Taiwan military relaxes ban on tattoos

Taiwan to allow tattoos in areas not exposed by full uniforms in 2020

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(Photo from @MilitarySpokesman Facebook page)

(Photo from @MilitarySpokesman Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) last month announced that it is relaxing its ban on tattoos in order to increase its recruitment base as Taiwan's military transitions to an all-volunteer force.

On Nov. 3, the MND announced that after referring to Taiwan's National Police Agency and U.S. Army regulations, it has adjusted its tattoo policy for officers and enlisted personnel in Taiwan's armed forces. The policy will apply to new recruits in 2020, when the MND hopes to meet its goal of having volunteers comprise 90 of its personnel.

The new regulation will only restrict personnel from receiving new tattoos on or above the neck and on or below the wrist. However, volunteer soldiers who already have tattoos on restricted areas before entering the military will not be required to have them removed, and their performance assessments will not be affected because of them.

However, enlisted personnel in Taiwan's military band, the Political Warfare Bureau, and the military police will not be permitted to have tattoos that could be exposed when wearing short sleeves or shorts. Although the restrictions for volunteer soldiers have been relaxed, tattoos will still not be permitted for those who apply to military academies or officer training schools.