The U.S. military and tattoos have an entangled history. The rise of the tattoo in popular culture started with floods of inked veterans—especially from World War II—returning home with them. The first tattoo parlor in New York City, established in 1846, served to mark up Civil War soldiers.
It is that strong history that's probably the reason why a blog post on the Army's website declared in 2009, "Today, it seems, you couldn't throw a rock into an Army formation without hitting a Soldier with at least one tattoo."
So it might be strange for the Army to put forth a new rule banning them on commonly tattooed portions of the body.