TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When signing up for the United States Army, soldiers ink their names on the dotted for a big commitment.
Now, a different type of ink could soon get them kicked out.
Private E2 Rokxton Carter has been following the new army changes quite closely. That's because they deal with something he has multiple of, tattoos.
"These two on my arm are for my mom and my brother who I've been with my whole life and they're very close to me. "
New rules could limit the amount of artwork these soldiers can have on their bodies, preventing ink below the elbows and knees. The consequences for breaking the rules could be harsh.
"You could possibly be kicked out, you could lose your pay grade, be demoted," said Carter.
Staff Sergeant Nathan Zollinger has been in the army for almost ten years.
He says the new rules represent a standard.
"No tattoos should be showing in that uniform because you're trying to look the most professional," said Zollinger.
As a recruiter in Terre Haute, Zollinger would be the first line of defense for the new regulations.
"Some people agree that this is a good idea, some people don't," said Zollinger, "but regulation, regulation, so as a commissioned officer and as a non-commissioned officer it's your job."
In the end, these soldiers say it's all part of the commitment that comes with wearing the uniform.
"You gotta realize the big picture and why you're doing what you're doing and you gotta sacrifice a lot," said Carter.
"There's always gotta be someone else to say, 'I will serve my country,' and we have to find them," said Zollinger.
As of now, there has been no reason given as to exactly why the rules might change. However, one thought is that it will purposefully decrease enrollment.
With the United States pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, fewer soldiers are needed to serve.
The changes would likely only affect new recruits, with current soldiers being grand-fathered in. The new guidelines are expected to be announced within 30 to 60 days.
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