6281Tattoos and the military - a PR-driven move ...
- Jul 14, 2014Recently 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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