Army proposing new tattoo ban - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Army proposing new tattoo ban

(KLTV) -

Thinking about joining the army? If so, you better think before you ink.

A new proposal from The U.S. Army would limit where a recruit could have a tattoo and what a tattoo stands for. If approved, the new rules would go into effect in 30 to 60 days.

"It's appearance; it's about how the soldier projects himself to the community," Retired Maj. Gen. John Furlow, said.

Since the new tattoo restrictions for U.S. Army Recruits were released, the tattoo community has been abuzz.

"And we want people to help fight and defend our country and they're willing to go and die, but we're not willing to let them serve us because for somebody else's judgment, for somebody else's prejudice," David Dunham, an apprentice at Fireline Tattoos, said.

Not all tattoos would be banned, just those that are sexist, racist, or extremist. If Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler has his way, tattoos will be much less apparent.

From the elbow down, from the neck up, and from the knee down, will all be off limits for tattoos. Chandler said, "The Army wants soldiers to stand out because of their achievements, not because of the way they look."

If approved, new recruits will be required to fill out a piece of paper indicating where they have tattoos and what they stand for.

"So, you get that particular tattoo to remind you every day, hey, I did this, I conquered this, we achieved this, and this is what we fought for," Brandon Nichols, Fireline Tattoo Shop's Manager, said.

He sees a lot of active Army men and women get inked.

"Every tattoo means something; there's a story behind it," he said.

Many are military-themed.

"It's funny because I've kind of watched it over the generations...there was a period of time where tattoos were almost mandatory," Furlow said.

Strictly generational, perhaps?

"It probably is going to be a generational deal, and twenty years from now it'll be a non-issue," he said.

Current members of the Army who have tattoos in spots potentially against the rules will still be allowed to serve and will not be required to have their tattoos removed. They will be grandfathered in.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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