The Marine Corps has announced a ban on large, garish tattoos.
OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Five tattooed skulls stretch from Marine Cpl. Jeremy Slaton's right elbow to his wrist, spelling out the word "Death." He planned to add a tattoo spelling "Life" on his left arm, but that's on hold because of a Marine policy taking effect Sunday.Nadrchal's devotion to body art calls into his question his devotion to the Marine Corps. Is body art more important than your country?
The Marines are banning any new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying such body art is harmful to the Corps' spit-and-polish image.
Slaton and other grunts are not pleased.
"I guess I'll get the other half later," grumbled the 24-year-old leatherneck from Eden Prairie, Minn. "It's kind of messed up."
For many Marines, getting a tattoo is a rite of passage. They commonly get their forearms inscribed to remember fallen comrades, combat tours or loved ones, and often ask for exotic designs that incorporate the Marine motto, Semper Fi, or "Always faithful."
Dozens of Marines from Camp Pendleton, the West Coast's biggest Marine base, made last-minute trips to tattoo parlors in nearby Oceanside before the ban kicked in.
"This is something I love to do," said Cpl. David Nadrchal, 20, of Ponoma, who made an appointment to get an Iraqi flag and his deployment dates etched onto his lower leg. "The fact I can't put something on my body that I want — it's a big thing to tell me I can't do that."
Nadrchal said he is unsure whether he will re-enlist: "There's all these little things. They are slowly chipping away at us."
The ban is aimed primarily at "sleeve" tattoos, the large and often elaborate designs on the biceps and forearms of many Marines. Similar designs on the lower legs will be forbidden as well. So will very large tattoos on the upper arm, if they are visible when a Marine wears his workout T-shirt. Small, individual tattoos will still be allowed on the arms and legs. (The Marines already ban them on the hands.)
TFM is an ex-Navy corpsman and I saw plenty of tattoos in those days.(Note- I have no tatoos of my own. I never felt the need to have a drawing placed on my body) Most were small and could only be seen if someone was undressed. Today there seems to be more people interested in having their whole bodies painted. I guess to each their own, but the military demands some conformity from those serving in it. The new restrictions don't seem out of line to me.
What do you think?
Linked to- Cao, Jo, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices,