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800 UK Army Applicants rejected because of tattoos

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About 800 potential Army recruits have been reported prevented from joining the army because of tattoos on their bodies despite an ongoing hiring crisis in the United Kingdom.

Another 400 were reportedly banned from boot camp over piercings on their bodies.

The army leadership said that the number of those rejected would have been enough to fill the ranks of a brigade.

The Army said that it relaxed its rules to allow tattoos on the neck and hands ten years ago but head and face inkings are “unacceptable.’

Tattoos depicting “sex acts, violence or illegal drugs” are also banned, along with piercings that “change the way you look”.

The Army said that it is facing a shortfall of 12,000 recruits since 2018.

However, it has turned away 126,000 over the same period.

Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show the biggest reason recruits failed selection was medical, with some 70,000 rejected.

23,000 Commonwealth applicants were told there were “no vacancies” despite warnings that all three services in the Armed Forces were losing personnel faster than they can replace them.

Former Armed Forces minister Mark Francois fumed: “We are haemorrhaging personnel. In a few years, the consequences will be operational failure.”

The boss of recruiting firm Capita has begged the Army to relax its stringent medical rules that prevent people joining.

Richard Holroyd told MPs: “The current English rugby team would struggle to join the Army.

“We are constantly challenging the Army to re-look at their policy and processes.”

An Army spokesman said: “To ensure that we remain the highly effective fighting force the nation expects and deserves, we require our people to be able to meet and maintain [our very high] standards throughout their careers.

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“Unfortunately, not everyone who aspires to a career in the Army will be suitable.

“That’s why applicants can be rejected for a number of reasons, including employment and medical history, previous convictions and fitness standards.”


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