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.
The regulations apply only to soldiers. Other branches of the military have their own grooming and appearance rules, according to the Stars and Strips newspaper, which first reported Chandler's remarks. It said new Army grooming guidelines have been in the works for more than a year.