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6281Tattoos and the military - a PR-driven move ...

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  • Ned Barnett
    Jul 14, 2014
      Recently it's come out that the Army (and maybe all services, but the way I
      heard it, it had to do with the Army) has blocked new recruits who have
      visible tattoos in certain areas of their arms, legs, neck and torso. At
      the time it hit me as a PR move, as tattoos offer no disadvantages to men
      and women who actually fight for our country.

      It also hit me as perhaps not a truly wise PR move, since how someone
      chooses to decorate him (or her) self has little to do with his or her
      courage and patriotism. Further, there was a time when tattoos were pretty
      much found only on career non-commissioned officers and enlisted men in the
      Army, Navy and Marines (at least in the US).

      But the Army (or the military) decided that this no longer suited their
      image, and has banned them (from recruits, and, I think, serving men and
      women can't get new tattoos that violate the ban).

      Now, as someone past 60, I don't "get" the current rage in lavish and often
      grotesque body ink that seems to attract so many Americans in their 20s, 30s
      and even 40s. I don't find it attractive, and I'd be hard-pressed to want
      to hire someone (at least for a responsible, meet-the-public corporate
      position) who had visible-when-dressed-for-work tattoos. But that's really
      beside the point - the issue isn't tattoos, but a PR move (for good or ill)
      made by the US military.

      I mention this because I just saw the incredibly powerful movie, Lone
      Survivor. For those interested in military heroism, this true story is at
      least as powerful as the invasion scene in "Private Ryan" and every bit as
      impactful as "Black Hawk Down," and I can't recommend it highly enough,
      especially since it is based very closely on the book written by that "Lone
      Survivor," Marcus Luttrell. I mention this because, at the end of the
      movie, it showed photos of the real men who'd fought and died on that Afghan
      mountain (or, in one case, survived). These remarkably well-trained Navy
      SEALS are among the world's best warriors, and one of America's true
      national assets. Yet in the photos of the casualties - and the survivor
      (singular) - it was clear that at least all of these remarkably brave
      enlisted men and non-coms - men who risked or gave their lives - had tattoos
      that would disqualify them from enlisting today, at least in the Army.

      And I wondered.

      What price "PR?"

      All My Best


      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association

      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110

      702-561-1167 - cell/text

      <http://www.barnettmarcom.com/> www.barnettmarcom.com - twitter @nedbarnett


      05-6-16 BMC Logo

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