Tattoos don’t stop reservists from doing an important job

COMMENT: Going above and beyond is all in a day’s work at QA

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So it’s quite late, you’ve just got some cash out of the hole in the wall and out of the gloom you see a figure ambling towards you.

You’re not quite sure, you can’t really see in the dark, but it looks like there’s something a little bit odd about his face.

Some sort of birthmark? You squint into the gloom, holding your newly-issued money a little tighter.

As he approaches, his face becomes a bit clearer.

It turns out it’s not a birthmark, it’s a tattoo.

You soon realise there’s no-one else about.

Your heart starts beating a little faster and a little bit louder and your mind starts racing – there’s definitely a fight or flight response going on.

But then the figure moves under a streetlight and you see he’s in a uniform.

There’s a TA office around the corner and you realise there are others, also in uniform, following behind.

You remember the story in the news about rules on face and hand tattoos being relaxed for reservists in the army to try to boost numbers.

And here’s the thing.

Does it really matter if someone’s got a tattoo on their hand or face? How about their neck?

If someone’s taking pot shots at me and mine, I don’t much care who steps in to defend me and stop the other person from hurting my loved ones.

I don’t care if that person is black or white, fat or thin, male or female, or even if their facial tattoos put the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to shame.

If you can defend our country, protect our sovereignty and do it all in your spare time, then carry on soldier.

Fair enough, tattoos can be ugly and they can be offensive.

You could argue that could just not look as smart as our representatives overseas should perhaps look.

But we should all know that appearances aren’t everything and a doodle on a knuckle does not inhibit the ability to dig a well or bear arms, or protect the world’s ships from pirates.

Perhaps one of those newly-issued banknotes should be used to buy that squaddie a beer or two.