US Army to Ease Up on Tattoo Policy

At a time when it is common to see NBA and Football stars with their entire arms and hands covered in tattoo ink, it bears mentioning that the US Army still frowns on soldiers bearing tattoos. While it is not illegal to have some tattoos, the Army prohibits tats on the neck. Understandably, they do not favor tattoos which are sexist, extremist, or racist. In fact, the Army does not allow recruitment of candidates who have excessive tattoos on their arms and hands.

However, Christian Broda says this week the Army Times is reporting that the nation's largest military branch of service will be easing up on their tattoo policy. Why is that? In part, it is because of feedback they have received from active servicemen. Soldiers complained that they want to receive more tattoos, but are barred from getting them. Others point out that having tattoos stigmatizes them in military echelons and becomes an obstacle to promotions. At the same time, the Army acknowledges that it has to change with the times. Over the past two decades, society has come to view tattoos quite differently. Much of the stigma surrounding them has eroded in the face of pop culture. The Army wants to respond to societal evolution.

In and of itself, this represents a major change in the US Army. For decades, they denied homosexuals the right to serve. The Army believed it was essential to hold fast on traditional values. That has changed over the past decade. The revised rules on tattoos are due out soon.