July, 23

US Marine Corps Tattoos: Meaning, Designs and Regulations

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US Marine Corps tattoos have become an increasingly popular way for active and retired Marines to express their pride in their service. These tattoos often feature iconic Marine Corps symbols such as the eagle, globe, and anchor emblem or the bulldog mascot. Some Marines also choose to get tattoos that commemorate specific battles they fought in or units they were a part of.

But beyond just being a form of self-expression, US Marine Corps tattoos hold deep significance for those who have served. They serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by themselves and their fellow Marines, as well as representing the values instilled through military training such as loyalty, courage, and honor.

In this article we will explore the rich history behind US Marine Corps tattoos and delve into some of their most common designs. We’ll also examine what these symbols mean to those who wear them with pride. So if you’re interested in learning more about this unique aspect of American military culture – read on!

US Marine Corps Tattoos: A Symbol of Honor, Bravery, and Camaraderie

When it comes to military tattoos, there are few more iconic designs than those of the United States Marine Corps. These tattoos are a symbol not just of pride in one's service but also a mark of honor, bravery and camaraderie that Marines share with each other.

History and Significance

The history behind USMC tattoos goes back decades. In the early days of the Corps, tattoos were seen as a way for soldiers to identify their unit affiliation or rank. Later on though they became more about personal expression – an outward sign demonstrating pride in being part of such an elite group.

Marines take great pride in being part of this brotherhood and sisterhood – serving alongside others who share similar experiences helps build strong connections between them. There is no better way to show this bond than through getting inked with some form representing your time served.

Popular Designs

Marine corps tattoos come in various shapes and sizes – from small emblems on fingers or wrists all the way up to full-sleeve designs covering arms completely! Some popular designs include:

  • The eagle globe & anchor (EGA) emblem which features prominently on most marine corps insignia.
  • The bulldog; often used as a representation for marines since they're known for their tenacity.
  • Quotes like "Semper Fidelis" ("Always Faithful") that have been adopted by Marines as mottos embodying loyalty towards one another.

While these may be considered traditional styles there's nothing stopping Marines from adding their own unique spin when getting inked!


Aside from being visually striking symbols commemorating your time served proudly within The Few & The Proud franchise itself has many benefits too:

  • Instant Recognition: Often when out-and-about veterans will notice other former servicemen/women because they recognize specific markings shared between them; a feeling of kinship and respect is almost always shared between them.
  • Job Opportunities: Whether it be in law enforcement, private security or military contracting, having ink that aligns with your background can make you stand out to employers potentially leading to more opportunities down the road.
  • Lasting Tribute: The dedication required by becoming a Marine is something only those who've gone through it themselves can understand. Having ink representing this journey serves as a permanent reminder of what was accomplished during their time served – something to take pride in even after their service has ended.

Tips for Getting Inked

Getting tattooed is an exciting venture but there are some things prospective clients should keep in mind:

  • Do Your Research! Make sure you're getting ink done by someone reputable. There's nothing worse than ending up with an infection or subpar work due to poor quality facilities/artists!
  • Placement Matters. Consider where on your body you want the piece placed since certain designs may not translate well onto specific areas (i.e., small details getting lost/smudged over time).
  • Embrace Your Style. While traditional marine corps tattoos may feature similar design elements personalizing/adding unique flair helps distinguish yours from others while still remaining meaningful.


USMC tattoos are more than just skin deep – they're symbols that represent pride, sacrifice and camaraderie forged through rigorous training shared experiences throughout one's service within The Few & The Proud franchise itself.

Whether someone chooses traditional designs showcasing their semper fi spirit like EGA/bulldog motifs or goes rogue incorporating personal touches anything representing one's journey as a Marine will continue carrying significance long after they've hung up their boots for good!


What are US Marine Corps tattoos and what do they represent?

US Marine Corps tattoos are body art designs that represent the Marines, their values, and their accomplishments. These tattoos may include symbols or images of the eagle, globe and anchor emblem (EGA), which is a distinctive insignia worn by enlisted Marines since 1955. Other popular tattoo designs include military ranks, service medals or ribbons earned during deployment to war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan.

The EGA is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world of military tattoos. It consists of an eagle with spread wings standing on a globe with an anchor behind it. The eagle represents America's strength and freedom while the anchor symbolizes stability and security in times of trouble.

These tattoos not only demonstrate pride for one’s country but also tell stories about personal experiences in serving as a US Marine. Every design can have its own meaning; some might show rank, squadron affiliation or special forces status while others may commemorate specific battles such as Iwo Jima or Fallujah.

Can anyone get a US Marine Corps tattoo?

Yes! Anyone can get a USMC tattoo provided they understand what it means to be part of this elite force without ever having served themselves – so long as they have respect towards those who have served our country honorably before getting inked up.

A person doesn't necessarily need to be affiliated with any branch after all you don’t have to join up yourself just because you appreciate what these brave men & women did for us; rather folks choose these types marks due out admiration for those who were willing sacrifice everything including life itself if necessary protect America from enemies both foreign & domestic!

In fact there are many people outside military circles who choose embrace this tradition by getting inked memorialize loved ones lost in combat fight terrorism abroad here at home – hence why veteran-owned shops often see clients seeking custom pieces honor friends family members colleagues fellow servicemen alike

What are some popular US Marine Corps tattoo designs?

As we’ve mentioned before, the EGA is the most recognizable symbol of the Marines and eagle/globe/anchor tattoos are quite common. However, there are various other motifs that you can choose from. The following have been observed to be popular:

  • Traditional nautical stars or compasses
  • Military dog tags with a soldier's name and rank
  • Memorial tattoos with names of fallen comrades in arms
  • Skulls with helmets or rifles indicating service as an infantryman

Some people also get sleeve tattoos that depict their experiences while serving in combat zones like Afghanistan or Iraq where they worked closely alongside other marines & military personnel.

Do US Marines prefer getting tattoos when compared to other branches of the armed forces?

According to a 2016 study conducted by Pew Research Center it was found that 38% of veterans who served post September 11th had at least one visible tattoo on their body.
Studies show that physical markings serve as a form bonding; these soldiers share similar beliefs values ideas outside simply being members same branch all them united under one cause: protect this nation against its enemies foreign domestic.

While many servicemen may get inked up for personal reasons, it’s safe say corpsmen tend be more passionate about this art than anyone else – mainly because wearing these marks means something significant them beyond just looking cool: A testament commitment sacrifice strength courage they demonstrated during time uniform&beyond.

Can women serve as US Marines and get Marine Corps Tattoos?

Yes! Women have long played an important role serving our country since World War II – first performing support roles such clerks nurses then later facing deadly challenges like men both domestic overseas theaters combat operations part elite fighting force tasked protecting United States interests around world including contingencies disasters humanitarian relief efforts .

Women make up over 15% percent active duty personnel in today’s military but still face many unique challenges including the current culture that can be difficult to navigate.

In recent years, there has been a welcome increase in the number of female Marines getting tattoos as they continue to serve and fight for their country with honor. Marine Corps tattoos are an excellent way for these brave women to celebrate their service, camaraderie, and bond with fellow marines who have gone through similar experiences.

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