The Royal Navy has launched strict new recruitment rules which ban racist, sexist or drug-related tattoos.
While sailors for centuries have enjoyed getting tattoos to mark their sea going adventures, military chiefs say any artwork that depict politics, violence or any reference to drugs will now rule out would-be seamen.
Despite this, Navy chiefs stress most tattoos and piercings won't prevent recruits joining the Royal Marines providing they are not visible on a front view passport.
The tougher rules state: 'Tattoos are not visible on a front-view passport - i.e. not on your face, throat area or in front of your ears; tattoos are not offensive or obscene. Tattoos on hands are now acceptable.
'Any piercings must be removable and flesh tunnels are a barrier to entry.'
The tradition dates back more than 300 years when Captain Cook explored the Pacific and his crew copied the tattoos worn by natives as 'souvenirs'.
Would-be recruits are told they will need to fill in a form describing their tattoos - and must also strip off to show them during the selection process.
They will also be required to remove certain body jewellery before taking part in any physical activity.
The inkings that are prohibited are those that are offensive or obscene and depict any image of a sexual act, extreme pornographic behaviour, violence of any kind, drugs, racism, political views or sexism.
Rules on tattoos in the military
Any visible tattoos can stop people from being accepted into the military.
The Army relaxed their rules on tattoos in 2014 allowing them on the back of a hand or back of a neck.
Originally soldiers could only have them on the upper arm as they could be hidden by uniform.
However, tattoos that are obscene, ie those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs for example are a no-no.
In 2013-14, the Army rejected 336 applications because of offensive or inappropriately placed tattoos, a Freedom of Information request showed.
One in five Britons now has a tattoo, according to research cited by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2012.