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With growing number of youths turning up in recruitment centers sporting fashionable tattoos, the armed forces have come out with a standard “tattoo policy” to deal with menace which prohibits and discourages this tendency.

All three forces henceforth will not accept those candidates wearing permanent body marks other than religious or token traditional symbols, sources in the army said. The new standard policy regarding body tattoos have been formulated collectively by three services and instructions have been issued to recruitment zones to implement the same with immediate effect, source told defence express.

Sources said that there is no restriction on size or the type of tattoo in these cases but it should not be too large to be visible while wearing the prescribed duty uniform, including PT dress.

The policy has taken into consideration the religious sensitivities of the various communities making exceptions for tribal tattoos and symbolic marks, but the matters of such candidates will be dealt on case to case basis.

The AG branches of the armed forces collectively decided the norms regarding tattoos; officials said adding that feedback from western militaries including US, UK and France was also sought. American policy regarding body  tattoos for the candidates seeking to join armed forces is clearly laid down. Its says that the incumbent “must not have any lewd or offensive indelible marks or figures visible on exposed parts of the body while wearing the prescribed duty uniform to include PT uniform.”

Similar norms have been adopted by the Indian armed forces, making little relaxations for traditional and religious marks.  Tattoos on inner forearm, inside of elbow and revers of the wrist shall be allowed but the recruitment authorities have been given a final say to take a decision in such cases. 

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