A year-old video of Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey slamming the Corps’ tattoo policy has resurfaced after being re-posted on several blogs. In the video taken last September at Camp Pendleton, Ermey reveals that he has a pair of lips tattooed on his buttocks. Its just one of a grab bag of tattoos he has all over his body, including some on his forearms, that he says never stopped him from being a squared away Marine.
He echoed those comments in February 2010 during an interview with Marine Corps times, saying that the Marine Corps’ policy has gotten too “nitpicky” especially because tattoos are are a naval tradition.
While he understands why Marines with certain tattoos should be precluded from what he calls “tuxedo” jobs like embassy guard, he says tattoos have no bearing on a Marines’ combat effectiveness. In fact, in the video he says sometimes Marines with tattoos are the harder charging ones in battle, the ones with a little fire in them. Besides, times change. Even his daughters have tattoos, he says.