U.S. Army Tattoo Policy, Changes Ahead 9/25/13
CBS 7 News
September 25, 2013
The U.S. Army wants to stop soldiers from getting tattoos, at least on certain areas of their bodies and the proposal could make a big difference in recruiting soldiers to serve our country.
Under the proposed rule change, new recruits would not be allowed to have visible tattoos below elbows and knees or above necklines.
Getting a tattoo is a decision that will stick with you for the rest of your life and now it could keep you from serving your country.
Currently, no visible, gang related, or lewd images are allowed for army recruits.
According to the U.S. Army the Sergeant Major announced that changes in the current tattoo policy lie ahead but no official changes have been made yet.
"If I were to have initials on my neck for example that would be unauthorized," says Sergeant First Class John Ruiz.
Now, a tradition made popular by sailors and servicemen, may be in jeopardy.
"Obviously it's going to have a huge effect on the tattooing industry," says tattoo artist Carlos Maldonado.
"These guys are putting their life on the line every single day they're out there doing things that we won’t ever get to see or do or think about, you know? If they want to get a tattoo they should be able to get a tattoo," says Hang ‘Em High Tattoo owner Danny Pando.
But the proposed change would not effect everyone who's willing to pay the price.
"We live in a time where I could get this all removed and enlist," says Maldonado.
Those members of the Army who already have visible tattoos will be allowed to keep them but recruits will not have that option.
The U.S. Army has not officially instated the proposed changes however, if they do go ahead, it would take at least 60 days for changes to go into effect.