The Army has changed its policy on tattoos, tightening the rules on new recruits. According to the Army, the goal is to encourage professional appearances.
However, since the change went into effect at the end of March, hundreds of people who wanted to join have been rejected. Now, several military veterans are speaking out about this new policy.
“You're more or less stereotyping. You know what I mean? You're putting these people in a category that because they got tattoos that makes them a certain type of person,” said Craig Smith, a former Marine who served during Desert Storm.
Smith has plenty of tattoos, some of which would disqualify him if he tried to enlist in the Army today. Most of his tattoos are military related.
“Well these are just gravestones for all the dead marines,” he said while pointing to his left arm.
According to the new rules, soldiers are prohibited from having tattoos on their head, face, neck, wrists, hands or fingers. They can’t have more than four visible tattoos below their elbow or below their knee and it must be smaller than their hand.
If recruits have these banned tattoos, they can’t sign up.