Soldiers rush to tattoo parlors to beat new Army rules

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA (KCPQ) — It`s been a long and colorful tradition, but times are changing for the Army. According to a new report, soldiers will no longer be allowed to have tattoos below their elbows and knees or above their necklines.

Those Q13 FOX News spoke with say the new rules cross the line.

“The military base is just right here down the street from us,” said James Tullis, of the Wicked Needle Tattoo.

For tattoo shops near JBLM, military tattoos mean big business.

“We get a lot of military guys coming in that have just come back from deployment or getting ready to go,” Tullis said Tuesday.

And right now, business is buzzing.

“They’re trying to get in before they have their pictures taken, to get them all done,” Tullis said.

Soldiers say they are racing to get tattooed before the ink dries on some new restrictions for body art.

“I think it’s bogus,” said veteran Marine and current Defense Department worker Adan Yescas. “Tattoo has always been a part of the culture, and I think it’s wrong.”

Like many of his buddies, Yescas is still healing from this weekend

“Oh, they are rushing, you know, trying to get it done fast, get grandfathered in before they (officers) catch on,” Yescas said.

Soldiers will be photographed to show which tattoos they currently have.

From this point on, any new tattoos that can be seen are forbidden, along with sexist, racist or indecent ink jobs.

“You’re going to give an 18- to 21-year-old kid a gun to defend out rights and our freedom,” Tullis said. “Why shouldn’t they be able to show their art for the ones who have fallen?”

Tattoo artists worry their bottom line could go from black to red.

“It’s gonna hurt the industry a little bit, especially with shops around military bases,” Tullis said.

And for the men and women whose actions often speak louder than words?

“Sometimes they don’t say it with words; they say it with their tattoos,” Tullis said.

“It’s just a way to express ourselves … it’s who we are,” Yescas said.

The deadline is different for each unit. Some deadlines have already passed.

Once that happens, members of the Army will be photographed to show which tattoos they currently have. Commanders will check their troops for new tattoos every year.

By Matt Lorch

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News