Army Tattoo Policy Could Affect New Recruits

By: Ellisha Rader Mannering - September 25, 2013

Many people choose to get tattoos. Some get symbols that have special meanings and others get them to reflect their personality. Regardless of the reason a person gets a tattoo, it is their own personal decision to get inked. Most people that don’t like someone tattoo will just look the other way, but not the United States Army.

They are considering a ban on tattoos that can be seen below the elbow and knee and above the neckline. If the ban does go into effect, it will probably not affect those who are already members of the army, as old tattoos will be grandfathered in. It will effect new recruits and could even have an impact on the number of people who enlist.

“I think it crosses a lot of people off the list to join,” said Sean Fitzgerald, a senior at ODU thinking about joining the military. ““Now it affects me joining certain branches.”

Although the ban is not official, it may already be discouraging some individuals from joining. Recruiters want these people to know that the ban is not yet in effect but could be in the near future.

“We haven’t gotten any doctrine on our desk yet telling us it’s changing, but I would say in this area, it would affect some individuals from entering the Army,” said Staff Sergeant Robert Black, the assistant Commander of the Norfolk Army Recruiting Center.

The reason behind the ban is to create a more uniform look among soldiers. Current soldiers are not allowed to have tattoos that are indecent, sexist or racist, and from tattoos or brands on the head or face. The army issued a statement saying they were “conducting a final review of the forthcoming uniform policy – Army Regulation 670-1 prior to its implementation.”

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author

Ellisha Rader ManneringEllisha is a writer, wife, and mommy to Cyrus and Milo. She enjoys fishing, hiking, being outdoors, shopping, traveling with her family and teaching baton twirling. Follow her on Twitter @lishann

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    Great idea.