Old School Army Tattoos

Tattoo Symbolism for Soldiers

Tattoos can symbolize patriotism and loyalty to their nation for soldiers, representing strength and bravery during combat. Different military branches have varying restrictions on tattoo placement.

Eagles as Military Tattoos

Eagles are iconic military tattoo symbols, signifying power, strength, dominance, and spirituality. They can be designed with spread-out wings on the half sleeve or placed on the chest, often combined with American flag motifs for a powerful patriotic statement. Eagle tattoo styles range from traditional to sketch or ornamental variations.

Snake Tattoos for Soldiers

Snake tattoos are another popular choice among soldiers, symbolizing potency, power, and protection against misfortune. These designs are often coiled and ready to strike, making them ideal for forearm placement. Snake Tattoos can also incorporate fertility symbolism or Asclepius’ rod, particularly for healthcare and army medical personnel.

Patriotic Tattoos and Flags

Tattoos serve as a means of self-expression for soldiers, allowing them to display pride in their unit, service, patriotism, and honor fallen comrades. Popular symbols include eagles, the American flag, dog tags, mission names, and battlefields. Some soldiers even tattooed their dog tag information for identification purposes during battle.

US Marine Corps Crest Tattoos

The US Marine Corps Crest, featuring an eagle and globe, holds significant meaning for marines, constantly reminding them of their sacrifices for their nation and fellow sailors. It represents the motto “Semper Fi” and is a source of great pride among marines.

Patriotism and Tattooing

Tattooing became prevalent among American soldiers in the 19th century. Sailors used tattoos to identify themselves to the British Navy and often incorporated patriotic symbols like flags, weapons, and military equipment into their designs. Patriotism is an emotional connection between citizens and their nation, involving belief in democratic principles, rights, freedoms, and a sense of belonging to a group with shared goals and values.

Regulations and Tattoos in the Army

As stated in Army regulations, soldiers are not permitted to have tattoos on their face, neck, hands, or elbows while on active duty. However, certain branches allow Tattoos such as red berets to symbolize readiness to serve and display branch, rank, or specialization preference.