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Military and tattoos go hand in hand, but not for long

The Army recently announced that they plan to tighten restrictions on tattoos.

Under the new rules, recruits won’t be allowed to have any skin art visible below the knee or elbow or above the neckline.

The stricter policy is expected to take effect in the next 30 to 60 days. Current soldiers who have tattoos that violate the new regulations would be “grandfathered” in as long as the tattoos are not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

New recruits would have to remove all tattoos that stretch into these “violation areas” before they’ll be allowed to join the Army. They’ll also be required to pay out of pocket for the removal.

What is the Army thinking? Do they have a surplus of people waiting around that they can be this picky? Is being willing to die for your country not good enough? All of a sudden, we care if our soldiers have visible tattoos?

Let’s be honest, many of the tattoos you see on military members are ones that remind them of their loved ones back home or honor fellow soldiers who died on the battlefield.

A military commander who spoke with the Washington Post said:

“If the Army wanted its soldiers to have portraits of mothers, names of girlfriends, or drawings of Mickey Mouse on their exposed skin, it would issue them.”

I don’t have any tattoos, and I probably never will. But I know for many it’s a way to express themselves in their own unique way.

I get that a soldier’s life is built upon the concept of uniformity, but is it too much to ask to give them one piece of individuality? I think not.