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The Military’s Misguided War on Tattoos

“The vagaries of recruiting during wartime forced Uncle Sam to turn a blind eye to volunteers with tattoos covering their entire arms and neck,” writes James Joyner, but with the troop presence declining and shrinking active duty forces, “soldiers will be forbidden from having tattoos below the elbows and knees or above the neckline.”

“While I share Chandler’s visceral reaction to extreme tattoos and unusual hair coloring, these new regulations are wrongheaded. There’s simply zero evidence that people sporting them make subpar soldiers or diminish their unit’s esprit de corps.”

“Beyond that, it’s rather ludicrous to set an arbitrary peacetime standard for the appearance of soldiers, a profession that exists solely to fight America’s wars, that will go by the wayside when the shooting starts again. The Army should focus its dwindling resources on winning those future wars, not looking good in garrison.”

Crossposted on Wonk Wire

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