WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 31, 2014) -- The number, size and placement of tattoos have been dialed back under revised Army Regulation 670-1, which governs the Army's grooming standards and proper wear of the uniform.
The revised regulation was published yesterday, along with Department of the Army Pamplet 670-1, outlining the new standards. Effective dates for the various changes can also be found in All Army Activity message, or ALARACT 082-2014.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III addressed why the changes were made.
"The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American public measure our professionalism is by our appearance," he said. "Wearing of the uniform, as well as our overall military appearance, should be a matter of personal pride for all Soldiers.
"Every Soldier has the responsibility to understand and follow these standards," he continued. "Leaders at all levels also have a responsibility to interpret and enforce these standards, which begins by setting the example."
Some of the changes include:
Tattoos cannot be located anywhere on the neck or head above the lines of a T-shirt. They also cannot be located anywhere below the wrist bone.
Visible band tattoos cannot be longer than two inches wide. There can be no more than one visible band tattoo. Sleeve tattoos on arms or legs are not allowed.
Each visible tattoo below the elbow or knee must be smaller than the size of the wearer's extended hand. There cannot be more than four total tattoos below the elbows or knees.
Soldiers who currently violate these revisions can be grandfathered in as long as commanders validate their current tattoos. Also, each year, commanders much check each Soldier for new tattoos that might be prohibited. The checks will be done when Soldiers are in their physical fitness uniform and do not include tattoos that might be hidden by the shorts or T-shirts.
Prohibited tattoos include those just mentioned, as well as ones that could be deemed extremist, indecent, sexist or racist.