Marine Banned For Commemorative Tattoo!!

21inkedd in Stories

In recent months a lot has happened and been said in regards to the U.S Military and tattoos. Last month the U.S army announced a change in policy that would in fact favour people with tattoos, in short the army announced that it was relaxing its stance on tattooed soldiers and people with tattoos enlisting. However such a change was not a widespread move and other parts of the U.S Military maintained their strict tattoo code, as has been highlighted within the Marines and the case of Sgt. Daniel Knapp.

Knapp served two deployments, earned a number of promotions and was granted a valour award and all the while had a variety of tattoos, yet it is his most recent body art that has seen his re-enlistment denied by Marine HQ. The tattoo in question is located on Knapp's forearm and is a pair of crossed rifles with the number 0311, the designation for Marine rifleman. The tattoo commemorates Knapp's 2011 deployment in Afghanistan and was okayed by his personal command but was deemed by Marine Corps Headquarters as making Knapp unfit to re-enlist. Aside from his tattoos Knapp is considered a top tier Marine ranking in the top ten-percent in fitness, job performance and marksmanship.

Marine Riflemen designation 0311 can be seen on Knapp's forearm
Marine Riflemen designation 0311 can be seen on Knapp's forearm

Speaking to the Marine Corps Times, Knapp made it his view pretty clear;

"When I was in Afghanistan my tattoos never stopped me from shooting anyone, and they never made me more of a target. They never stopped me from keeping Marines safe. On patrol nothing ever happened because of my tattoos" 

The story of Knapp's re-enlistment struggles is perhaps another demonstration that whenever society takes a step forward with tattoos it soon takes one back. It is true that in the U.S Military tattoos are slowly becoming more accepted but it is also true that it is a slow progression. We all knows tattoos do not effect how a person functions and do not diminish ones ability to excel, but still people fail to see this and until they do people like Sgt. Knapp who are excellent at what they do will suffer the consequences. Knapp however is now considering joining the U.S army that has a less rigorous tattoo code.

For more information on Knapp's story click here!!


@Robert Davies

Tattoodo Staff Writer and tattoo enthusiast. Lover of all things traditional and blackwork!


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