McHugh didn't say the exact date the regulations would be released, but warned soldiers to look out for an update to Army Regulation 670-1 in the next several weeks after he said he officially approved the updated regulation.
Soldiers can expect the updated regulation to tighten rules on tattoos and uniform wear as the Army looks to shrink and service leaders have emphasized professionalism in appearance. The Army could shrink down to 420,000 if sequestration cuts are not removed from the military's budget.
When the Army chose to loosen the rules in 2006, the environment was very much the same. The Army was looking to grow its force by 80,000. Service officials loosed the regulations in order to help recruiters. Officials have said the reverse will happen with this new update to Army Regulation 670-1.
Army brass has warned soldiers for the past year that the service will likely restrict any new tattoos below the elbow or the knee. These warnings have set off a run on local tattoo shops as the new rules will allow current tattoos to be grandfathered in. The new rule would only apply to new tattoos.