Do you have a Tattoo ? If Yes,Say Goodbye to your chances of Being in the Indian Army

Many of you might not be knowing that Army has a TATTOO POLICY.

Thedocument titled ‘Tattoo policy for candidates appearing for SSB interview with permanent body tattoos’ lists out the various places where a candidate can have a tattoo and what kind of a tattoo is acceptable and has been in effect  from 11 May. In short, tattoos are only  permitted on the forearms, and only those from the tribal community will be allowed to have full-blown body ink.

Here are some of the salient features of the policy –

  •  The body parts on which permanent tattoos are permitted are the inner face of forearms from inside of the elbow to the wrist of both the hands and Reverse side of the palm/back (dorsal) side of both hands. These are accompanied by an illustration.

  • Candidates belonging to tribal communities, as per the government’s list, are permitted to have permanent body tattoos on any part of the body as per their customs as long as they sign the proper certification.


TATTOOes in Army
The picture on the right ( taken from the document) tells you exactly where the Army allows you to sport your tattoo. Yup, the army is happy if your tattoo lies anywhere along the length of your forearm or below your knuckles. Any art on your neck or back will be disapproved of.


  • Only small innocuous tattoos not  prejudicial  to military discipline will be permitted.

  • There’s a category titled ‘non-permissible’ tattoos which include indecent, lewd, sexist or racist messages.

  • Body ink has been a contentious issue with the armed forces for some time now. In 2011, a number of candidates were sent away from several recruitment camps for having permanent tattoos. An NDTV report quoted Brigadier Vinod Raizada, Deputy Director General, Recruiting, Jalandhar Cantonment, as saying, “We have instructions since November that any person with tattoos anywhere on the body, except for the arms, cannot be recruited in the Indian Army.”

  • Another report by Hindustan Times in 2012 quoted Colonel GS Daveta, in-charge of the Army Recruitment Office in Mhow, saying that the decision stemmed from the fear of diseases. He says that it is the fear of HIV among those who have tattoos that has made the top brass take this call and that many such cases have surfaced in North-east India where tattooing is a fad. In most cases, the needle used for tattooing spreads the infection.

To Download the Document, Click Here

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