The United States Army may be turning away qualified recruits because of its new tattoo policy. Under the new regulations, tattoos are banned on the head, face, neck, wrists, hands or fingers. Soldiers are prohibited from exceeding four visible tattoos below the elbow or knee. In addition, sleeve tattoos before the elbow or knee are banned.

Army recruiter Major Tyler Stewart said recruits can be disqualified because of their tattoos alone.

Adam Shatarsky, a Marine Corps veteran and co-founder of the Wounded Walk, called the new policy “ridiculous” and “absurd” on The Real Story.

Shatarsky, who has a tattoo on his neck, said, “Having tattoos doesn’t mean that you cannot serve your country to the best of your ability. It doesn’t affect the way that you do your job. A tattoo doesn’t teach loyalty, it doesn’t teach camaraderie.”

In Arizona alone, 500 recruits were recently turned away because of their tattoos.

Col. Jennifer Buckner, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, said in previous statement that the tattoo policy is preventing some soldiers from being warrant officers. “That’s a current bit of strife,” she added. 

The Army defended the decision by saying that one of the ways it maintains professionalism is through appearance.

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