Soldiers can have more tattoos under new Army policy

Soldiers can now get tattoos on more body parts army Decided to relax rules on body ink.

Pentagon officials said the move was to help bolster General James McConville’s declining hiring. army The chief of staff called it a “battle for talent.”

Updated directive, signed by ministers this week army Christine E. Wormuth, allows recruits and active duty soldiers to get tattoos on their hands, behind their ears and behind their necks.

“right army The tattoo policy allows individuals eligible for all other appointments or enlistment the opportunity to serve,” the memo noted. “They also support armyThe personnel strategy, our number one priority, by giving Soldiers options…considering professional image and good order and discipline. “

In the past, recruits with body art in these fields had to file a waiver exception, sometimes taking weeks to begin military training. From January to May 2022, army Pentagon officials said recruiters applied for more than 650 waivers for active-duty and reserve recruits.

“This directive is meaningful to Soldiers currently serving and allows more talented individuals to have the opportunity to serve now,” Major General Doug Stitt, armyThe director of military personnel management said in a statement.


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A 2019 survey by polling firm Ipsos found that 30 percent of Americans reported having at least one tattoo, up from 21 percent in a similar survey in 2012. army Recruiters, the same 2019 poll found that 40 percent of Americans under 35 — two in five — have at least one tattoo.

Major Ashley Sykes, with armyThe Uniform Policy Unit of the United States says people get tattoos for a variety of reasons.

“Some see it as art, some see it as personality, and some may even have cultural tattoos,” Sgt. Major Sykes, who has tattoos herself. “Tattoo more [accepted] Now. This is a social change. “

This army There is no attempt to hide the fact that under-recruitment is helping drive the new tattoo policy.In a tight private sector job market, military recruiting overall faces its biggest challenge in years, while armyAs the largest U.S. military, it has been hit especially hard.This armyThis year’s headcount will be down by 12,000 as there are not enough volunteers to fill the ranks.

“This is probably the most challenging recruiting market we’ve seen in the past 20 years,” St. Clair Lin, the assistant deputy at the Defense Department for onboarding, manpower and reserves, told a news conference Thursday. Mr St. Clair said military officials were reviewing whether some other medical and health requirements could be modified to allow more candidates to be eligible for service.

Army Recruiting Command and armyBoth the Training and Doctrine Commands are advising senior leaders to change tattoo policies.

“Some [recruits] Might change their minds or move to a different service,” Sgt. Major Sykes said. Or “they just don’t want to wait any longer. “

Now is not the open season for military body ink: army Tattoos on soldiers’ faces will continue to be banned. Only one two-inch tattoo is allowed on the back of the neck and one one-inch tattoo on the back of each ear – no more than the earlobe. To comply with the rules, troops are not allowed to cover tattoos with bandages, officials said.

Soldiers with tattoos that do not meet the requirements will have 15 days to decide whether to remove or change the body art. Those who don’t comply could be forced out of the military, officials said.

Not everyone agrees that the move will go a long way toward meeting the service’s recruiting challenges.

“It’s going to win the support of eight people. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind.” army The Reddit page wrote on Thursday.

This army The tattoo policy was last relaxed in 2015 after hearing feedback from troops and senior enlisted leaders. Soldiers are no longer limited to a specific size or number of tattoos on their arms and legs, as long as the subject of the tattoo is not extremist, indecent, sexist or racist.



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