Marines Take Aim At "Excessive" Tattoos

Big body art banned below the elbow, knee
By Sarah Seltzer,  Newser User
Posted Mar 29, 2007 9:11 AM CDT
Marines Take Aim At 'Excessive' Tattoos
Tattoo artist Jerry Layton, right, inks a tattoo of the grim reaper on the arm of an unidentified Marine, Friday, March 23, 2007 in Oceanside, Calif. The Marines are banning any new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying such body art is harmful to the Corps   (Associated Press)

There's a run on tattoo parlors this weekend as U.S. Marines ink themselves up before a new ban on "excessive" body art in visible areas takes effect Sunday, says USA Today. Commanders are fighting back against the increasingly in-your-face tattoos favored by enlistees on biceps and forearms visible in short-sleeved uniforms, considering them a violation of the Corps' spit-and-polish image.

Other branches of the military have also engaged in the war on tattoos : in the Navy they can't be larger than the wearer's hand, and in the Air Force not bigger than one-quarter the size of the exposed body part. The Army, struggling to fill its ranks, actually relaxed its tattoo restrictions last year.
  (More military stories.)

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