If you’re planning on enlisting in the U.S Army, you may want to rethink getting a new tattoo. New U.S. Army recruits will not be permitted to have tattoos below their elbows and knees or above their necklines, according to a new report from a military publication. The ban is a part of new grooming and appearance for soldiers. Stars and Stripes reported on Monday that it has received approval by Secretary of the Army John McHugh and is awaiting his final signature, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler.
Chandler said he expected the changes, which only apply to soldiers because other branches of the military have their own set of regulations concerning looks, to become policy within 30 to 60 days, the military newspaper said.
The changes would apply to Army Regulation 670-1 — the Army’s policy on appearance — and would require all soldiers to “sit down with their unit leaders and ‘self identify’ each tattoo,” according to Stars and Stripes.
Current soldiers will be allowed to have tattoos that violate the new regulations, but new members will be forced to pay for the removal of any tattoo below the knee or elbow or above the neckline, Chandler said.
Any tattoo that is sexist, racist, or extremist will be barred, as they currently are under the Army’s policy.
Chandler told the soldiers the Army wanted to maintain a uniform look, and that soldiers should be recognized for their achievements, not for their appearance.
If a soldier had a curse word tattooed on his neck, for example, “I question, ‘Why there? Are you trying to stand out?'” Chandler said, Stars and Stripes reported.
Some people say that the new standards are put into effect because the army doesn’t need as many soldiers now, but let’s see what happens when more troops are needed.