In America we are used to seeing active members of the military looking their best… clean-shaven, neatly pressed uniforms, etc., and it looks like Germany is wanting to follow suite with some new dress code guidelines set to go in effect February 1. German soldiers will no longer be permitted to grow bushy beards, have visible body piercings, or pornographic/obscene tattoos.
These new regulations received mainstream attention after military blogger Thomas Wiegold posted a commentary on the changes, bringing in more than 200 comments in a matter of hours. This is the first time the German military, the Bundeswehr, has updated their regulations on soldier appearance in a number of years.
Tattoos must be covered up when in uniform, even if they appear on the hands or neck, which may make concealing them a bit difficult at times. However, tattoos that are pornographic, discriminatory or breach “the values and norms of the constitution or criminal law” are banned.
Piercings must also be concealed, and for soldiers that have “tunnel” piercings in their earlobe, a skin colored patch must be placed over the holes.
Crew cuts are no longer a requirement for soldiers, but the new rules state that “the hair should be cut so that when the head is held upright it does not touch the uniform- or shirt collar.” Beards need to be kept trimmed and mohawks are now banned.
Some of the requirements, such as forbidding certain tattoos or at least covering them up, may create some complications for soldiers that already have them. Overall though the new dress code policy is aiming to clean up the image of military personnel in Germany and shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise.