U.S Army Relaxes Tattoo Policy
Almost a year after tightening up its stance on tattoos the U.S army is again changing its Tattoo policy.
For the past twelve months the rules had maintained that enlisted soldiers were only allowed a maximum of four tattoos and these were then limited to the size of the individuals hand and had to be located either below the elbow or below the knee...but nowhere else!!! Of course such measures were not without opposition, most of which came from the soldiers themselves!
The new plans for tattoos and enlisted individuals were revealed by Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno at a military conference in Alabama and state that a soldier is now okay to have tattoos of their choosing and placement so long as they are not offensive or located on the head, neck or face. To be implemented in the near future the new tattoo regulations are deemed a step back in the right direction. Previously under the, soon to be, old regulations enlistment had seen a rise in rejections of qualified individuals purely because they had tattoos!! Speaking in regards to the issue Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey shared his opinion;
"There is a large portion of the American society that has tattoos...There was a population that we were disqualifying from military service because of this new regulation"
It has not been stated whether this played a role in changing the restrictions on tattoos but its safe to assume it would have helped. Tattoos are a part of modern society and institutions such as the army have to recognise it as such. More and more people are getting ink but that does not change how they function, a soldier will be a soldier whether they have tattoos or not. General Ray Odierno alluded to this when expressing the relaxation of tattoo policy;
"Society is changing its views of tattoos and we have to change along with that"
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At the end of the day, regardless of the reasoning behind the change in policy it is good news for tattooed soldiers and tattooed people looking to serve their country. Having a piece of ink is in truth a superficial element of a person, it does not determine how they function and it is good news that organisations like the U.S Army recognise it in this way. Perhaps this change in tattoo policy will have a wider affect in other areas of employment... but we shall wait and see...