US Army Considers Tattoo Policy Change

US Army Considers Tattoo Policy Change

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The Army is considering putting some serious restrictions on tattoos for new recruits. And now there are questions if other branches of the military will follow suit.

The armed forces newspaper "Stars and Stripes" says that the restrictions will apply only to new recruits. If the proposal is adopted, the recruits would not be allowed to get tattoos below the elbow and knee or above the neckline.

The newspaper says that existing tattoos would be grandfathered in, but the consequences of getting new tattoos in areas where they're not allowed would range from demotion to discharge, depending on the severity of the offense.

Some soldiers weighed in on the new proposal:

"You have to realize the big picture and you why are doing what you are doing and you have got to sacrifice a lot," said one.

"There's always gotta be somebody else willing to say, ‘I will serve my country.' We have to find them," said another.

Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, has not yet signed off on the new rules.

Currently, the Air Force requires tattoos to not exceed 25 percent of an exposed body part. The Marines allow, at most, four tattoos, and they can't be sleeve tattoos or on the head or neck. The Navy says that tattoos can be no larger than the wearer's hand, and most be able to be hidden by the white uniform. All soldiers in every branch of the military are prohibited from having tattoos that are sexist, racist or extremist.

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