Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Back to Tats

No.2 Son has been progressing an application to join the Royal Navy, wanting to become helicopter aircrew, using the RN's facilities for gaining A levels and possibly a degree - after all, some 40% of RN officers come up from the ranks. The CPO looking after No.2 Son's application doesn't think commissioned officers actually do any work, as evidenced by his comment when No.2 Son called him 'Sir'. He barked; "You call me Chief, not sir. I'm not an officer - I actually work for a living."

The subject of tats came up during the application, with the rule being: "Tattoos that are offensive, obscene or excessive in size or number will be a bar to entry or re-entry. Tattoos that are visible on the head, neck and hand when in parade uniform are a bar to entry. If you have any you will be asked to complete a form describing your tattoos. They will be seen during your medical examination."

While looking up potential recruits' reactions to this I came across the following: "Completely understand where you're coming from but the problem is that it's supposed to be a disciplined service and the fact is that most people actually know what the rules are, but wish to challenge them. Those that display a poor attitude to discipline and authority in these days of lean manning and a surplus of applicants are entirely at liberty to apply for jobs elsewhere. No, it doesn't mean that they would be any better at their job, but it does perhaps suggest they would be prepared to do what they are required to do when it matters most. Doubtless there are many tattoo-free drug addicts and career criminals knocking about, but a line needs to be drawn somewhere."

While aggressive tattoos may make you look more fearsome in a battle, which could be a psychological plus in a hand-to-hand combat, I doubt they'd go down very well on parade inspection by Mrs Queen.

Older people dislike tattoos as they once had a very identifiable association with an underclass - criminals, thugs, ladies of the night, sailors, Edward VII, etc.. That association is had to break. I'm of the generation where our parents frowned deeply on tattoos and I was intensely ashamed of mine. The fact they are now fashion items (mistakenly, in my opinion) should change attitudes over time, but don't expect me to like your tat or give you a job if you look like Keith Flint in Firestarter. I have my reasons...

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