Serve Your Country or Get Inked: The Army Cracks Down on Tattoos

Army Cracks Down on TattoosThe U.S. Army in particular now enforces some of the strictest requirement regarding tattoos. No ink above the neck, below the elbows or knees and if a new recruit already has ink in those places they must pay to remove any in violation of the new policy, and any tats deemed racist, sexist, or extremist also are off limits.

To those already familiar with the historically strict nature of the Army, this may come as no surprise and something that was inevitable sooner or later. Yet, there are certainly many who protest these new restrictions. Not just the die-hard ink hearts, but namely those who follow in a tradition of soldiers who get the names of fallen comrades inked on themselves as a sign of respect and dedication.

This tradition can still be continued, just not on visible skin. For others, the policy, rather than the ink, is a distraction in itself and the Army should be focusing its declining resources on more important matters, like winning future wars.

The Argument that Tattoos are Distractive

It’s tough to argue that tattoos are indeed a distraction. Lets imagine it’s a balmy summer day and there are two people walking toward you on the street, they are both wearing shorts and a T-shirt, but one of them has tattoos covering much of their arms and legs.

Which person do you notice more? Authorities say visible tattoos detract from a uniformed service, where the idea is not to stand out from the rest of the Army. This policy is part of a more broad set of rules involving personal appearance and uniform rules. Although it’s the ink that is getting most of the attention.

The new policy may also help to alleviate tension or bullying within the Army, this reasoning stems from the stereotype that tattoos signify a “tough guy” persona that promotes further segregation among fellow soldiers.

In this sense, the new policy could be a good thing. But for those who already have tattoos in the “banned” areas and want to serve their country, the requirement that they get their tats removed, at their expense, may just be deal breaker. With the popularity of tattoos on the rise and more and more young people getting inked, the Army could see a potential loss of new recruits.

Increased Demand for Laser Tattoo Removal

It looks like the folks benefiting the most from the Army’s crackdown could be those in the tattoo removal business. Luckily, laser tattoo removal is on the rise which means it is being offered in more locations and the technology keeps getting more and more fine tuned. In the not so distant past, if you wanted to remove a tattoo, there was a good chance you’d be left with a disfiguring scar in its place. These days, with advancements in laser technology and a better understanding of how different lasers interact with different inks, there are much higher success rates.

For more information about safe and effective tattoo removal call the laser experts at WIFH who have removed thousands of tattoos. We also offer military discounts so be sure to ask.

Time will tell what the new ink policy will mean for the Army as well as the tattoo and tattoo removal businesses, as established soldiers and new recruits decide what’s more important. Service or ink.

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