In regards to the Marine Corps Tattoo Policy

We feel that the Marine Corps Tattoo Policy is unjust and especially unfair to those whom were tattooed before that policy was released.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in regards to the Marine Corps tattoo policy. I believe that this policy is discrimination in its simplest form and is not fair to those who were tattooed before the policy came out. Before MARADMIN 198/07 was released, Marines were allowed to get any number of tattoos, as long as they were not vulgar and were not on the hands, head or neck. When the MARADMIN was released stating that sleeve tattoos were no longer authorized, all opportunities were still available to Marines who had been tattooed before the policy was released, that is, until 2008 when MARADMIN 494/08 was released. This MARADMIN stated that Marines who were grandfathered for sleeve tattoos were no longer allowed to serve as recruiters or Marine security Guard. More recently, MARARDMIN 029/10 which was released in January of this year states that Marines with sleeve tattoos may no longer apply to be officers or warrant officers.

A lot of doors have closed to me, and to a lot of Marines I know personally who have sleeve tattoos and are some of the best leaders I have ever met. I feel those of us who are supposedly "grandfathered" are going to be forced out of the Marine Corps if this policy keeps getting stricter, which it has repeatedly in 2007, 2008, and earlier this year.

I understand creating a policy and sticking to it, but if the Marine Corps says we are grandfathered, that means we did not violate the policy; Yet we are being punished. Equal opportunity applies to all people does it not? Then why is it that just because we got tattoos when it was authorized are we being denied billets, commissioning, and, according to MARADMIN 029/10, promotion? I feel something has to be done or else this is going to escalate and force a lot of great leaders and warfighters out of the Marine Corps.

I propose that the Marines who are "grandfathered" by this policy actually be grandfathered. We should not be denied commissioning or promotion, and we should not be denied billets. We should not be denied reenlistment, or reentry into the Marine Corps as long as our tattoos are documented. I propose that Marines who are grandfathered are treated the same as those who have no tattoos at all.