Having an elaborate set of piercings can be a bold statement, but it can also cause complications in certain professions. The military is one such profession where the potential for risk is much higher than in most other careers. Following a code of conduct and dress code is crucial to the operations of any military branch. In addition to this, many factors like your appearance, hygiene, and attitude will influence your acceptance into any branch of service. Because of this, prospective recruits need to be aware if they are likely to encounter complications when applying. Check out this article to learn more about whether you can get piercings in the military and which branch you should apply to if you want the benefits with minimal complications regarding appearance and dress code.
Can You Have Piercings In The Military?
It depends on what type of piercing you have, and in which part of your body it is located. If a piercing is deemed to be a safety risk, is not hygienic, or is visible in uniform, it can result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge from the military. However, there are some piercings that are more accepted than others. Ear piercings are the most common type of piercing in the military. Depending on the branch of service, they may or may not be allowed.
How Does The Military Dress Code Affect Piercings?
1. Confined To The Ear(S) Only
This probably comes as no surprise to most people, but all piercings must be located in the ear(s). Specifically, you must have holes in your earlobes that are no farther than 1/2 inch from the edge of the earlobe. If you have piercings in other locations, they will need to be removed and closed up. This is a pretty common rule, and it’s one of the ways the military dress code affects piercings. This rule, however, may be a bit more relaxed. It’s important to check with your specific branch to make sure and know what is required.
2. Tattoos Must Be Covered Up
Although tattoos are becoming more and more common, and the number of people with them is rising, many branches of the military require them to be covered. Basically, the rule is that anything that cannot be hidden by your uniform cannot be on your skin. So, if you have a tattoo (or piercings) that cannot be covered, then you won’t be able to serve in the military. This rule is another way the military dress code affects piercings. If you already have tattoos, you may be able to get a waiver for some of them if you’re really set on joining the military. But, this is, again, something you should check with your specific branch to see if it’s possible.
3. May Require A Skin Discoloration Of Your Piercings
This is one of the harsher ways the military dress code may affect piercings. This rule is only relevant if you have piercings above your waistline, like in your chest, abdomen, or anywhere on your back. If you have piercings in these areas and are in the medical field, they may be required to be “discolored.” This means that they will have to be covered with either bandages or a special type of paint that allows your skin to breathe but is still thick enough to cover the holes. This is a pretty harsh rule, but it’s part of the ways the military dress code affects piercings.
4. Earring Studs Must Be Worn At All Times
While this rule may not be as harsh as some of the others, it’s still a way the military dress code affects piercings. Earring studs are clips that are used to hold earrings in place. They are not only more convenient, but they also ensure that no one sees that you even have piercings. This is a rule that is not always strictly enforced, but it is another way the military dress code affects piercings.
5. Piercing Guns Are Strictly Prohibited
If you’re thinking about getting a piercing, the fact that piercing guns are prohibited in the military may be one of the ways the military dress code affects piercings. Piercing guns are not always used, but they are considered to be unclean and unsafe. It’s best to visit a piercer who uses single-use needles, not a piercing gun. Piercing guns are considered unsafe because they are difficult to disinfect and are not highly accurate. If a piercer uses a gun, it’s best to avoid them because it’s unlikely they’re using a sterile gun that can be disinfected. This is one of the ways the military dress code affects piercings.
What Kind Of Earrings Are Allowed In The Military?
- Most branches of the military have a specific set of guidelines for earrings and piercings. The Navy has very specific regulations regarding earrings and piercings, and they have different rules for men and women. For women, having a single ear piercing is allowed, but it must be in the lobe or a second hole in the upper part of the ear.
- Men are allowed to have one single stud or post in their lower lobe. The only other type of earring allowed is an in-the-ear hearing aid. While this can be a great benefit for many soldiers, you’ll need to make sure that you’re eligible before pursuing it. If you want to get your ears pierced and join the Navy, you’ll need to make sure that they are in good health. If you have any recent piercings, they must be healed before you can enlist.
- If your ears aren’t in good health or if you have a history of piercings, there are other branches that may be more accepting of your appearance. The Army allows men and women to wear one single ear piercing per ear. Men are allowed to wear earrings if the hole is healed, but women must wait for three months after getting their piercing before joining the branch. The Air Force also has specific rules regarding piercings and earrings for both men and women. Women are allowed two single ear piercings per ear while men are allowed one single stud or post on the lobe. Only one of these piercings can be larger than a dime in size, and all other piercings must be small enough to be covered by a dime.
- The Army, Air Force, and Navy have very specific guidelines for earrings, but the Marine Corps is a little more lenient. While they do have rules regarding piercings, they are more accepting of non-conventional piercings that are not easily visible. For example, if you have a lip piercing, you will be allowed to wear it as long as it’s not visible while you’re in uniform. If your piercing is visible while in uniform or if it could cause damage to your or someone else’s health, you will be required to remove it before entering service. If your piercings meet the guidelines and don’t pose any health risks to yourself or others, they will most likely be allowed while you are serving in the Marine Corps.
- If your desired branch allows you to have piercings, then the next question on your mind might be what type of earrings are allowed. While some branches have stricter rules than others, most allow stud earrings. These are the most common type of earrings available and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your military look, you can select from a wide variety of dangling earrings as well. You may want to avoid earrings with large or heavy gemstones, though. These can be problematic when wearing protective gear or a gas mask. You may also want to avoid wearing earrings with excessive decoration if you’re aiming to be accepted into certain branches.
Which Branches Will Let You Have Piercings?
- If you get a piercing before applying to a branch, you can rest assured that it will likely be allowed. The only exceptions are if you have an existing medical condition that could be worsened by the piercing.
- If you get a piercing while the application process is underway, it may be removed to avoid complications. Here are some potential branches and the specific piercings they allow: – Army – All piercings are allowed. – Air Force – All piercings are allowed. – Marine Corps – Only one piercing is allowed. – Navy – Only one piercing is allowed. – Coast Guard – Only one piercing is allowed.
If you want to get a piercing in the military, you have to be prepared to remove it if your desired branch doesn’t allow it. It’s best to know beforehand which branches will let you have piercings, and which ones won’t. This way, you can avoid any unnecessary complications with appearance and dress code and focus on your performance. Regardless of which branch you choose, it’s important to stay true to yourself and be confident in your appearance. There will always be people who don’t understand your decisions, so find ways to stay positive and follow your dreams.