No ink below the elbow or knee? Army to introduce new tattoo policy

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-23 17:53:39-04

No more “Soldier's Cross.” No more “Warrior Ethos” and no more tattoos period below the elbow or knee.

According to the Pentagon newspaper “Stars and Stripes,” that's the word straight from the Command Sergeant Major of the Army, as he prepares to enact strict new tattoo regulations in the next 30-60 days.

“It’s going to affect a lot of people. Everyone I know has tattoos, and they are showing everywhere,” said Justin Jones, a potential new recruit.

With the new tattoo policy, the Army would become even stricter on their ink than other branches of service.

The Navy, Marines and Air Force still allow tattoos on lower legs and lower arms, within certain limits.

Most current Army soldiers would not even be able to meet the new standards--that's why, according to “Stars and Stripes,” the Command Sergeant Major says he may grandfather them in.

While it probably won’t affect those already in the Army, recruits coming to enlist in the Army will have to deal with the changes.

“I think it crosses a lot of people off the list to join,” said Sean Fitzgerald, a senior at ODU thinking about joining the military.

And Fitzgerald himself is one of them. He has a small tattoo of his initials on his forearm, and never thought it would be a problem in joining the military until now.

“Now it affects me joining certain branches,” said Fitzgerald.

Army recruiters in Norfolk want potential enlistees to know this new tattoo policy is not official just yet.

“We haven’t gotten any doctrine on our desk yet telling us it’s changing, but I would say in this area, it would affect some individuals from entering the Army,” said Staff Sergeant Robert Black, the assistant Commander of the Norfolk Army Recruiting Center.