PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania woman's forearm tattoo will not keep her from shipping out for basic training with the U.S. Air Force, military officials said.
Kayla Bresnan, 19, of Penn Township, who sports body art of a theatrical Greek comedy mask, will be grandfathered into the Air Force policy that existed prior to Nov. 25. The old policy already prohibited obscene and excessive tattoos; the new rules prohibit tattoos of any kind below an inch above the elbow on the saluting arm, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.
Bresnan was told Tuesday she would not be allowed to leave for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, despite having been told by recruiters in April that her tattoos passed muster when she was sworn into the Air Force's Delayed Entry Program, the Post-Gazette reported.
Another recruit, however, gave up her own departure date so Bresnan could ship out in 2009, thus ensuring, also, that Bresnan would get her desired job in an electronics field. That recruit now will ship out in January, Lt. Col. Wendy Birch of the 311th Recruiting Squadron in Canonsburg said.
"I'm just grateful that someone was kind enough to give up her spot," said Bresnan.
The Air Force Recruiting Service said the new rules don't apply to those already fully enrolled in the Air Force. Recruits now blocked from basic training may have a 30-day grace period, during which officials will review their tattoos on an individual basis.
Ms. Bresnan said she plans to have her tattoo removed when she is home on leave in case the rules again changed.