Proposed Revisions To The Army Tattoo Policy

1196 words - 5 pages

Although tattoos represent a variety of things in a person’s life, it doesn’t necessarily dictate how well a person is able to perform their job. For the last few months there has been an ongoing debate about the troops in the Army that have tattoos and as a result their careers have been placed on the line. With this upcoming change it has been specifically said that the troops cannot have tattoos that extend below their knees and elbows and also ones that reach above their neckline. Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler also gave another stipulation which says that their tattoos cannot be racist, extremist, or sexist it also does not matter where there tattoo is located on the body if it violates those restrictions it will still have to be removed (Freedberg). While you think that this is just limited to new recruit it also applies to the elder troops as well (Smith). With today’s society that tattoos are widely discussed and debated about in many careers, but I cannot help but think that the Army is being a bit absurd about the way they are handling the whole ordeal. In fact while researching I came across a striking example. It was stated the military troops were in fact the first people to have tattoos and this dates back to years as early as the mid -1800s. Their reason for having tattoos was to serve as souvenirs from the places that they were deployed to (Dallet). If the troops are forced to remove their tattoos or given the option to end their time with the military I for one find it wrong and a violation to the First Amendment.

Why the Army thinks change is important.
With the War on Terror and other war activity that the United States was involved in there was a shortage of troops. With them being in such desperate need for troops they lowered their standards and gave waivers to those wishing to enlist. Some of the waivers allowed non high school graduates, ex-convicts, and even those with health issues to enlist. As the years progressed, the number of troops in the Army grew by the dozens. Which lead to them reaching an all-time high of a roughly estimated 570,000 troops (Freedberg). At the time the Army was getting what they desired which was a large number of troops, but they came to the point where they couldn’t afford them. This is when the proposed revision to the grooming policy came up for discussion. Now with the updated policy tattoos aren’t the only things taking a big hit hair, makeup, and bodily piercings are taking a hit as well (Dallet). As I was reading along in one of my sources another example that stood out to me was where an unshaven troop who was was wearing a ripped shirt, jeans, and his piercings, while on his time off (Smith). He was quickly pointed out and quickly shunned. The article stated that the airmen who were in the same location deemed the Army as the “Ghetto Service” giving the impression that they allowed pretty much anyone in their branch. Chandler is supposed to be taking actions on fixing this. I’ve...

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