp MicroPigmentation? We investigate.

Pride In Service

usmc

Tattooing in the US military goes back a long way and started in the Navy. Around the turn of the 19th Century sailors began to return to US ports with souvenirs of their travels to distant lands, in the form of skin art. Initially, these designs were those that they saw on their travels and so reflected the wide range of cultures these pioneering travellers were exposed to.

Times have changed and while the appetite for ink in the military has grown exponentially the styles have changed completely. Though some tribal and ethnic tattoos can be seen, the vast majority reflect the wearers pride in service – The Warrior Ethos is popular, but many will wear physical souvenirs of specific campaigns or battles. Sadly increasing in popularity are memorial tattoos, permanent reminders of fallen brothers in arms. It is about pride and togetherness, and why you don’t see McDonald’s employees sporting the company logo in ink.

New Rules

tattoo regs

As part of a process of continually fiddling with the rules on tattoos, to keep them relevant and meaningful, the US Marine Corps has produced an incredibly detailed 12 page instruction set outlining precisely, very precisely in fact, what is and what is not acceptable.

Noted already for having the strictest approach on tattoos the USMC has really pushed the boat out in setting clear standards. The picture above is a visual aid to where you cannot have ink… notable to most will be that the elbow is off limits.

What About SMP?

Virtual SMP

Notable to us of course is the head in that picture. It would suggest that there is no place on the parade ground for a marine with an SMP, we appreciate this has almost certainly been an unknowing oversight but just the same is worth flagging. We know for a fact there are already serving members with SMP… it can achieve a perfect replication of the army cut. Will they be required to hand themselves in? Would they be asked to get it removed if they did… even though until they handed themselves in nobody would have known.  If you think it can be difficult to be sure whether a random shaved head in the street is the result of SMP then wait till you are looking at 500 marines standing in a bunch.

HIS Hair Clinic

HIS logo

We stand ready to support any serving marine who runs into trouble with his superiors. We can provide plenty of evidence that the treatment has, as it’s sole aim, the desire to return the individual to a situation that they consider normal, or standard. As such there is no art involved, merely a compensation for a shortcoming in their own genetics.

 

 

 

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By Ian Watson

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