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    Pentagon Chief Worried US Military Tattoo Rules May Hurt Recruitment

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    After a meeting with recruiters, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged that military tattoo policies may be forcing the military to turn away otherwise qualified recruits, but he has not indicated that he will recommend changing those policies.

    On Wednesday, during an event called "Worldwide Troop Talk," Carter stated that recruiters told him that "otherwise […] great people" for military service are being turned away because “they don't meet our tattoo policy,” Military Times reports.

    "I don't know what to do about that," Carter said. "I continue to want to make sure that we're tapping into the entire population.”

    Currently, face, neck and hand tattoos are against military policy, other than one ring tattoo on each hand, and offensive symbols, such as swastikas, are forbidden.

    Previously, there were limits to the number and size of tattoos Army soldiers could have on arms and legs, but those restrictions were lifted last year.

    "Society is changing its view of tattoos, and we have to change along with that. It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable, and we have to change along with that,” then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said of the policy change.

    Different branches of the military have different policies relating to skin ink. The Navy for example, has lifted their ban on full sleeves, while the Marines have kept their ban in place.

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    Tattoos, Military, Marines, Navy, Army, Ashton Carter
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