Attrition: Backing Off on Tattoos


February 11, 2006: The U.S. Army is getting away from its "zero tolerance" rules on tattoos. Normally, if you have any tattoo showing ( when you are dressed, wearing a long sleeve shirt and long pants), the army will not take you. But after turning away so many otherwise qualified recruits, the army has changed the rule to allow innocuous tattoos to be showing. At the moment, it's a judgment thing, with recruiters, and staff at basic training centers, often disagreeing over what is acceptable. The brass have been increasingly giving the recruiters the final say. After all, if the guys (and some gals) with visible tattoos, as a group, make good soldiers, the tattoo policy itself may be in danger.


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