Royal Air Force Reverses Decades-Old Policy to Boost Recruitment

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has decided to reverse its decades-old policy on body art in an attempt to boost recruitment.

Aspiring UK airmen with full hand tattoos are no longer prohibited from applying, as stated in the newly amended policy.

The reversal of the zero-tolerance stance follows previous moves by the British Army and Royal Navy to relax recruitment rules.

The policy change would mean that a number of potential recruits who were previously disqualified are now eligible to hand in their applications again, according to RAF documents seen by Forces News.

The documents did not provide the precise number of people who had been turned away for violating the old policy.

Previously, the RAF only allowed potential recruits with permanent body ink on a single finger, provided that the tattoo could be concealed by a wedding ring.

‘Representative of Modern-Day Society’

A RAF spokesperson told Forces News that the change in policy is not only for potential recruits but also for active-duty personnel.

He said the new rule is consistent with the service’s inclusion policies and that it will help ensure that “we continue to be representative of the modern-day society.”

The decision to ease recruitment policies comes as the UK military struggles with personnel enlistment.

The British Army’s highest-ranking official admitted last month that the military is “too small” to survive a war, with only 184,000 regular troops and volunteer reserves.

The UK defense committee also said the military is unfit for an all-out war due to ongoing recruitment and stockpile shortages.

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