Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Army: Your half-sleeve tattoos could be OK

Apr. 5, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
U.S. Forces Withdraw From Iraq Into Kuwait, After
The Army's new tattoo policy has confused some soldiers. According to officials, if you have a half-sleeve above your knee or elbow you do not violate AR 670-1. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  • Filed Under

If you have a half-sleeve tattoo that ends above your elbow or your knee, you’re good to go under the Army’s new grooming and appearance reg.

The updated Army Regulation 670-1 was published March 31, and concerns about how much the Army was going to tighten its policies were quickly replaced by confusion about what is acceptable and what will not be grandfathered.

A lot of confusion has centered on sleeve tattoos, which have become highly popular among troops.

Soldiers cannot have tattoos on their face, head, wrists or hands, or tattoos that are racist, extremist, indecent or sexist. They also cannot have more than four visible tattoos below the elbow or below the knee; those tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand.

Visible band tattoos may be no more than two inches in width. Each band tattoo counts as one tattoo, and soldiers may have no more than one visible band tattoo.

Full sleeve tattoos on arms or legs are not authorized.

The same rules apply to officers and warrant officers. Enlisted soldiers exceeding the tattoo limit cannot request commissioning, a new rule that has already irked many soldiers.

Under the new rules, the Army will keep records of soldiers’ tattoos that are to be updated annually.

The new regulation grandfathers a vast majority of soldiers who are already in the ranks, provided they don’t have tattoos that are racist, extremist, indecent or sexist.

The Army worked hard on and put a lot of thought into the updates to AR 670-1, said Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler.

The reg underwent “several iterations” and legal reviews, and Chandler and senior noncommissioned officers across the Army sought feedback and comments from the force.

“I talked about it in every single town hall meeting I conducted,” Chandler said. “I can tell you that probably the biggest or the single highest amount of questions I got were about tattoos.”

The final result is a “fair and balanced approach,” Chandler said.

“It’s not like somebody woke up this morning and said, ‘Today we’re going to change the tattoo policy,’” he said. “Probably thousands of man hours went into coming up with what we feel is a fair and balanced approach to our soldiers who are serving and for those who have yet to serve.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Ball caps' big splash
New rules OK them with blue cammies, on base and off

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook