According to Stripes.com Secretary of the Army John McHugh has allegedly approved, but not yet signed a change in the Army's appearance regulation that would ban all the aforementioned inks as well as require the removal of offensive tattoos.
"Current soldiers may be grandfathered in, but all soldiers will still be barred from having any tattoos that are racist, sexist or extremist," read the Stripes.com article on the subject.
According to Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, the changes are expected to become policy in 30 to 60 days.
The current regulation says that "commanders may not order the removal of a tattoo or brand. However, the commander must counsel soldiers, and afford them the opportunity to seek medical advice about removal or alteration of the tattoo or brand."
Offensive tattoos are those "tattoos or brands that are extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist" and they "are prohibited, regardless of location on the body, as they are prejudicial to good order and discipline within units."
(a) Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities. Extremist philosophies, organizations, and activities are those which advocate racial, gender, or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion, or national origin; or advocate violence or other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, federal, or state law (see para 4–12, AR 600–20).
(b) Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, or propriety; shock the moral sense because of their vulgar, filthy, or disgusting nature or tendency to incite lustful thought; or tend reasonably to corrupt morals or incite libidinous thoughts.
(c) Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but that may not meet the same definition of "indecent."
(d) Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
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