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In regards to the Marine Corps Tattoo Policy

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To whom it may concern,
I am writing in regards to the Marine Corps tattoo policy. I believe that this policy is discrimination in its simplest form and is not fair to those who were tattooed before the policy came out. Before MARADMIN 198/07 was released, Marines were allowed to get any number of tattoos, as long as they were not vulgar and were not on the hands, head or neck. When the MARADMIN was released stating that sleeve tattoos were no longer authorized, all opportunities were still available to Marines who had been tattooed before the policy was released, that is, until 2008 when MARADMIN 494/08 was released. This MARADMIN stated that Marines who were grandfathered for sleeve tattoos were no longer allowed to serve as recruiters or Marine security Guard. More recently, MARARDMIN 029/10 which was released in January of this year states that Marines with sleeve tattoos may no longer apply to be officers or warrant officers.
A lot of doors have closed to me, and to a lot of Marines I know personally who have sleeve tattoos and are some of the best leaders I have ever met. I feel those of us who are supposedly "grandfathered" are going to be forced out of the Marine Corps if this policy keeps getting stricter, which it has repeatedly in 2007, 2008, and earlier this year.
I understand creating a policy and sticking to it, but if the Marine Corps says we are grandfathered, that means we did not violate the policy; Yet we are being punished. Equal opportunity applies to all people does it not? Then why is it that just because we got tattoos when it was authorized are we being denied billets, commissioning, and, according to MARADMIN 029/10, promotion? I feel something has to be done or else this is going to escalate and force a lot of great leaders and warfighters out of the Marine Corps.
I propose that the Marines who are "grandfathered" by this policy actually be grandfathered. We should not be denied commissioning or promotion, and we should not be denied billets. We should not be denied reenlistment, or reentry into the Marine Corps as long as our tattoos are documented. I propose that Marines who are grandfathered are treated the same as those who have no tattoos at all.

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January 3, 2017
Someone from Terre Haute, IN signed.
1 month ago
Someone from Columbia, MO signed.
December 1, 2016
Marco A. from Placentia, CA signed.
just now
John B. from Las Vegas, NV signed.
just now
Someone from Rushville, IN writes:
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"Those who know me, know how badly I want to be a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Bad enough that I'm considering going through painful hours of lazer tattoo removal. I will also be paying for those sessions myself, and its not cheap by any means. I will remove half an inch of a tattoo that at the time I got it, was in regulations with the Marine Corps policy. Due to the new policy I am told no. Unless you remove it, you are disqualified from D.I. school, recruiters school, and Marine security gaurd school. So I will hurt my wallet, damage my skin, and ruin a piece of art that in 2013 was completely ok for me to have. In a generation of whiney, complaining, entitled youth I dont want to say I'm a victim, but I feel as though I'm being let down by the very institution I just offered four more years of service too. I love my God, I love my country, and I love my Corps. Alter the tattoo policy to allow for grandfathered tattoos to truely be grandfathered. Please, before we loose too many great Marines. Semper Fidelis -Sgt of Marines.
4 months ago
Someone from Key West, FL writes:
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Fighting for what is important is something that resides deeply with me and something I take very seriously. This is what makes me respect the USMC so much. They embody the warrior spirit and are not just a job but a calling. Before I started looking into the military and thinking about joining I got several tattoos. None of which are offensive and on the contrary I think stand for the same things the USMC stand for. Things like honor, respect, and humility. But because of the number and location of these tattoos quite possibly the most important thing in my life might not come to fruition. I cannot express how disappointed I am that all this passion and drive I have to serve among some of the greatest men and women in the world might be wasted because of something so trivial as a tattoo. For me and all others like me I beg you to reconsider.
5 months ago
Someone from Las Vegas, NV writes:
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I am a transgender male, 21 years of age. Since sophomore year of high school I've wanted to be a Marine, at first for over compensation reasons, then because I want to fight for my country. Then I found out that I can't serve my country because of something that I didn't choose and which had no bearing on my qualifications for the job. When the ban was turned over this year, I was excited that I would finally get my chance. Only to be turned away by the recruiter because of my tattoos... Implementing the change they just did for transgender people was momentous and difficult, yet now I'm being discriminated against for something so arbitrary as tattoos? Wow, America... that's what I have to say to that. What was I wanting to fight for when my country is imposing limit after limit on my freedom in something voluntary and life-endagering like the Marines. Are they not professional warriors who should look the part? War is dirty and often traumatizing, yet we are denied the ability to express that in a tasteful manner we think befits us and the Corps we want to represent? I don't get it...
5 months ago
Someone from Schenectady, NY signed.
August 11, 2016
Someone from San Diego, CA signed.
August 5, 2016
Someone from Hanover, MA signed.