Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Michelle Tan
The long-awaited Army Regulation 670-1, with new rules on tattoos, hairstyles, grooming and uniform wear, went into effect Monday.
“The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American people measure our professionalism is by our appearance,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Ray Chandler wrote on his Facebook page. “Wearing of the uniform, as well as our overall military appearance, should be a matter of personal pride for all soldiers.”
The new AR 670-1 was formally published Monday via the Army’s Publishing Directorate.
“Every soldier has the responsibility to understand and follow these standards,” Chandler wrote. “Leaders at all levels also have a responsibility to interpret and enforce these standards, which begins by setting the example.”
The extensive revision and update to AR 670-1 comes as the Army pushes for a more professional force and transitions from more than 12 years of war.
By Kevin Miller
Last month we posted this video featuring Mr. X, also known as Duncan X. Since we’ve posted the video, it’s become a ‘Staff Favorite’ on Vimeo, and it’s receiving national attention. The Atlantic featured a short interviewed Alex Nicholson, the mastermind behind the short video.
The Atlantic: How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Alex Nicholson: It was a combination of things really, summed up by one event really: I once saw Duncan walking down the street. Fifty percent of the people walking past almost got whiplash from turning around to look/stare at him. I was wondering what was going through their heads. I have been getting tattooed by him for a number of years and the way he speaks, his manner and personality all smack of a man who wouldn’t make people walk into lampposts if they knew him in this way.
TA: Do you personally have a connection to tattoo art?
AN: Only in the way that I have tattoos really. Duncan once said in an interview (paraphrasing here) that getting a tattoo was like getting a (actually very cheap considering) work of art that you can’t give away. That resonates nicely with me.
TA: What’s the process for digitally removing and then re-illustrating tattoos?
AN: Well I have to heap praise on my make-up artist (the lovely and talented Denise Kum) here who relentlessly edged out his many tattoos during the course of the day. We put them back on (when they animate) digitally. The process of removing the tattoos was a mind blowing process that I’d probably get killed for talking about in detail.
While it’s an interesting interview, I think the fact that The Atlantic published an interview about a short tattoo film is far more interesting. It says a lot about the world we live in, and how comfortable people are with tattoos.
Shot and edited by Luke Holley
By Charlene Sakoda
Pastor Zack Zehnder, from The Cross Mount Dora church in Mount Dora, Florida has made good on an offhand promise to pay for his congregation members’ tattoos. As reported by WOFL Fox 35 News, in his recent sermon about acceptance, the pastor said, “If anybody would like to go out and get a tattoo of the logo of the cross that we have for this church we will find money and pay for that.” It was something that Zehnder said he mentioned “flippantly,” without actually thinking anyone would collect on the pledge.
Jeremie Turner is a congregation members who was excited by the proposition, “We definitely took him up on his offer because if he’s going to hand out free tattoos, he’s got a crowd that’s going to accept them.” WOFL reported that at least a dozen church members have taken advantage of the deal and went to Bill Gold’s Tattoo Shop to get inked. “If I wasn’t so dang sarcastic in my sermons, I don’t know that we would be here,” said Pastor Zehnder. “But we got some crazy people that have said they wanted to do it so I kinda gotta, I made the promise. I kinda gotta back it up.”
The pastor hopes that the church members’ new ink will serve as a conversation starter about religion. “People’s perception of church has probably never been as negative as it is today and so if we can do something to kind of flip that script and interact with them and do something in a unique and creative way, we’re going to do that.” The Cross Mount Dora member, Holly Stratton told the station, “I think that we’re in a different time and a different place now and I think it’s wonderful that we think outside the box a little bit.” William Trigg admitted that churches and tattoos don’t usually go together, saying, “Wouldn’t really expect, a little unorthodox for a church, but you know…leave it to anybody, Zack would be the one to do it.”
Zehnder isn’t the only church leader to make the unexpected connection between church and the body art. Jamie Bertolini, a senior pastor at Greer MillChurch in South Carolina, is also the owner of Trinity Tattoo Company. Bertolini told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that one of the reasons he invested in the tattoo shop was because it would be an, “…absolutely wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ.” Another church leader and tattoo fan is ordained minister, Eddie Smith of Oklahoma. He’s been tattooing for over 20 years and opened Sacred by Design in December 2010. He’s hardly fits the stereotypical idea of a minister, with his sleeves and distinct facial tattoos. In 2013, there was an even more literal side-by-side connection between a church and the art of tattooing. LifeQuest Church in Missouri held a fund raising raffle for members to get tattooed on stage during a sermon by Senior Pastor Chris Pinion.
As for The Cross Mount Dora congregation, in the end Pastor Zach Zehnder was happy about his unintentional comment saying, “I think it’s pretty neat that these guys are going to be walking out of here with a testimony and a chance to share God’s story with people that maybe I never would or maybe you never would, that don’t have tattoos.”
Shot by Estevan Oriol
Shot by Estivan Oriol
Shot by Estevan Oriol