Strict rules for military tattoos are being loosened by the U.S. Army. Will the Marines follow suit and change its policy on military tattoos? There are reports that the Marines are reviewing their existing tattoo policies. The Army, on the other hand, has already come out and stated there will be major changes to its policies regarding tattoos and soldiers.
Why the changes now? According to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army welcomed, listened to and took into account input from soldiers on military tattoos and the rules and regulations surrounding them. Army officials also took a look at society and probably put some thought into how their present policies could be hurting Army recruiting.
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“Society is changing its view of tattoos and we have to change along with that,” Odierno said. “It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that.”
New Army Policy for Military Tattoos
The previous tattoo policy, which was announced last year, restricted future enlisted soldiers and officers having more than four tattoos below the knee or elbow. The policy also stated that those tattoos could be no larger than the soldier’s hand.
The new Army tattoo policy will remove the limit on the number and size of soldiers’ tattoos. In other words, they’ve basically repealed all the rules put forth last year. One part of the policy which will not change is that tattoos on the face, neck, hands and anything considered extremist, sexist or racist are still prohibited.
The Marine Corps tattoo policy is about to be reviewed, but there was no indication whether or not there would be changes to the policy for Marines and tattoos.
Veterans Share Stories of Military Tattoos
The project was viral hit and featured veterans discussing tattoos and the circumstances under which they got them. And as you can guess, those reasons ranged from remembering a fallen friend to celebrating a coveted assignment. Here is a video about the War Ink military tattoos project.