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New Army tattoo regulations take affect

On March Thirty-First, the United States Army published and put into effect a new set of regulations concerning tattoos on soldiers.

Regulation 670-1 is concerned with the uniform and grooming of soldiers and includes what type, where, and how soldiers may get tattoos.
Channel Three's Rob Brown tells us more about the regulations, and how it might affect the culture of tattoos in the military.
A new policy being put into place by the army restricts the size and location of tattoos service members are allowed to receive. It's got some people talking about the growing popularity and culture of tattoos in the military."

The new regulation states tattoos may not be above the neckline of a t-shirt, or past the wrist. Tattoos wrapping around the arms or legs may not be wider than two inches. Tattoos below the elbows or knees must be smaller than the hand, and only four may be visible. Skin below the elbows or knees may not be entirely covered. While soldiers already tattooed in those areas can be grandfathered in, enlisted soldiers out of code may not request a commission. The army falls in line with other branches of the military, who have nearly identical regulations.

Gerry Harrison "I've had people come in and talk to me about tattoos, and then they say 'I want to go back and recheck my regulations to make sure I'm not going to cross the line."

Gerry Harrison says well over half of his business comes from military members, and that their tattoo choices have gotten more bold over the years.

Gerry Harrison "They're definitely a lot more accepted in society now a days, and not frowned upon. So a lot of guys are getting them in more visible spots. You know, the forearms, you see a lot of that."
Harrison says that throughout military history, military members have used tattoos to show pride in their job, and he hopes that new regulations won't prevent them.

Gerry Harrison "A lot of them have things related to pride in their job, and whatever their particular job is that they're doing. And that's probably what I see the most of, when they have job related or military related pieces."

With the history of tattoos in the military going back generations, Harrison says you can restrict the tattoos military members receive, but you'll never end that tradition. In Okaloosa County, Rob Brown, Channel Three News.

Navy policy prohibits tattoos that are obscene, sexually explicit or tattoos that advocate discrimination of any kind.

If Navy personnel have tattoos, they can not be visible while in uniform.
And personnel are not allowed to have tattoos on their head, face or neck.

The Air Force policy is similar.
Tattoos that are obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are not allowed in or out of uniform.
And tattoos can not be visible on personnel while they are in uniform
Violators can be disciplined or dismissed from the service.