U.S. Army changes policy on tattoos - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

U.S. Army changes policy on tattoos

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -  When people walk into an Army recruiting office, they may learn of a change that could keep them from serving our country.

There are new rules when it comes to tattoo's, and it's not sitting well with a lot of military veterans.

"I don't think it's really fair to cut people short because of tattoos," said Zac Rand.

Zac Rand was an army specialist who received the Purple Heart in 2011 after he was severely injured in Afghanistan. He has plenty of tattoos, some of which would disqualify him if he tried to enlist today.

"It's not offending anybody; it shouldn't stop somebody from being able to serve their country," said Rand.

Under the new regulations, soldiers are prohibited from having tattoos on their head, face, neck, wrists, hands, or fingers. They can have no more than four visible tattoos below the elbow or below the knee, and they must be smaller than the wearer's hand.

If recruits have banned tattoo's, they will not be able to enlist.

"We stop all processing at that point, we don't know if they would be eligible or not, but they are disqualified based on the tattoo's alone," said Major Tyler Stewart.

The U.S. Army said that the rules are meant to encourage a professional appearance.

"So far since its implementation here, in just Phoenix alone, that's 300 applicants, or potential applicants who have been disqualified based on tattoos alone," said Maj. Stewart.

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