Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Devil Dogs and Semper Fi.

March 15th, 2009 by

The military has always had a long-standing tradition of tattooing, far longer than many would guess. From the sacred designs of the Ta Moko of the Maori to the Gulf wars, tattooing has predominated the warrior way of life. Even Julius Caesar commented on the “paint” that the Celtic warriors of Briton wore.

While the Navy has always had a long-standing association with tattoos, it is the pride of the Marine Corps in tattooing that deserves some long awaited and deserved attention.

Short of the afore mentioned Maori, one would be hard pressed to find another group that takes as much pride in both their reputation as warriors, and their ink. If I were to count up the number of military tattoos that I have done, the U.S. Marine Corps would be the winner hands down. At least three out of every five military tattoos that I did went into the skin of a Devil Dog.

The U.S.M.C. emblem was one of my favorites to do, as was the different variations of  the Marine Bulldog, and to a man you could see the pride written in their faces once I had finished. Here was what a military tattoo was all about. Brotherhood, pride, and patriotism. A tradition that I hope never to see the end of.

While many of us civilian collectors get our art to make a personal statement, and simply because we love the art in and of itself, the military tattoo holds a special place in the history of tattooing. One that is almost as special as the men and women who serve. It shows their commitment and dedication to keeping us safe in an unsafe world.

While I focused on the U.S.M.C. in this blog to give them some much deserved props, I am not ignoring the rest of our Armed Forces. Each and every one of them deserves our respect and support. I know that there are a lot of tattoo parlors set near our military bases. Mine was not one of them, so perhaps I was in a better position to gauge who was getting tattooed the most. After all, they had to go out of their way to find my shop, and I always cut 50% off of any tattoo that I did for our service men and women.

Still, nothing gave me as much personal satisfaction in my art than when a Marine came into the shop and I was determined to give them my best. (Yes, I did my best for every client, but I was more aware of my desire to do extra special work for our military; especially a Marine.)

So, to all of you out there who are risking your lives in our Armed Services: God bless you all!

And to that special group, The Marine Corps: “SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI.”

Stay safe.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.