All You Wanted to Know About Military Tattoos


There are many military branches that bear unique emblems that those in the service may use to represent their affiliation. For example, someone in the Army may choose to wear a U.S. Army flag, which depicts the war office seal in blue, the words “The United States Army” on a red banner, and the year 1775 – the year in which the Army was established. Other Army-related military tattoos may show symbols pertaining to rank or branch, such as Cavalry, Infantry or Military Intelligence. In addition, some army tattoos depict the same decorations and awards that may be seen on the wearer’s uniform.

Like military tattoos that focus on those in the Army, Navy pieces often display rate, rank and affiliations. One of the more common pieces for this type of tattoo displays a rating badge that is often worn by those in the Navy. These badges are generally elongated squares that end in distinct points. At the center of these patches are chevrons. Above this emblem is a symbol of the wearer’s occupational specialty, while below it there are lines that meld to the lower point of the badge and serve in indicate pay grade. Other styles of Navy tattoos might show the official Navy emblem or ship classifications.

Marine Corps and Air Force military tattoos also occasionally show symbols of position, but generally depict official emblems. For example, the Marine Corps official seal may be seen, which depicts the globe held down by an anchor. Atop this globe sits an eagle bearing a scroll that states the Marine Corps motto “Simper Fidelia,” or “always faithful.” Marine Corps tattoos may also show badges that relate to certain qualifications such as diving or parachuting. One of the most common Air Force tattoos shows the well-known symbol, which shows a set of stylized wings made up of three lines and a lower portion made of a star, a sphere and three diamond shapes. Air Force roundels, relevant shields and badges are also popular choices for this style.

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