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12-02-09, 06:47 AM #1
Tattoo Keeps Man Out Of U.S. Air Force Basic Training
Tattoo keeps man out of U.S. Air Force basic training
By Jessica A. York
BENICIA — It wasn't a sexy half-naked lounging lady. It doesn't say "Mom."
Josh Parker's months-old tattoo just says his first name, in Hebrew, a language he said he admires.
But those six inches of lettering running across his right biceps were enough to bar him from entering the U.S. Air Force on Monday under a policy instituted just last week for those not fully enrolled in the service.
Parker, 18, was called to his recruitment office Monday morning, the day he was scheduled to report for basic training, for a review of the tattoo.
"They said, 'Can you salute me?' and they were just like, Oh, Parker said of his surprising turn in luck.
Bags packed and good-byes wished, Parker found himself shocked and alone when he was told his tattoo now meant a "no go" for the Air Force.
"They didn't know what to say or to do," Parker added. "I'm just kind of confused about why they couldn't have contacted me over the weekend."
Parker joined the Air Force's delayed entry program in March, and he has been waiting since graduating from Benicia High School for a job to open up in the special forces division.
"There are no tattoos (allowed) on the right arm or the hands — that's the modification," said Christa D'Andrea, chief of public affairs for Air Force Recruiting Services in San Antonio. "(It is) in an effort to keep up the military image."
The recruiting policy was adjusted when Air Force
physical training outfits — the ones members exercise in — were designated as official uniforms for the military branch.
The short sleeves of physical training outfits reveal arm tattoos, particularly when a salute is being executed, recruiters told Parker.
The former policy allowed for tattoos that covered no more than 25 percent of the skin — a regulation Parker had strictly complied with, and even had measured and documented the same day the policy was instituted, he said.
D'Andrea said she does not think the tattoo policy change will affect recruitment. Based on the first week of the modified policy, though, D'Andrea is forecasting the barring of about 15 delayed entry program recruits a week, she said. Recruits as far advanced as basic training could be affected, but not those beyond that point, she said.
Each case will be looked at individually, D'Andrea said, and recruits will be able to re-enter the program at the point they left off if they choose to remove their tattoos.
Parker's parents were upset Monday after hearing the news. Parker said he did not yet know what he will do next — remove the tattoo or consider another military branch.
"Everything he's been training for, working for, preparing for — it's all shot," said Parker's dad, Kevin. "He's given a year of his life waiting on this thing — not going to college in the fall (and) passed up on some jobs."
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12-02-09, 08:54 PM #2
That's ****ing retarded, I joined the Navy with both of my forearms covered in tattoos and only had to get a waiver and explain the meaning behind them. I finished my right sleeve while I was still in and was never *****ed at about my tattoos by any Chief, Warrant Officer or Officer. The only comments I ever heard about my tattoos were compliments on how well done they were. That kid should join the Navy, he could still be in a Special Operations Rating and probably do the same thing he wanted to do in the Air Force. God forbid you have a tattoo if you want to volunteer for military service and serve your country.
12-02-09, 10:45 PM #3
12-02-09, 10:50 PM #4
12-02-09, 10:59 PM #5
I'm getting sick of all these stupid tattoo policies. They say it is to keep up the image of the military. That is retarded and they have a way different image of the military than I do I guess. Even the Marine Corps policy has gone to far in my mind.
12-03-09, 07:59 AM #6
I totally agree. Especially the Corps.
12-03-09, 08:44 AM #7
12-03-09, 09:07 AM #8
I got my 9th tatt after the policy was enforced. Our unit left for a seventh month stint to Ramadi right before, and we were informed that we had an extension for the tattoo policy for a month after we returned. That's when I got it.
Maybe this is me being Naiive, but is this a small attempt by the Air Force to say "Hey, we have tougher policies than the Corps!"? A way of one-upping us?
Naw, maybe not. That's just paranoid thought.
Maybe I'm right. Who knows. I love this tattoo drama that's been going on in recent years.
12-03-09, 09:26 AM #9
I also agree that the tattoo policies are getting alittle out of hand. Honestly, is their a reason to care that much?
12-03-09, 09:46 AM #10
12-03-09, 10:08 AM #11
We must be politically correct and in lock step with the Obama administration at all times. My God do you know how offensive that tat would be to our ememies and we cant tolerate that. Maybe he can get it modified to Ala Akbar in arabic and everything will be fine. They may even give him a medal or make him an officer.
No better friend/No worse enemy
12-03-09, 11:05 AM #12
I think the tattoo policies have gone overboard to say the least. Tattoos are apart of our tradition, just as it is with the other branches. I would def say its more of a tradition in the Corps, and Navy however. What happened to the day when Tattoos where a sense of pride, to have, a badge of honor to speak of. I have 4, if I ever decided to go back in I would have to have one of them removed, its not offensive in nature. It actually says Semper Fi, however its on my neck under my adams apple.
12-03-09, 11:18 AM #13
This hole tattoo policy stuff is a bunch of crap because they say its aimed toward recuriters and drill instructers but yet marines and people in general are still going to get tattoos. I am stillin getting my sleeve done no matter what though. the rumer mill says the tattoo MARADMIN is gonna get lifted once the new commadont takes place because he has a sleeve. but everything is to involved with politics and they dont even care what anyone says.
12-03-09, 11:18 AM #14
12-03-09, 11:24 AM #15
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