Congress desires to know if tattoos and piercings are protecting too many potential recruits out of the navy.
On Wednesday, throughout debate over the annual protection authorization invoice draft, members of the House Armed Services Committee unanimously authorized language which might mandate a brand new report on whether or not “tattoos and physique modification for potential enlistees have turn into a deterrent to assembly recruitment targets.”
The analysis, which might be due in March 2022, would come with “the precise variety of potential enlistees per 12 months which might be denied entry to the navy on account of tattoos and physique modifications” and comparability of navy guidelines to private-sector insurance policies.
The measure handed with out opposition. It nonetheless has to outlive negotiations with the Senate later this 12 months earlier than it turns into regulation.
However the transfer acknowledges “altering cultural norms and rising demographics” of the nation, and the challenges that presents to recruiters, based on committee members.
A 2015 Harris ballot discovered that about half of millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) have not less than one tattoo, and not less than a 3rd of all Individuals have gotten one.
Guidelines concerning tattoos or piercings differ from service to service, however most prohibit offensive imagery or tattoos on the face, higher neck and palms.
Army officers have famous in recent times that recruiting has gotten extra progressively tough. Protection Division research have proven that as much as 70 p.c of Individuals between 17 and 24 are ineligible for navy service on account of weight problems, mental-health points, previous drug use, or inadequate training.
Pentagon officers have additionally pushed to develop their pool of recruits from non-traditional sources as they attempt to entice people with high-tech expertise for cyber operations.
The committee’s language additionally asks the navy to think about “the advantages of providing tattoo elimination as an incentive to fulfill recruitment targets.”
The availability is one among a whole bunch of coverage points — together with a 2.7 p.c pay elevate for troops — within the annual authorization invoice draft, which is predicted to come back up for a full Home chamber vote within the subsequent few weeks.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White Home for Army Occasions. He has lined Washington, D.C. since 2004, specializing in navy personnel and veterans insurance policies. His work has earned quite a few honors, together with a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 Nationwide Headliner Award, the IAVA Management in Journalism award and the VFW Information Media award.