Army tattoo policy set to be tightened

      File photo: FreakyChick/Flickr

      WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - The Army intends to tighten its restrictions on soldiers' tattoos.

      Under a proposed rule change, new recruits would not be allowed tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

      The proposed change was described to soldiers in Afghanistan on Saturday by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, the top enlisted soldier. He said Army Secretary John McHugh favors the change but has not yet formally approved it.

      Officials at Army headquarters at the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that McHugh had not yet made the change final.

      Chandler's remarks were first reported by the Stars and Strips newspaper. The paper's report indicates that the changes will likely go into effect with in the next two months.

      He told Stars and Stripes that he wants the Army's personnel to stand out because of their work, not because of their body art.