The tattoos associated with British marine are two million veterans currently carry with them one of the most identifiable and permanent symbols of military service ever used the tattoo. Although it was once solely the realm of barnacled sailors and outlaw bikers, tattoos are now so mainstream that they have almost become a requirement for celebrities. However, the military tattoo is a special case, with a foot in two worlds. In one sense, military tattoos are much like any other type of tattoo, serving many personal purposes ranging from mementos, milestones, and memorials to risk-taking behaviour, sheer body adornment, and even curiosity. In the other sense though, in their long and varied past, these symbols in the skin have also managed to capture not only personal history but military history as well.