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German Military Bans Tongue Piercings, Porn Tattoos

Jan. 22, 2014 - 02:50PM   |  
Bundeswehr Holds Media Day
Soldiers of the Bundeswehr wear fatigues Oct. 2 during annual military exercises held for the media at the Bergen military training grounds. Germany's military has a new dress code that gives the boot to visible body piercings, bushy beards and pornographic tattoos. (Philipp Guelland / Getty Images)
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BERLIN — Germany’s military has a new dress code, published online Wednesday and to take effect next month, that gives the boot to visible body piercings, bushy beards and pornographic tattoos.

The Bundeswehr’s first update to the regulations in years dedicates a new section to “body modifications,” also including implants, brandings, decorative scars and piercings inside the mouth cavity.

Tattoos are permitted if discreetly covered up, but body art is banned if it depicts “discriminatory or pornographic motifs or content that breaches the values and norms of the constitution or criminal law.”

Tube-shaped “tunnel” piercings through earlobes “are permitted only when they can be completely covered up by a skin-colored patch 15 millimeters (a little more than half an inch) in diameter.”

As before, the rules said that “beards must be well kept and trimmed.”

“A soldier who want to grow a beard must do so during his holidays,” said the Joint Service Regulation A-2630/1.

While crew cuts are no longer mandatory, “the hair should be cut so that when the head is held upright it does not touch the uniform- or shirt collar,” said the regulations published by the defense ministry.

Fashionable hair styles are allowed but must not be “particularly conspicuous,” said the regulations, which explicitly rule out the punk-style mohawk.

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