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Army plans to tighten restrictions on tattoos

By The Associated Press
Published: September 25, 2013 Updated: September 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Under a proposed rule change, new recruits would not be allowed tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON — The Army intends to tighten its restrictions on soldiers’ tattoos.

Under a proposed rule change, new recruits would not be allowed tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

The proposed change was described to soldiers in Afghanistan on Saturday by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, the top enlisted soldier. He said Army Secretary John McHugh favors the change but has not yet formally approved it.

Officials at Army headquarters at the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that McHugh had not yet made the change final.

Chandler’s remarks were first reported by the Stars and Strips newspaper.