New Tattoo Rules Coming

At this moment in history, the US Army has many things they should be focusing their full attention on. True to the Army way, a far less important issue is in the spotlight. Overlooking integration issues stemming from the push to admit women into combat roles, and the growing mental health problem, Big Army has instead decided to focus on tattoos. Way to home in on the really critical issues there senior leadership (snark). AR 670-1, times are a’changin. Let the largely counterproductive tattoo witch-hunt begin!

Under the updated regulations, new recruits will not be permitted to have tattoos that show below the elbow, knees, or above the neckline. Soldiers currently in service may (may? sure…) be grandfathered in. Furthermore, all soldiers will still be barred from having any tattoo that is racist, sexist, or extremist. Once the new rules are implemented, soldiers will ‘self identify’ their tattoos to unit leaders. Soldiers with tattoos that violate the policy will be required to pay for the removal of any offending tattoo.

For tattoos above the neckline, yeah, I can agree with that. They look tacky, and unprofessional, so I get that. Those below the elbow of knee though, I don’t see the problem. The ‘self identify’ bit is pure comedy gold. The way I see this working, is those high speed soldiers in their commands good graces will get a pass, while those less than high speed soldiers, not in their commands good graces, will catch a hammer in the face. Requiring soldiers with tattoos found to be in violation to pay out of pocket for removal of the offending tattoo is a nonstarter. Young soldiers, for the most part, lack the funds needed for costly tattoo removal procedures. A worst case scenario example would be a young lower enlisted soldier, living off base, who is married with three kids. Tell me, where is that soldier going to find the funds? Short answer is he won’t.

As for the types of tattoos being barred, who decides what is racist, sexist, or extremist? One mans strange is another mans normal. Lets toss out some examples of what may fit this broad range of unacceptable tattoos. A confederate flag? It could easily be construed as a racist symbol. Does that mean an individual with a confederate flag is racist? No. Bettie Page tattoo? Sure, that could easily be seen as sexist. Does that mean the Bettie Page tattoo is a symbol of sexist leanings? No, it doesn’t.  Molon labe tattoo? This is one I can see certain commands construing as extremist. Many other examples of how this witch-hunt can go astray exist, but these were the first off the top of my head.

In my eyes, this entire effort is misguided, and far off target. Who gets the Meritorious Service Medal for this? This entire effort makes about as much sense as the banning of the toe shoe, due to the toe shoe detracting from a professional military image. To this day, I fail to see how these detracted from a professional military image for a soldier in PT gear. What detracts from a professional military image is the overweight finance kid, huffing and puffing during a unit run, while turning various shades of red or crimson. Let us not focus on that leadership failure, but instead rid the Army of the plague that is the toe shoe.


Toe shoe. Got a pair, and love them.

Welcome to a peacetime Army! For those who joined over the last twelve years, this will be an all new experience. Garrison commandos love a peacetime Army, as it allows them to flex their bureaucratic muscle, in pursuit of ever larger PCS awards. Fire up your floor buffers, break out the pine oil, and start your engines gentlemen. Garrison antics will soon be upon you.



~ by arcturus415 on September 25, 2013.

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