Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Canada’s military bans discriminatory and sexually explicit tattoos

Anyone with an existing tattoo that doesn’t meet the criteria must get it removed or altered

Canadian military members are being warned against getting certain tattoos, including those that could be deemed discriminatory or sexually explicit.

The warning is contained in a new order on Monday that offers the most specific guidance yet around what tattoos are considered acceptable.

READ MORE: $900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

It comes as the military tries to crack down on sexual misconduct and intolerance in the armed forces, including concerns that some members are associating themselves with hate groups.

However, the new rules — which also forbid images considered sexist, misogynistic or racist — have sparked confusion among some military personnel who have already been inked.

Several specifically questioned on social media whether all tattoos of women such as pictures of pin-up girls, which were often painted on military vehicles during the Second World War and remain popular with many soldiers today, are now banned.

RELATED: Canadian military continues sexual misconduct fight with new guide

A military spokeswoman, 2nd Lt. Stephany Duval, says service members can ask a commanding officer if their tattoo passes muster and, if not, will be required to remove or alter the image at their own cost or face disciplinary measures.

The Canadian Press

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