According to Stars and Stripes, the Army is calling for a potential ban on tattoos, or at least their placement. Specifically, they’d like to ban ink that’s visible above the collar and below the elbow and knee. It’s unclear whether this ban is on new tattoos only, or will only be in effect for existing tats.
Soldiers have always been banned from having tattoos that depict racist, sexist, or extreme political messages, or for ones that appear on the head and face, and the Army says that will not change. However, the fact is that many soldiers commemorate fallen comrades or their participation in particular battles with tattoos, so the issue is not a small one for many soldiers. When asked why they were making the change, the Army spokesperson stated that they were hoping for a more "uniform" appearance.
Army Regulation 670-1, as the new policy is known, has been initially approved, but needs final sign-off from Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, before it will be go into effect. An Army spokesperson said that once the policy is signed, it will take about 30-60 days to enact the new regulation. Once the policy is in place, soldiers will have the opportunity to sit down with their unit leaders and “self-identify” their tattoos, which we think could make for some interesting conversations!
How do you feel about this policy? Are you a member of the military, or do you have a spouse in the Army who has a tattoo? Share your thoughts with us.