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Military Families Military Families

Is the New Tattoo Policy Unconstitutional?

Posted by on May. 11, 2014 at 11:36 PM
  • 24 Replies

Soldier sues army for $100 million over new tattoo policy

thorogood_tattoo

Staff Sgt. Adam C. Thorogood display tattoos on his left arm. Photo Source -MilitaryTimes.com

A National Guard soldier in Kentucky is suing the U.S. Army for $100 million over a new policy banning certain tattoos.

Staff Sgt. Adam C. Thorogood’s action accuses the Army of preventing him from joining a special operations unit as a warrant officer because of the new regulations, according to The Associates Press. Thorogood’s tattoos cover the lower portion of his left arm, a newly forbidden area.

The Associates Press reported:

The regulations went into effect in March cover a variety of appearance-related issues including hair styles, fingernails, glasses and jewelry. The rules ban tattoos below the knee or elbow. Soldiers who already have the ink are grandfathered in. Under the new regulations, any soldier with tattoos is barred from seeking a promotion to warrant officer or commissioning as an officer.

Thorogood’s attorney filed suit Thursday in Paducah, Ky., saying Thorogood’s right to free speech is being violated and the policy violates a constitutional ban on laws applied retroactively.

“You’ve got a soldier who is about as gung-ho as you get. Then you’ve got this regulation you read about on Facebook, and you don’t have a career,” attorney Robin May told The Associated Press. “That would be a blow.”

“The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American public measure our professionalism is by our appearance,” Army Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III said in an online video back in March. “Every soldier has the responsibility to understand and follow these standards. Leaders at all levels also have a responsibility to interpret and enforce these standards, which begins by setting the example.”

In addition to $100 million in damages, the lawsuit is asking the court to find the new policy unconstitutional.

Do you think the policy is unconstitutional? Does he have a case?

by on May. 11, 2014 at 11:36 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Elle.tea.22
by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM
1 mom liked this
Whiney, much?

If I was his soldier I wouldn't follow this idiot anywhere. Don't like it? Get out. Don't make a mockery of the uniform you wear. Want the job that bad? Have the tattoos removed.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on May. 12, 2014 at 1:25 AM
I don't think so. Just get the damn tattoo removed. That's what folks used to do and as far as I can tell people still can. If he were really so "gung ho", he'd have these tattoos removed if they serve as a hindrance. But no, he wants to sue for $100 million. Unbelievable.
mnkymommy08
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 2:37 AM
I agree with this. Get it removed, don't be a pansy. And suing for $100 million let alone any other amount is ridiculous!

Quoting Anonymous: I don't think so. Just get the damn tattoo removed. That's what folks used to do and as far as I can tell people still can. If he were really so "gung ho", he'd have these tattoos removed if they serve as a hindrance. But no, he wants to sue for $100 million. Unbelievable.
sbranom
by Member on May. 12, 2014 at 4:19 AM

I thought a military member couldn't sue the government. 

darbyakeep45
by Darby on May. 12, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Just get the tattoo removed.  This is ridiculous.

SusanD
by Silver Member on May. 12, 2014 at 7:37 AM
1 mom liked this
While I do believe that the new tattoo policy is absurd, I also think that suing because of it is equally absurd. SMA Chandler is on his way out the door, and I believe the incoming SMA is pretty tatted up. So maybe this will be overturned or made more lax.
jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on May. 12, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Wah...  I didn't think a soldier could sue the government?  Either way - they're right, he's wrong.  The military IS a profession and they have the right to expect their people to be a certain way.  You wouldn't find a guy with facial tattoo's in a CEO position on Wall Street, would you?

JMmama
by Kara on May. 12, 2014 at 8:12 AM
2 moms liked this
I don't think this guy understands the first amendment. The right to free speech doesn't mean there are consequences for your speech/expression. If they were going to put him in jail because of his tattoos, then, ok, your first amendment rights may have been violated. Following military uniform protocol as the member of the military is not a violation of the freedom of speech.
mom2jessnky
by Dedi on May. 12, 2014 at 10:59 AM
1 mom liked this

Joining the military is a PRIVILEGE, much like driving is. You don't have the right to it that means there can be rules associated with it.

This guy is a jackass and has no case. What's next? A lawsuit to be allowed to drive drunk because the moron thinks it's freedom of expression? I hate people.

BCauseImAwesome
by on May. 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I thought once you joined the military, they owned you? How is he surprised by this?

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