Tags: Army | soldiers | tatoos | Ray Odierno

Army Easing Policy on Soldiers' Tattoos

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 01:13 PM

If you want to enlist in the Army, but your skin is sporting too much decorative "ink" to allow you to qualify, relax — change is on the way.

The Army is about to revise its Army Regulation 670-1, in regard to soldiers' appearance, to drop the limits on the number of hidden tattoos a soldier can have, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The current year-old policy reads: "Soldiers may have no more than four visible tattoos below the elbow (to the wrist bone) or below the knee. The tattoos in these areas must be smaller than the size of the wearer's hand with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger. The total count of all tattoos in these areas may not exceed a total of four."

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, speaking at the Association of the U.S. Army meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, said: "Society is changing its view of tattoos, and we have to change along with that. It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that," Army Times reported.

The new policy, which an Army spokesman told the Journal will go into effect "in the very near future," still bans tattoos on the face, head, wrists and neck, tattoos on the hands, excepting a ring tattoo on each hand, and tattoos which are offensive, racist, sexist, extremist or vulgar, the Journal notes.

The Army has had difficulties finding new recruits, with the military estimating that 71 percent of potential enlistees are unable to qualify for various reasons, including obesity, insufficient education, drug use, felony convictions and, yes, too many tattoos, the Journal noted in 2014.

Army First Sgt. James Sawyer told the Journal: "The average person in California has a tattoo."

Sgt. Major of the Army Dan Dailey told the Army Times: "As long as it's not visible in the Army uniform, that's the spirit of what we went after."

Soldiers previously were not allowed to have tattooed "sleeves" on arms and legs, because of the sheer number and size of tattoos involved, and the revision of the appearance code will change that, Our Quad Cities noted.

Army spokesman Wayne Hall said the change will allow 'sleeve' tattoos as long as they are not visible when a soldier is in dress uniform.

"This is essentially rolling the regulation back to what it was before the last change," Hall told Stars and Stripes.

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The Army is about to revise its Army Regulation 670-1, in regard to soldiers' appearance, to drop the limits on the number of hidden tattoos a soldier can have, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Army, soldiers, tatoos, Ray Odierno
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2015-13-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 01:13 PM
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