The Art in War - Tattoos in the Military

Tattoos have been common place in the army for a few decades now and they have varied from designs relating to specific campaigns and regiments, to images relating to individual’s religious beliefs and experiences.

Some of the most powerful tattoo designs on soldiers are those commemorating comrades lost in war.

Tattoos have been common place in the army for a few decades now and they have varied from designs relating to specific campaigns and regiments, to images relating to individual’s religious beliefs and experiences. Some of the most powerful tattoo designs on soldiers are those commemorating comrades lost in war.

But not all are as well planned; there’s an abundance of tattoos with a considerable lack of imagination and tact which sometimes fall into the realms of being offensive - hence the army’s reservations with them in the past.

Up until recently the British Military have had quite a strict policy regarding tattoos on show, specifically citing that tattoos on the hand and neck are a strict no go. So far over 300 applicants for the Reservist’s up to September of 2014 have been denied due to not complying with the Military’s policy on tattoos on show.

Bridging the gap

New Policy

Fortunately as of October 2014 the policy has been amended and now allows admission to the Army for applicants with tattoos on the hand and neck, provided they are not of an offensive nature and cannot be seen in a passport style photo. This will certainly help with the sudden shift in army structure, reducing the amount of regular soldiers and concentrating on building a big reserve force, to increase the number of The Army Reserve.

Hopefully, giving potential recruits greater freedom of expression may help to increase the Army’s intake and bring a new meaning to ‘The Art of War’.

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