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Canadian military bans face tattoos

The Canadian military is banning members from having face tattoos.

new policy released on Monday allows for tattoos, but bars those located on the face and scalp.

Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond explained in a Canadian Armed Forces news release that tattoos are becoming more mainstream in Canada and the latest update is about reflecting that.

“Greater control over your personal appearance is good for the morale of our people and it helps us attract future members to our team,” he said.

Members will be able to request an exception if they have, or plan to have cultural or religious based tattoos on their face or head. Exceptions may also be made for cosmetic tattoos that are natural looking in shape and colour.

Other restrictions include tattoos that have some sort of connection with criminal activity or include nudity. Illustrations that promote or express hatred, violence, discrimination or harassment will also be prohibited.

The directive follows a recent incident in June when a Royal Canadian Navy sailor was seen in a Tim Hortons, sporting a tattoo of the word “infidel” in the shape of a rifle.

However, a CAF spokeswoman, 2nd Lt. Stephany Duval, told Global News that the work on the new rules predates the controversy.

The CAF noted that recruits must abide by the same rules on tattoos as existing members.

Failure to do so will result in administrative and disciplinary measures.