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Army tattoo policy becomes more lenient

SAN ANTONIO – For the third time in 12 months, the U.S. Army has announced plans to revise its tattoo policy for soldiers, allowing for virtually unlimited tattoos on their arms and legs.

Previous regulations limited the size and number of tattoos on each limb. Neck, head, face, wrist and hand tattoos are still not allowed, with the exception of ring tattoos.

Fortune Brothers Tattoo Co. owner Robert Corso said he keeps up on the ever-changing military policies and welcomes the Army's new stance.

"Every branch does have their own specific criteria for their regulations," said Corso at his shop. "With this new one, Army is No. 1 in our book because that doesn't restrict us as tattooers so much."

Corso estimated nearly 40 percent of his business comes from military members and many know the policies well enough but there are times when he has to take the lead.

"We do keep them in mind as we learn of these new regulations and sometimes we'll remind them well maybe that's not such a good idea," he said.

Every branch has its own policy and some are more restrictive, like the Air Force, which limits tattoos to no more than 25 percent of each limb.

"To be able to expand on your own self-expression while still serving in the military, for a lot of people, especially those who like them, that's a humongous deal," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Nick Yankosky, who walked into Fortune Bros. for a new calf tattoo.

"I see so many retirees, especially World War II and Vietnam veterans and they all, every single one of them, have tattoos," said Yankosky. "Society is viewing them less and less taboo and more an acceptable thing nowadays."