Army plans new limits on tattoos

New tattoo rules headed your way are expected to ban ink in places many soldiers already tattooed. The policy change was approved by the Army and is awaiting the signature of Army Secretary John McHugh.

Chances are you may have heard the changes are coming, and also heard some bad scoop mixed in with the good as the word has spun through the rumor mill. Army Times spoke with senior leadership and personnel officials to set the record straight.

Where can you have ink? What if you have it in the banned places? And who will pay to have banned tattoos removed?

Pick up the Oct. 7 issue of the Army Times, on sale now, to find out the key things you need to know about the coming policy.

Deployments on tap for 9,000 troops

Almost 9,000 soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan this winter, the Defense Department announced Sept. 24.

The deploying soldiers represent six major Army units, including a corps headquarters, a division headquarters, three brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade.

The brigades will go as Security Force Assistance Brigades, smaller, tailored units designed to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces.

For a full breakdown of the deploying units, pick up this week’s Army Times.

Soldiers revisit ‘Black Hawk Down’ battle 20 years later

Twenty years after fighting in the Battle of Mogadishu, Keni Thomas and Jeff Struecker returned to Somalia.

“You think I want to get on a plane for 40 hours and go riding around with my hairs standing on end, with my stomach churning, in the back of an SUV in downtown Mogadishu again?” Thomas said. “Hell, no, but I went because that’s the story that needs to be told. This is a story I’ve been tasked with.”

The story of the battle, made famous by the book “Black Hawk Down” and a subsequent movie, is something Thomas believes people should hear.

For more on the 20-year anniversary of the battle that killed 18 Americans and wounded at least 80 others, pick up the Oct. 7 edition of the Army Times, on sale now.

Military Times PT365

Take an inside look at what motivates Chief Special Operator (SEAL) David Goggins, who holds the Guinness world record for most pullups in 24 hours — 4,030 in 17 hours, and just ran the Badwater 135-mile ultramarathon in Death Valley, Calif., at the Military Times PT365 blog at

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