HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A newly revised tattoo policy that will remove the limit on the number and size of soldiers' tattoos is coming very soon, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday.

The new revision to the appearance policy still prohibits soldiers from having tattoos on their necks, and the ban will remain on tattoos that are extremist, racist or sexist, Odierno said at the AUSA conference here.

The more lenient tattoo rules are based on input from soldiers, he said. Many soldiers have told Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey they want fewer restrictions on tattoos. Some saw their tattoos as a hindrance to advancing in their careers.

Odierno said he and other Army leaders have listened to soldiers.

"Society is changing its view of tattoos and we have to change along with that," Odierno said. "It makes sense. Soldiers have grown up in an era when tattoos are much more acceptable and we have to change along with that."

The rules won't be official until the regulation is updated, which is expected in the "very near future," an Army spokeswoman said.

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