Military issues new ban on discriminatory, sexually explicit tattoos

Canadian military

Canadian military members are being warned against getting certain tattoos, including those that could be deemed discriminatory or sexually explicit.

The warning is contained in a new order that offers the most specific guidance yet around what tattoos are considered acceptable.

It comes as the military tries to crack down on sexual misconduct and intolerance in the armed forces, including concerns that some members are associating themselves with hate groups.

However, the new rules - which also forbid images considered sexist, misogynistic or racist - have sparked confusion among some military personnel who have already been inked.

Several specifically questioned on social media whether all tattoos of women such as pictures of pin-up girls, which were often painted on military vehicles during the Second World War and remain popular with many soldiers today, are now banned.

A military spokeswoman, 2nd Lt. Stephany Duval, says service members can ask a commanding officer if their tattoo passes muster and, if not, will be required to remove or alter the image at their own cost or face disciplinary measures.