Army may ease tattoo policy

Army may ease tattoo policy

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Army may ease tattoo policy

ARM tattoo waivers 1 The Army is close to announcing changes to its tattoo policy as it pertains to enlisted soldiers hoping to go officer or make warrant.(Photo: Staff Sgt. Xaime Hernandez, Army)

Tattooed soldiers seeking to trade in their sergeant’s stripes for a lieutenant’s bar may soon see some relief from one of the Army’s most controversial regulations.

The Army is very close to announcing changes to the policy, that will likely relax the rules for soldiers looking to earn a commission.

Army spokesman Paul Prince confirmed a review had taken place and that changes were imminent.

"Specifics about these changes will be published in the forthcoming version of" Army regulations, Prince said.

Army officials are remaining tight-lipped about specific rule changes until the revisions can be published. But it’s likely to be good news for soldiers, many of whom have lambasted the service for not grandfathering enlisted soldiers who want to go officer.

The current version of Army Regulation 670-1, published March 31, includes the following rules:

• No tattoos on the head, face, neck and hands.

• No extremist, indecent, sexist or racist ink.• No more than four visible tattoos below the elbows and knees. In addition, those tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand.• Visible band tattoos cannot be more than 2-inches wide,• Sleeve tattoos are not allowed.But here was the kicker: While most soldiers were going to be grandfathered, the regulation states that enlisted soldiers with illegal ink cannot request commissioning without a waiver.The Army said it tightened its tattoo policies in order to maintain a professional look across the force.The clause angered many soldiers, who took to social media to vent their frustration.Many felt insulted that they were deemed ineligible to be commissioned because of their appearance, especially if their tattoos honored their fellow soldiers killed in combat.Staff Sgt. Adam Thorogood of the Kentucky National Guard filed suit July 10 in federal court, seeking to have the new tattoo rules declared unconstitutional. […]